The Game Day Experience in Pirate Nation

For anyone who has ever met an East Carolina University alumni, they know that Pirate fans love their ECU football games. Having attended this great university, I can attest to the famous Pirate pride and spectacular game day experience that Pirate Nation is so fond of. In fact, throughout my four years at East Carolina, I never missed a single home football game, even if it was pouring rain! What I love most about game day at ECU is that the entire college town of Greenville, NC, shines with ECU pride and is completely decked out in purple and gold.



Tailgating is an essential part of the festivities that contribute to the entire game day experience. No matter what time the game begins, ECU fans are located all over Greenville tailgating hours before it starts. Walking around Greenville on a game day, there is an overwhelming strong aroma of food on the grill, Bojangles, and beer.

Outside of great tailgating food and drinks, there are many different activities to participate in. In fact, at every tailgate lot, there are corn hole boards, people throwing footballs, and drinking games being played. Also, depending on where you are located, if you are near the stadium you may see the dancers, cheerleaders, and band parading through the streets.


Pregame Show

After hours of tailgating, people start heading to the stadium to grab their seats. Being a student, I always stood on the stands in the Boneyard student section. The atmosphere of being in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is unlike any other. There are many traditions that take place from start to finish of each game.

Starting each game the band, color guard, dancers, and cheerleaders go out on the field to perform a pregame show to get the crowd excited. The show begins with a classic chant of “E-C-U” followed by some music and crowd engagement. Once the crowd has gotten the chance to yell for their section, we begin chanting the E.C. Victory (Fight Song). The band then gets into a formation, in the shape of our state. and the entire stadium begins to sing the ECU Alma Mater. Following the Alma Mater, we all sing the National Anthem to support our country, and most of the student section chants, “USA.”

Returning back to chanting the Fight Song, we all continue to get excited for the game to begin. The band creates a new formation and the cheerleaders as well as our mascot, PeeDee, lead the entire stadium in the “Purple – Gold” chant. After it ends, the football entrance video for the current year begins to pump up the crowd.

After the entrance video is played, the sound of an air raid siren goes off and the song, “Purple Haze” begins to fill Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Displayed on the field is a giant, blown up Pirate head with purple fog flowing out of it. The first to come out of the fog is the famous, Steve the Pirate who is followed by the head ECU football coach. For my first three years of college the head coach was Ruffin McNeill, and for my senior year, we had Scottie Montgomery. Both coaches were awesome, and I’m glad I was able to experience them coaching the team.

Once the anticipation rises, our football team finally runs out at the sound of a cannon going off and the announcer shouting for the Pirates. The crowd goes wild and the entire stadium lives up to their motto of getting rowdy in Dowdy. We wrap up the pregame show by chanting the Fight Song again and get ready for kick-off.



Leading up to kick-off, the captains of both teams meet in the middle to do the coin toss. After the winner of the toss is announced, the crowd goes wild. Then, another video displays. This one also happens to be my personal favorite. The video starts out with Pirates of the Caribbean character, Elizabeth Swan, telling the men to “Hoist the Colors.” After that scene, it shows a clips of the movie while playing the song, “Yo-Ho” (A Pirate’s Life for Me). The audience sings along and sways back and forth with their arms wrapped around one another.

As soon as the video ends, the kick-off song, “White Stripes” begins to play. All of Pirate fans bring out their keys and start jingling them while singing along. After the kicker kicks the ball, the game begins.


The Game

The crowd takes “rowdy in Dowdy” to a whole new level. Especially when we score. After a touchdown, the cannons go off and the fans begin cheering along to the Fight Song. Included in the celebrations, the cheerleaders and PeeDee do push ups with the score of the game.

There are many traditions that take place during the game outside of celebrating touchdowns. For instance, the crowd dances along with the band and takes part in their chants. Similarly, there are multiple times with the “Purple – Gold” chant is cheered as well as other common ECU chants led by the cheer squad. We also have a special chant when our team reaches a first down, “First down, Pirates, ARRRGH.”

Outside of the general chants and cheers, the crowd has their own traditions that they begin on their own. For example, at every game, we always try to begin a giant wave that flows around the entire stadium. Also, as some of you may know, our university is also known for shouting out the lyrics to the song, “Living on a Prayer.” It is amazing when this song begins because the entire population in Dowdy-Ficklen doesn’t miss a single beat. Even after the song stops, a lot of us continue to sing.

Another really cool tradition that I took part in during my senior year took place during the blackout games. At every blackout game, there are always students who paint themselves like skeletons. This school year, some of my friends and I decided to show our Pirate pride by painting ourselves for our senior year blackout game.


No Quarter

If you’ve ever stayed past half-time at an East Carolina game, you probably have witnessed “No Quarter.” This celebration occurs in between the third and fourth quarters. During this part, the “No Quarter” video is played and the fans pull out their flags. The song, “Welcome to the Jungle,” begins and fans with their flags are shown on the big screen. At the same time, the Pirate flag comes down, and the “No Quarter” flag is raised.

According to Pirates, “No Quarter” essentially means to take no prisoners and show no mercy. As for us ECU Pirates, the purpose of this portion is to cheer on our football team and remind them to fight hard during the final quarter. Also, this is everyone’s favorite time to get onto the jumbo screen with their “No Quarter” flags.

At the end each game, we always sing the ECU Alma Mater. Plus, if we win a game, we also sing, “All I Do is Win” and yell, “ECU” during the pause after DJ Khaled sings, “…everybody’s hands go up!” However, win or lose it is always a pleasure being able to support the ECU Pirate football team.





Rain or shine, I never missed a single home game during my college career, and I am so glad I didn’t. Being a Pirate is one of my favorite things, and I enjoy showing off my Alma Mater pride, especially at the football games. I will miss watching the games in the Boneyard as a student. However, I’m  going to try to attend as many ECU games as I can as an alumna!


Personal Brand Campaign: Part 2

After reading part 1, you now know the first steps that I took in order to begin my personal brand campaign. To give you a quick recap, I first set a goal, then created a set of forms, set up progressive profiling rules, and retrieved the gated content URL to place within an iframe generator. Within this post, we will flow right back into the next steps I took after utilizing an iframe generator.

Landing Pages:

In part 1, I discussed how I had to create three of everything. Similarly, it is essential to have three landing pages as well. I designed each of my landing pages to relate to my different pieces of content. After I was finished designing, I copied the iframe code that I generated and pasted it within a “Custom Content” block. By pasting the code in the landing page, Act-On automatically linked my progressive forms and media to the landing page. Displayed below are screen shots of my three landing pages with their appropriate progressive profiling forms.

Landing Page #1:

Landing Page #2:

Landing Page #3:

Once each form is completed and submitted, the user will automatically be given the downloadable content for each specific form. For example, my first form was designed to give out a step-by-step guide that I created titled, “How to Create a Form in Act-On.” The second form displayed my second piece of content called, “How to Create an Email in Act-On.” In my last form, the submission resulted in the person receiving my resume.

Outside of the downloadable content, a personalized thank you email set to send for filling out each form. Each of the emails was catered toward the certain piece of content the reader received. Also, the email included another attachment to each of my content pieces and directed the individual to check out my website, blogs, and photography.

Thank You Email #1:

Thank You Email #2:

Thank You Email #3:


Marketing List:

Recalling back to the form submissions list that was discussed in part 1, I used the same list to upload the contacts provided by my professor. To upload the excel list of contacts, I clicked on the drop down arrow for “Signups From: ECU FINAL,” clicked on “Import/Export,” and then selected “Append to This List.” I followed the remaining steps, verified that the information was correct, and clicked “Finish.”

Automated Program:

After my forms, progressive profiling, emails, and landing pages were created, I put together my automated program. In the general settings, I assigned a program name and description to help me identify the basic campaign details while running. I also added my contact list, “Signups From: ECU FINAL.”

Under the tab, “Program Messages,” I added my three landing page email invites. For each of these emails, I included a public URL hyperlink to each landing page that it goes with. I also gave each email a very descriptive title to tell me which email contained the specific landing pages and appropriate content.

Automated Message #1:

Automated Message #2:

Automated Message #3:

Lastly, I had to set up a solid program flow. I created this to take each contact on a specific journey based off of their behaviors. For this flow, I included the three program messages that are displayed above.



The purpose of this automated program was to invite the contact list to each of my three landing pages. For each landing page that they visited, they saw one of the three progressive forms that I created. After they submitted the form, they received one of my three pieces of content based off of the certain form that they completed. Also, they were sent a thank you message with the attached content piece. The contacts continuously moved through the automated program until they reached the final step or exited sooner based off of their behavior.


As all marketers know, it would be foolish not to test a project out before sending it out. So, to ensure that my email marketing campaign would run smoothly, I tested it out on myself multiple times. Once I was happy with my work, I hit the “Start” button to begin my first email marketing campaign.


It was exciting being able to learn how to create an email marketing campaign through the Act-On Marketing Automation system. I believe this skill will be very useful throughout my career path as a marketer. In fact, this campaign may even be able to help me land my dream job!

Personal Brand Campaign: Part 1

During my Marketing Automation class this semester at East Carolina University, my classmates and I were tasked with creating a campaign using Act-On. The purpose of this campaign is to display our individual talents and personal brand to a list of 80 professional marketers. Through this post, I will show you exactly how I created mine.


Before beginning any successful project, it is essential to set a goal and map out the steps you will need to take in order to reach that objective. In this case, since most of us are graduating, our goal for this project is to land a job and build connections. With that being said, we have to prove our worth and display our skills throughout the campaign before we can achieve our end goal.


For this particular campaign, we were instructed to create three separate forms that would produce our three pieces of downloadable content. Our professor told the class that the best way to create these multiple forms is to first build a master form that includes all of the data that we want to collect from our recipients. Once it has been designed exactly how we like, we copy it three times. It’s important to note that all of the forms are to be hooked up to the same form submission list. In this project, I made sure that all of mine were hooked up to the same existing list, “Signups From: ECU FINAL.”

The image located below displays my master form. Within this form, I included all of the information that I plan to receive from my email list. Although this particular one will not be used, I created this one first in order to duplicate my CSS for the ones to follow.

The first of my three forms asks the recipient to enter their first name, last name, email address, and company. Once the individual enters in all of this information, they will be given the first downloadable piece of content and sent a thank you email.

Here is my first form:

For my second form, I attached my second piece of downloadable content. To receive new information from the reader, I asked for their job title and their LinkedIn URL. With their LinkedIn URL, I can now connect with them.

Here is my second form:

Now that I have all of the basic information that I need from each individual, my third form simply asks for their phone number. This form includes my most valuable piece of content, my resume. If the individual would like to view my resume, I request their phone number in return. After I receive their number, I can contact them and make arrangements to network with one another.

Here is my final form:

With so many steps required to properly run my personal branding campaign, I specifically named each form so that I can easily keep track and differentiate between them quickly. As you can see by the picture below, the master form is titled, “ECU FINAL” and the other forms are labeled in order from one to three. Also, I clarified in the titles which specific content is attached.

Progressive Profiling Rules:

Now that all of my forms are created, I can create progressive profiling rules. Since I created three forms for my three pieces of content, I needed to have three progressive forms. I labeled each of my progressive forms so that they match the order of my downloadable content. By doing this, I could easily keep track of which is first, second, and third.

In terms of the rules, I created the same three rules for each of my progressive forms. Although this may seem repetitive, it is essential to remain organized and specific. For each rule, I selected a specific form that I would like to be displayed.

Instead of simply using only the basic forms, we used progressive profiling so that we did not repeatedly ask our contact list for the same information. Instead, the rules catered the form sequence in the correct manner that the contact needed.

Gated Content URL:

Having completed my progressive profiling, I was then able to generate a gated content URL for each piece of downloadable content. Within my media library on Act-On, I selected on the drop down arrow next to each file. I then clicked on “Gated Content URL” and hit the “Add” button once the pop-up box appeared.

In the drop down box, I selected the set of progressive profiling rules that matched the specific content that I was retrieving the gated content URL for. For example, for my first downloadable piece, I selected the progressive form titled, “ECU Final – Content #1.” After this was selected, a link was displayed available for use.

I did all of these steps for each of my three pieces of content. Next, I copied the gated content URL and inserted it into an iframe generator. This is a crucial step because it must be completed for each file in order to include the progressive profiling form and downloadable content within my landing pages.


Stay tuned for part 2 of how I created my personal brand campaign! 



Why I Chose to Attend East Carolina University

Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on these past four years at East Carolina University. My time here has quickly flown by, and I’m grateful for every second of my time at ECU. I only have one month left until graduation, and I can say with confidence that choosing to attend this school has been the best decision of my career.

Why I Chose to Attend East Carolina University

Ever since I was a little girl, I always had a big spot in my heart for East Carolina University. My older sister, Jamie, attended ECU for both of her undergrad and masters degrees. So, I grew up being a fan of this awesome university.

While she was in college, my family and I would visit her in Greenville. Sometimes during our visits, we would go to the ECU football games with her, and I was able to experience the many traditions of Pirate Nation. It was easy to fall in love with the campus culture, and I continued to be a big supporter of the school even after she graduated.



East Carolina University is known for its loyal supporters. Anyone who has been to campus or around ECU fans can attest to the strong Pirate pride that students and alumni have. If you don’t believe me, yell, “PURPLE!” to someone wearing Pirate gear, and I can assure you they will yell, “GOLD!” right back to you.

Through my sister’s years at the university, I was able to witness the culture prior to filling out any college applications during high school, and I instantly knew that I would fit in really well with the ECU atmosphere. In fact, my heart was so set on attending ECU that I didn’t apply to any other universities. Looking back, I’m still glad that I didn’t because I absolutely love being a Pirate.

The culture of this university was one of the main reasons for my decision to attend. As an example, it’s easily showcased during the ECU football games. If you’ve ever attended one of these home events, you know exactly what I am referring to. The ECU game day atmosphere is by far one of my favorite things about the university. At each home game, there are many traditions to take part in, and the entire city of Greenville becomes one big, united Pirate family.

After experiencing the culture first-hand as a student, I can officially say that my perceptions of the ECU atmosphere were not wrong. I have connected with many ECU alumni simply through the similarity of both being part of the same family that bleeds purple and gold. Attending this university has solidified the fact that I am now a “family member” of a giant ECU community.


Education and Location

At the time when I was applying to college, I had no idea what major I wanted to enroll in. However, I knew that East Carolina provided an awesome education to all of their students. Plus, the university has a great price set for tuition.

I was right to listen to the ECU students that were years ahead of me about the ECU curriculum and the great education that they were receiving. Now, thinking back on my previous classes, I have always had professors who genuinely care about their students’ well-being. Throughout my four years of college, I never once worried about asking a professor too many questions in any class setting. In fact, most of my professors and I are connected on LinkedIn, and I’m sure if I reached out to any of them today for help, they’d be glad to offer it.

As for the location, Greenville is about an hour and 40 minutes away from Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a perfect distance from Raleigh, not too far and not too close. The drive is pretty much a straight shot to Raleigh as well. With that being said, trips to the city on the weekends are very doable.

There are a few other reasons besides the location, culture, and education that led to my decision of attending this university. However, these were definitely the three main decision points that directed my choice in picking a university. I have enjoyed these past four years, and I’m so glad that I decided to spend my entire college career at East Carolina University.

Take a look at some of my photographs from East Carolina University! 


Why I Love Networking

I started attending networking events during my junior year at East Carolina University. A few people in my organization, ECU AMA, were about to attend a Triangle Marketing Club networking event, and so I decided to go as well. After this event, I jumped at the chance to attend any other networking opportunities that our members were attending. Ever since January 2016, I have attended a minimum of one networking event per month. So, why is it that I enjoy these events so much?


Being a broke college student, I jump when I hear the word, “free.” At most networking events, there are usually opportunities to be entered into a drawing and to obtain free swag. I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff?

So far, I have won a growler from a Red Hat networking event, a few pairs of concert tickets from Triangle Marketing Club events, and a ticket to the next Internet Summit! Some may say that I am very lucky when it comes to winning things, but I like to think it’s my dedication for attending so many networking events over the past year and a half. Who knows what I might bring home from this month’s networking event!


Similar to the free swag and giveaway items, food is always an exciting incentive. Especially when it is free! Most of the networking events that you attend will have beverages and appetizers to snack on while you are networking your way around the room.

Food is a great way to calm your nerves while you build up the courage to go up to someone new and introduce yourself. Or, in the worst-case scenario, going to get food could be a great way to exit an unwanted conversation with someone. Regardless of your reasons, free food is just another great incentive to attending an event.


Being that I am very extroverted, I really enjoy meeting new people and learning about their career experiences. In addition to my general enjoyment of having great conversations, networking is crucial for finding a job. Through my classes and meetings with my AMA chapter, I have learned the importance of expanding my connection base. With the competitive job market, it is essential to have connections in order to venture out to new career opportunities and find a job.

At networking events, the most valuable thing that you will leave with is connections. Although all of the other things are awesome bonuses, the main focus and reasoning behind these events are to build a strong network. With that being said, try to find a great local event in your area that focuses on the relationship and networking aspect at the event.

Put in the comment section your favorite place to network! I’d love to read about them!



Every year our East Carolina University AMA chapter attends the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference. During my first year involved with this organization, I was invited to join a group of students to travel to the conference. Unfortunately, I was unable to go. This year, however, I was able to attend. Being my senior year, I was so ecstatic that I was given this opportunity and was fortunate enough to travel with my organization.

The Conference

The 2017 AMA ICC was the 39th collegiate conference in AMA history. In preparation for the conference, our group downloaded the AMA Event App. Through it, we were able to see the agenda, connect with other students, and read about the speakers.

The conference had a full agenda set for each day. This schedule included a variety of sessions for students to learn and obtain knowledge from many successful business professionals. Outside of the sessions, there were also competitions and other events at the conference such as Mix ‘N Mingle where students could meet people from other AMA chapters.


There were many different kinds of sessions. Some were designed specifically for faculty advisors and others for students. In terms of the student sessions, these topics related to creating a successful career, organizational development, and general marketing topics. Each individual was able to pick exactly what interested them and attend any sessions of their choosing.

To give you an idea of session topics, here is a list of a few:

  • Promotional Marketing | The Industry. The Community. The Careers.
  • The Power of Story Telling
  • A Social Media Double Shot!
  • How to Brand Yourself and Win the Interview
  • Chapter Planning for a Successful Year
  • Tips for Successful Fundraising

As you can tell by the titles, there were many beneficial presentations. Our members split up, attended a variety of sessions, and obtained a lot of great knowledge to share with the rest of our chapter. There was also a career fair featuring many of the conference sponsors.

What I Learned

Our ECU team learned a lot at the conference. Some information that was shared during sessions was already known by some of our members due to our chapter meetings and some of our ECU classes. However, there were still quite a few things that we were able to bring back to campus to share that we have never learned before.

In particular, one really neat thing that I learned was during the session with Mary Kay representatives. At this session, the presenter discussed a very successful template to go by when composing emails. She told us to always remember the acronym, “MADE.”

  • Message
  • Action
  • Details
  • Explanation

This acronym can be used as a guide to properly set up an email. For example, the message is what you are trying to get across to the person who receives your email. The action section is referring to the steps you are asking the receiver to take. The details are specifics relating to how they can complete the action. Lastly, the explanation tells the reader why they should complete the action in order to fulfill the sender’s message.

I really enjoyed learning about this email tip, and now I often think of this acronym when composing my own emails. This was just one of the many things that our group was able to bring back from the conference. In fact, besides this new knowledge, our chapter brought back something else that we are very proud of… an award!

It’s a Major Award

Our chapter was awarded, “Outstanding Chapter Planning and Communication” for the 2016-2017 school year. We were so excited about this accomplishment that our group cheered very loudly when our chapter was called out. It is such an honor to achieve this award, and we were thrilled to be recognized for all the hard work that our members have completed this school year.

I had a blast at the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference and am so glad I was blessed with the opportunity to attend. Thank you, ECU AMA, for providing me with a great experience for my first marketing conference and most importantly, a great year within the organization. It has been awesome serving as the ECU AMA Executive Vice President for the 2016-2017 school year.


From A Student’s Perspective: A Class About Digital Marketing

This blog post was written for East Carolina University. 

This blog was written by ECU ‘17 marketing major, Candace Carter.

ECU-COB-ClassIt’s my senior year, and these past four years at East Carolina University have flown by in the blink of an eye. As I began my last year as an undergrad, I created a list of companies that I wanted to apply for prior to graduation. However, that was just the beginning of my preparation work for the job hunting process that I was about to embark on. I started researching job descriptions for the career path that I was about to begin and noticed a lot of similar qualities and work experience that hiring managers look for in their applicants.

Being a marketing major, I knew that there are many valuable skills that are highly recommended to obtain in order to land the dream job which I have been searching for. Specifically, there are multiple certifications that could help me stand out amongst my peers who are also applying for the same type of entry level positions that I am. Upon hearing of the new Marketing Technology and Automation course offered at ECU, I knew that this was a class that would provide me with real marketing experience that I desired.

“This is a fast paced class. I feel like it adds value to your resume. You learn something new every day. I’m hungry for more information about Marketing Tech & Automation.” –Thomas Mincer

Marketing Technology and Automation

Although this is just the beginning of the semester, I can already tell that the style of this course is completely different from any other marketing class that I have taken. The purpose of the course is to provide students, like me, with the skills to utilize digital marketing tactics and the opportunity to not only obtain two highly desired certifications in Google Analytics and Act-On Marketing Automation but to also learn how to use the tools in real marketing situations.

The design of this course uses a hands-on approach. For instance, during the first week of class we were instructed on how to purchase a domain unique to our names, set up hosting, implement WordPress, and link Google Analytics and Act-On to our new websites. Outside of class, we were given the task to create an appealing display and customize our websites that will present our own personal brand.

“MKTG 4972 gives students an exceptional, hands-on opportunity to learn and use the marketing tools that companies want employees to have. It creates an opportunity for students to have the upper hand in the job market and understand the importance of digital marketing.” –Stephanie Maines

Personal Brand

As a marketer, it is essential to understand how branding works and to establish a specific “brand” for yourself. Within this class, we have been assigned with the task to construct a personal website that informs the public of who we are as our own personal brand and exhibits the talents that we have as well as skills that we have acquired over our time spent at ECU.

Each of us purchased a domain name as well as hosting through either GoDaddy or TigerTech. We then hooked up WordPress to our new domain where we have been able to establish our brand and use the site as a portfolio. After everything was set up, we linked Google Analytics and Act-On to our websites.

“To me, building a website seemed like making a sandwich, when actually it’s like making 1000 sandwiches, and each is a custom order” –Alex Charlton

Google Analytics

The semester is broken up into two sections. The first consists of learning the ins and outs of using Google Analytics. During this section, we are going to learn the fundamentals of the tool and how to use the different features through our newly created website. Also, we will become certified in Google Analytics which will be a great addition to all of our resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

“I love how this class is not set up to be a conventional class, but instead more like a job training class.” –Hunter Jackson


The second section of the semester revolves around Act-On Marketing Automation. In this part of the course, we will learn how to navigate through the software and will gain experience in concepts such as creating email marketing campaigns, building landing pages, and posting on social media through Act-On.

“This course if full of hands-on, real-world experience that will no doubt be valuable in the future.” –Nolan Tubb

I look forward to learning more about digital marketing and having the opportunity to apply all of the knowledge, skills, and certifications that I gain from this class within my future career.


Front Row: Hunter Jackson, Leanna Smith, Candace Carter
Second Row: Nolan Tubb, Alex Charlton, Michael Khidhathong, Thomas Mincer
Third Row: Angela McLain, Matthew Hrycenko, Jimmy Kunkle, Chris Foley, Stephanie Maines
Back Row: Zackari Gogulski, Devonne Maughn, Danny Gutierrez

This blog post was written for East Carolina University. 


My Dog Walking Class at ECU

dog-walkingYes, you read the title correctly. I am talking a dog walking class at East Carolina University. It sounds silly, but I can assure you it is more valuable that you may initially think.

It’s my senior year at ECU, and on top of the required courses I need to complete prior to graduation, I also had a few extra hours to fill. In previous semesters, I heard rumors about a dog walking class at ECU. As most of you may know, dogs hold a huge place in my heart. So naturally, when I had the opportunity to pick any class that I would like to take during my last semester in college, I picked this course.

What We Do

Animal-ShelterEvery Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes even on Friday mornings, I meet with a group of ECU students at the Pitt County Animal Shelter. There are always many dogs at the shelter that are ready to get out of their kennels to go on a walk. Some dogs have been at the shelter for a while and others are new arrivals that came in as a stray or an owner surrender.

Every morning when I arrive at the shelter, I always pet each dog before going to the back of the building to grab a collar and leash. Each student has the opportunity to pick one of the dogs to walk for the day. We take the dogs out for an hour long walk and spend time with the individual dog that we chose for the duration of the class. After the walk is complete, we then give the dogs a treat.

Sometimes, if there are puppies at the shelter, we get to play with them after we complete our walk with the other dogs. As you can see, this class is a lot of fun. Especially if you are a big dog person like I am.

Why It’s Important

To some, this class is just another opportunity to obtain credit hours. However, for me, it is so much more. Not only do I get the opportunity to spend time with these sweet animals, but I also get to make a difference in their lives.

Shelter dogs tend to become “kennel crazy” when they are confined too long, especially in a stressful shelter environment. So, the more exercise they receive, the better they behave and the higher the chance that they will be adopted. This is why shelter volunteers are so crucial because these individuals are able to give the dogs a break from their shelter confinement and have genuinely caring human interactions.

Check out this video to learn more about Pitt County Animal Shelter and their mission.

As you can see, volunteers can make a huge difference in the lives of these animals. If not for us, these dogs wouldn’t obtain the proper exercise, love, and care that they truly need in order to find their fur-ever home. Now you know why this dog walking class is so much more valuable than just a few extra course credit hours.

I always look forward to going to the shelter so I can walk these precious animals. If you’re looking for a good service opportunity that is very rewarding, I highly recommend volunteering at your closest animal shelter.

The Ultimate Google Analytics Dashboard

As you now know from one of my previous blogs, I am enrolled in a Digital Marketing course this semester at East Carolina University. During our Google Analytics portion of the class, we had a very talented guest speaker, Jenny Halasz, travel to Greenville so she could teach us more about utilizing this tool. Her presentation included the topic of accounts, properties, tagging, KPIs, reports, filters, managing dashboards, and understanding what all of the data that we receive in Google Analytics represents.

Not only did she share her knowledge on these topics, but she also gave us a link to a Google Analytics dashboard that she created. As soon as I got home from class that afternoon, I opened up my Google Analytics account and followed her step-by-step directions on how to add the dashboard. However, before I added it, I first created a new view called, “JLH Dashboard.”


Once the new view was created, I pasted the link that Jenny gave our class into my browser. After it loaded, the page displayed a box that allowed me to select the new view I just created to apply the dashboard’s settings. I then titled the dashboard, “Dashboard – JLH,” and hit the create button.


Once the creation process was complete, I shared my website to all of my social media platforms, and the traffic to my site began to flow in. After I gave it some time, I logged back into my account the next morning to review all the data that was collected. From the home tab, I selected the new view that I created the afternoon before and began exploring the dashboard.

As a new user of Google Analytics, this dashboard made everything so much easier to understand. The configuration of the dashboard was really straightforward and provided relevant information. For instance, I could see in the form of a pie chart whether my traffic was coming from social or direct, which city the viewer was in at the time they visited, the social network that brought them to my site, the number of pages they looked at, the bounce rate, the pageviews for high traffic pages, exits, and more.

Here is the dashboard and the results that I obtained after I shared my website on social to my friends and family:



As you can see, this dashboard is very user-friendly and is a great tool to have. For example, I could easily tell from the results that the majority of my traffic came from social media, specifically Facebook with 72 sessions and 151 pageviews. Also, the viewers of my site were located in mostly Greenville, Raleigh, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Outside of the quick view in the dashboard, I could even dig deeper into each widget by clicking on the blue link at the top.


As Jenny told us, “This is your ultimate weapon.” I’m grateful that Jenny shared these awesome dashboard settings with us and shared her knowledge on the ins and outs of Google Analytics. I can honestly say that her presentation and applying what we learned has really helped me with navigating through my Google Analytics account.

Thanks again, Jenny!


My First Week in an ECU Digital Marketing Course

This semester I decided to take a new marketing class at East Carolina University, Marketing Technology and Automation. This class is designed to provide students with real marketing experience while using an interactive learning approach. Throughout this semester we will learn how to use two great marketing tools. The first portion of the semester will be dedicated to Google Analytics and the second will be revolved around Act-On Marketing Automation.

Creating A Website

During the first week of class, we were instructed on how to purchase a domain and hosting. We were given the option to purchase these through either GoDaddy or TigerTech. I personally chose GoDaddy due to the fact of the brand recognition that I have associated with the website. The purchase of both domain and hosting amounted to around $68.00, which is far cheaper than a textbook.

Once we purchased those, we then went to the next step of managing our Linux hosting through our cPanel navigation. Within the cPanel, there are multiple options. However, we went straight to the WordPress building wizard. The steps were very easy to follow and once we completed them we were able to customize our new website in a unique design that demonstrates our own personal brand.

Google Analytics

Although we weren’t completely finished customizing, we were still able to link Google Analytics to our websites. The first step in this process was to create an account. After I created my account, I copied the Universal Analytics tracking code and pasted the JavaScript into the footer widget of my website. Placing this code in my website connects Google Analytics and allows it to track the data associated with my site.

The reason we were instructed to place this code within the footer of our site is because JavaScript loads extremely slow. In fact, it loads 2 times slower than HTML code. By pasting this code within the footer widget, anyone who views my site will not realize how slow it is loading because the footer is the last place that they will look. As a result, people won’t automatically bounce because they are tired of waiting for the site to load.

Outside of implementing Google Analytics, we also have begun the first part of the preparation for the Google Analytics certification. During this first week, our homework assignment was to complete units 1-3 in the Digital Analytics Fundamentals section. This section includes videos and practice questions on the basics of using digital analytics, creating a measurement plan, and of course, how to begin using the wonderful tool, Google Analytics.


We briefly have begun getting our feet wet working with Act-On Marketing Automation. This section of the course will be mostly executed during the second portion of the course. However, the first week of class we created our Act-On accounts and put the Act-On JavaScript in the footer of our website so we can begin obtaining results.

Similarly to Google Analytics, this JavaScript also goes in a footer widget on our website. It does not matter which footer this JavaScript is placed. Although, it is vital to place this JavaScript in a completely separate text box than the one used for the Google Analytics JavaScript.

What I’ve Learned

As you can see, I have learned a lot this first week of class. Outside of the website building and marketing tools I have been implementing, I have also gained some new basic knowledge about digital marketing. Just to touch on a few key points, we can track everything that people do using digital marketing. For instance, Google Analytics tracks real-time results using numerical data and Marketing Automation monitors descriptive specifics such as who.

Secondly, the reason behind why we track people is because our prospects can sway back and forth. Often times, what people say they do and what they actually do turns out to be two completely different things. Thus, monitoring behavior on a website can be very important and revealing to what their actual behavior will be.

Lastly, the only constant in digital marketing is change. We are living in a thriving digital world that constantly introduces new innovations. Therefore, being a marketer means that learning will never stop. Throughout the entire career of a marketer, it is essential to stay relevant and to learn new skills.

I look forward to learning more throughout this semester about the world of digital marketing.