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Senior Account Manager Lauren O’Shea returned to her alma mater, Elon University, last week for a speaking engagement. She spoke to Dr. Tony LeTrent-Jones’s Winter Term Class: Work & Society in a Globally Networked Age about her experience at Centrifuge Media and conducting business globally. We thought we would catch up with her and see how it went…

CMI: When did you graduate from Elon? What was your major?

LO: I graduated in May of 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

CMI: So how was it returning to campus after a few years out in the working world?

LO: With this also being my 5 year college reunion, it was a little surreal. Not only has the campus changed with new buildings (to the point where I had no idea where to park because what I knew as Visitor Parking was no longer in the same location!), but I felt…accomplished. I left college with so many valuable memories that I never knew would affect my career in such a positive way. And now, I get to give back and share those experiences with current students. It’s pretty cool.

CMI: What kind of advice did you have for the current students?

LO: I let them know to find something they excel at, something they are passionate about and go for it. The best thing about what I do now is that I love it, and still enjoy coming to work every day. That’s the key to a successful career, finding something you truly enjoy doing. That, and really knowing how to balance work and life to your specific needs, not someone else’s. That’s always huge, especially working in a global business environment.

CMI: What has your time at Centrifuge taught you about the global business environment?

LO: I can definitely say my view on the world has completely changed after all my travels. You without a doubt have to know and understand other cultures and, be open to them in order to have successful relationships. Your relationship with a single person (or even multiple people within multiple organizations) will more than likely be a positive one because you took the time to understand, and come up with new ways of thinking. Never assume people will conform to the way you’re used to doing things. Work together to find a way that works for both parties, regardless of culture. Besides, you’ll miss out on all the amazing food out there if you never take the time to try something new!

CMI: We have four employees that graduated from Elon, who all do completely different jobs, but are all really great at their position. It is actually the most alumni we have from any college, which is funny because there are bigger schools closer to our office. What is about Elon University that prepares students so well to jump into a career?

LO: The small classrooms and the small campus! There’s no ‘flying under the radar’ at Elon. Speaking in class was almost a requirement and, professors knew if you weren’t in class – which teaches you how to be comfortable with people and to set your priorities straight. It creates a family-like setting and forces students and professors to engage with each other on a regular basis. There’s always an opportunity to talk about new ideas, individual experiences and networking strategies…networking is huge. Someone always knows someone, who knows someone else, in the Elon family who you can get in touch with whether you just need advice on life or, potential job leads. My advice – never underestimate the small schools (or companies). You never know what you’ll learn!

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We had a blast last weekend as the headline sponsor of the 2014 Me Fine Gala! The event was a huge success, raising over $100,ooo for a very worthy charity. We hit the casino tables pretty hard, then CEO Brian Rivers gave a speech to kick off the presentation part of the evening and shared why this charity is so meaningful to him. Then it was auction time and our team bid on and won some great prizes including suite tickets for an upcoming Carolina Railhawks match, a 60″ TV, and an in-home dinner party prepared by a chef!

Again, this is a fantastic cause. We are proud to be associated with the foundation, and proud of the money that was raised at the gala, but these families can always use more help. Please be sure to go to the Me Fine website to learn more about how you can contribute.

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When a child is diagnosed with a critical illness, our sympathies often go straight to the child’s physical pain and their family’s emotional trauma while they deal with treatment necessary to fight the disease. While these feelings are natural and justified, there are other concerns that come along with a situation like this. We all know the direct costs of medical bills can be overwhelming, but there are all kinds of other factors related to the treatment that are just as financially devastating for families. Sometimes one or both parents need to take time away from working to concentrate full time on helping their child recover. Sometimes there are siblings that need to be cared for. Sometimes the best doctors are not in the area, and the family has to relocate so their child can receive the highest quality care.

That’s where the Me Fine Foundation comes in. The foundation was established in 2003 to help people cope with the financial burdens surrounding long term care of children with life threatening diseases without red tape and mountains of paperwork. After the family of a friend found themselves in need several years ago, Centrifuge Media began to donate to the cause and this year, we are proud to be the headline sponsor of the 8th Annual Me Fine Gala. The Gala will be Friday, October 17th at 7:30 PM at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh, NC. It will be casino-themed with gaming tables and professional dealers, and there will also be live and silent auctions. Please visit the Gala website for more information on purchasing tickets or donating items to be auctioned.

For those of you that are not in Raleigh, please check out the Me Fine website at www.mefinefoundation.org for other ways you can make a big difference in the lives these children and their families. It is amazing what just a small contribution can do!

 

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Project Coordinator Leann Madtes recently paid a visit to four classes of second graders at Fuller Elementary School in Wake County, NC to teach them about audio concepts and equipment. The students learned about the science behind sound waves, and how they travel through wireless microphone transmitters and receivers, XLR cables, mixers, and speakers. They also trained on the process of setting up all of that equipment and making it work together.

It was a very interactive session; the students and faculty were both inquisitive and eager to learn. Leann said, “The principal asked how far away someone should hold a handheld microphone and this gave me a perfect opportunity to explain about gain. I let the students plug in the different cables and wear the microphones. We also used my app to create frequencies to see which students had the best hearing. I was very impressed with their knowledge of sound waves!”

Maybe you will see some of these kids running audio for Centrifuge at one of your meetings in twenty years!

 

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We spend a lot of time on the road and spend a lot of nights in hotels. No matter how far we go or how long we stay, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle region of North Carolina is our home. We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunities that we do, and we strive to give back to those in our community who may not have the same good fortune. Mark Casey, our Director of Creative Services, started a campaign within the office to bring back unused soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and other toiletries from hotels for us to donate to a good cause. We recently took two huge printer paper boxes to Raleigh Rescue Mission in Downtown Raleigh, and when we put them on the scales they weighed 56 pounds. This was all collected in one year. We have been growing rapidly and we think with more people and more trips we can outdo it next year!

Founded in 1961, Raleigh Rescue Mission has helped over 750,000 homeless and needy men, women, and children. There are 100 people at the mission every day that need our help whether it is financial aid, food, clothing, or hygiene items. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer time. As Raleigh Rescue Mission’s Director of Public Relations Leslie Millett told us, “It takes every person doing their part and giving back in our community to make a huge impact on the lives of the homeless we serve.”

If you would like more information on how to volunteer time or donate items to the mission, please visit www.raleighrescue.org.

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