Romain College of Business


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Jared Ell: Business Administration Major

Image is of Jared Ell

Jared Ell loves to organize. He can tell you his long–term and his short–term plans. He can tell you his career goals and his business plan. If he forgets, he can just look at his Blackberry; it's all there.

Ell admits that he was always motivated. While in high school, he utilized his skills in web design and started his own business. His game plan was to go to college, study business, and be an entrepreneur. In high school he took classes that would give him college credit so he would be ahead of the game. All it took was a trip to USI for a campus tour to make his choice. "USI is so beautiful. Seeing the plans for the new College of Business and Engineering Center was exciting.

There was a lot of room for me to grow and get involved," he said. He reflects that his orientation experience left him feeling like a kid in a candy store. "I asked a lot of questions. My mom finally left and told me to call her when I was finished."

Ell jumped into his USI experience with both feet and with eyes wide open. Ell was so impressed by the orientation process that he applied to be a student Amigo. "It is the best and most fun job I have ever had. I benefitted from the advice from the Amigos when I was an incoming freshman. Now, I could pay it forward by helping the next class. The only bad side was getting up at 5 a.m. to get everything ready for an orientation weekend. That is rough."

Now, he divides his time between his three off–campus jobs (a tech specialist at an office supply business and two internships), and his on-campus job as a Resident Assistant for the Business Living-Learning Community. He carries 17 credit hours and carefully distributes what free time he has between being an Amigo, a member of the Student Government Association, and a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity.

"Everything I have done here can be applied directly to real life. I utilize my business skills I learn here in what I do as an RA." Ell credits being involved with AKPsi with helping him to be more polished. "Anyone would benefit from being involved with either AKPsi or taking a business communication class. Everyone needs to know how to interview, how to build a resume, what salad fork to use at a business lunch."

As the marketing and recruiting intern for Northwestern Mutual Financial Services, Ell gives a lot of talks to classes and organizations. "This is the best experience!" he said. "I am getting paid what a professional gets paid to recruit and develop people like me."

For now, Ell is keeping close to his long–term career plan, but concedes that it does have a little wiggle room for his two favorite things—marketing and student development. "I would love to start my own business, get my MBA, and then teach. Or I could get a job in student development or residence life and develop programs to get students more involved in their college careers."

When Ell starts to feel overwhelmed, he retreats to his room to listen to music while sitting in his executive office chair. "It's a floor model. No one else can sit in it. I love that chair. It is big and green and a little worn. But I go there to rest my brain." Then he flips open his Blackberry and reviews what is next on his to–do list: starting a campus entrepreneur club and finalizing a couple of ideas for a small business startup.

Story by Barbara Goodwin
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