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Marketing senior Connor Ryals wants to spread the word—the Harbert College of Business career fairs are game changers. She should know. She received multiple internship offers after attending the fairs.
“Don’t underestimate the power of going to a career fair even though it can be a little intimidating or even awkward at first,” Ryals said. “Allow yourself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I’m glad I’ve attended all the career fairs that Harbert has offered and I’m super grateful for the support of Harbert and my professors. I’m not sure I would have gotten [the internships] as easily if I didn’t have Harbert supporting me through that.”
Ryals is currently working as a digital solution sales development intern at Ricoh, an international information management and digital services company. This past summer, she worked as a district management intern in Atlanta for the discount supermarket chain ALDI.
Both positions have helped her focus her academic interests in the marketing field, while providing a glimpse of the corporate world that she’ll enter in August 2023. Ryals recently developed an interest in digital marketing. but is continuing to weigh her options with potential career choices.
According to Ryals, the ALDI and Ricoh internships were valuable because her colleagues and bosses exhibited various leadership styles and were all career-driven professionals. She also appreciated how both companies emphasized career development opportunities for their employees.
A transfer student, Ryals started her academic journey in the fall of 2019 at Southern Union State Community College, where she earned an associate of science degree. She entered Auburn as a pre-business major in the fall of 2021 and quickly declared a marketing major.
“I did a 180 with my career aspirations because I initially planned to attend a dental hygiene program in Columbus, Georgia,” she said. “I used to joke that I was keeping everyone guessing, including myself.”
However, she heeded the advice of her father, a business graduate, successful entrepreneur, and leader who told her to figure out what she wants to do by focusing on the things that fuel her ambition and to focus on that signal.
A member of the Women in Business student organization, Ryals encourages new students to get involved in organizations and activities early in their Auburn academic journey as a way to develop positive friend and professional relationships.
Ryals gained a lot from attending the recent Women in Business-sponsored lecture of author and motivational speaker Tiffany Dufu, who wrote the best-selling book “Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less.”
“Her message resonated with me,” said Ryals, who works as a server at an upscale Auburn restaurant in addition to her Ricoh internship and attending school full time. “You have to let go of certain things—but keep those things that drive you.”