This Pirate’s priorities changed
after he transferred to ECU.
DaJuan Lucas traded football for the MBA program at ECU
DaJuan Lucas just finished his first year of the MBA program at East Carolina University. Since Lucas was eight years old, however, his dream was to play college football.
Lucas thought that he had fulfilled his dream when he started playing football at Winston-Salem State University, but he realized that he was not satisfied with the size of the football program. “I decided to try my luck at ECU,” he said. After receiving his acceptance letter, he transferred to ECU in the spring of 2009 to play for the ECU Pirates.
“I tried out for the football team here and made it, but I realized that my priorities didn’t align with football anymore,” said Lucas. After accepting that football was no longer what he wanted, Lucas said his options were “wide open.”
“I thought that when I stopped playing, I was going to miss it,” he said. Instead, he joined his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, which exposed him to various leadership opportunities.
After becoming the president of his fraternity, Lucas discovered that instead of football, he got enjoyment from talking to people, teaching and organizing events.
As an undergraduate at ECU, Lucas majored in business management with a minor in communication. “I love the components of business and the importance of communication in our society,” said Lucas. “When assessing what field allows me to enjoy both of my passions, I needed to look no further than marketing.”
Lucas is a graduate assistant in the marketing department at the Student Recreation Center, where he manages an undergraduate team that consists of graphic designers, photographers, communication interns and a marketing assistant. From start to finish, his team coordinates more than 400 marketing projects throughout the year for the Student Recreation Center.
After graduation, Lucas hopes to get a job in marketing in Atlanta. He said that after doing that for “a few years” he would like to come back to school to get his Ph.D. and teach. “My dream now is to be a successful entrepreneur and college professor,” said Lucas.
How did you learn how to be a leader at ECU?
It all stemmed from joining my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. My first leadership experience occurred when I served as the chapter president. At that time, I learned my leadership style - how I prioritize time and manage people. The year as president of my fraternity enhanced my leadership abilities in ways I couldn’t even imagine and the lessons I learned in that role helped me in other leadership roles that I had at ECU, such as the National Pan-Hellenic Council president and the Student Body chief of staff.
What has your first year of graduate school been like?
Graduate school is all about constant consumption of information and becoming a master in your field of endeavor. My first year has been all about constantly pursuing knowledge. Not only obtaining it, but gaining the ability to comprehend and articulate it too.
What is it like to work at the Student Recreation Center?
I believe it is the best place to work on campus. This is one of the few places on campus that still operates when no professional staff are here on the weekends. They put a lot of trust in the students that we’ll do the right thing and we’ll get things done. In addition, the flexibility is excellent. You are able to work in multiple areas within the facility. I have enjoyed the luxury of working in three different areas, gaining real world experience along the way.
What is something everyone should do while at ECU?
The interpersonal skills that an individual can gain from joining organizations are paramount for success after college. Organizations push students beyond their comfort zone and in order to truly reach success, you have to be able to go beyond your comfort zone.
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you had known your first year?
The endless amount of opportunities that will open up if you decide to join organizations and get involved on campus. When students arrive on campus, their primary concerns often are academics and having fun. While both are crucial, it is essential for students to network and join organizations on campus to maximize their time. Joining organizations and getting involved can open doors to lead to employment after college, lifelong friendships and future business partners. To get the ultimate fulfillment from college, get involved.
Photography by: Cliff Hollis
Written by: Grace Haskin
College: College of Business
Major: Master’s in Business Administration, Marketing
Class: First-year graduate student
Hometown: Wilson, North Carolina
Hobbies & Interests: Music, exercise, researching history, watching movies and reading books
Clubs & Organizations: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Elite Pirates, Student Government Association, Collegiate 100, Omicron Delta Kappa, Student Staff Leadership Council, Yacht Club
Hangout: Movie theater
Place on Campus: Student Recreation Center
Place to Eat: Cheddars and Olive Garden
Class: MGMT 4482 Managerial Negotiation
taught by Cody Chullen
Websites: Tumblr and Twitter
TV Shows: Scandal, Martin and House of Cards
Musicians: Tupac Shakur and Marvin Gaye
Movie: Coming to America
Most Influential Professors: Cody Chullen
and Andrew Herdman
Dream Job: Marketing/Communication Executive, Entrepreneur and College Professor
You Can’t Live Without: Music
Role Model: My mother, Charlene Lucas
Words to Live By: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -- Mark Twain
Advice to Fellow Students: "Find your passion, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. You never know what can happen when you step out and try new things. If you are doing what you love, it is not work."
“Find your passion, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. You never know what can happen when you step out and try new things. If you are doing what you love, it is not work.”
– DaJuan Lucas