Remember Bailey Russell, CEO 2015? She catches us up in a recent email! We LOVE hearing from alumni!

"Wow, to begin, I am in awe that four years ago I was finishing up my time in CEO, preparing for the trade show and traveling to Effingham for the National Trade Show. It doesn’t seem possible time can fly by this quickly, nor does it seem possible so much can happen within those four short years: five internships, four months living in Italy, 120 credit hours completed, and the list continues. In May, I will be graduating from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science and soon after that begin a 6 month position with Maui Jim Sunglasses. I previously held a Marketing internship with Maui Jim, but this position will consist of traveling 90-95% of the time (domestically and internationally), serving as an Event Associate with the Corporate Gifts team. I’ve deemed it as a perfect position for myself: traveling with the ability to meet countless connections​ (or the ability to constantly be talking to new people? As Nick and Isaiah would say, I need to “chill​').

Although I’m graduating, I still find CEO especially relevant in my life. There were so many lessons I absorbed and I am incredibly grateful I took full advantage of the opportunity. Not to mention the connections I made within – My friend Zach was part of the CEO Program in Kokomo, IN and because of the connection we made in Effingham, I was able to tour the East and West Wing of the White House since he was a White House Intern. I would’ve never thought the miniscule conversations would lead to a life-long friendship and incredible experiences. One of the most important things I learned is that it’s crucial to make connections and network, but the most crucial part is maintaining the connections. Without sustaining the relationship, it is virtually useless.

I look forward to watching the future classes continue to grow and hopefully have the same appreciation for CEO as I do!

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