“An optimistic and driven individual who is always happier when food is involved.”
Fun fact about yourself: I was born on Mother’s Day!
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
High School: Ursuline Academy
Minor: Cyber Security Management
Favorite Business Course: Commercial Banking
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
Flyer Enterprises: Flyer Enterprises is a completely student-run business established in 2001. Annually, FE generates over $1.3 million in revenue and employs nearly 200 students of all ages and majors. Across campus, FE consists of 9 physical divisions, an e-commerce website, a web consulting platform, and an IT and graphic design team. From sales associate to CEO, the students are tasked with the management and decision-making within the company. Flyer Enterprises takes pride in the experiential learning opportunities available to students while serving each customer with the mindset “For Flyers, By Flyers.”
* Sales Associate: Serve coffee and pastries at The Blend, a coffee shop located in the library. Communicate with vendors and place weekly orders to buy various types of Pepsi and paper products for the division. Sales associates gain valuable customer service skills and have the chance to build relationships with loyal customers and other employees.
* Product Manager: Manage inventory and vendor relations for the division, including ordering product, analyzing sales patterns, tracking waste, and engaging in new product development. As a Product Manager, my team transitioned from using Boston Stoker coffee to the Starbucks “We Proudly Serve” program and quickly experienced a sharp revenue increase.
* Chief Financial Officer: Oversees the company finances, manages the accounting team, working with various university departments to pay bills, communicate with vendors, and create annual budgets. As CFO, I centralized the purchasing and accounting processes which eased communications between FE and vendors. The CFO is also responsible for compiling and presenting on quarterly financial statements to the Board of Directors (15 officials and staff from UD and the greater Dayton area).
* Chief Executive Officer: Manages the Executive Team (10 individuals, made up of c-level positions and president positions), facilitates innovation and growth within the company, and acts as the face of the company to sources inside and outside the UD community. As CEO, I took on the PR for the company and have had the opportunity to represent FE in meetings, conferences, news interviews, magazine articles, and other various sources of media. The CEO is also tasked with planning and leading quarterly Board of Director meetings and reporting bi-weekly to our two faculty advisors. As CEO, I have been lucky to expand our outreach into the greater Dayton community through a divisional expansion called Startup Grounds. Startup Grounds, located in the Dayton Arcade, is an initiative driven by UD, The Entrepreneur’s Center, and Flyer Enterprises to highlight underrepresented vendors and entrepreneurs. By giving them a platform to market and sell their product, we have been able to help so many woman- and black-owned companies gain their footing in the community. We are truly working for the common good of the community and strive to make an impact in off-campus settings.
Experiential Learning Ambassador: Serves as a liaison between students and the leaders of on-campus experiential learning opportunities. Facilitates workshops to inform underclassmen of new opportunities, share my experiences, and help upperclassmen secure internships and post-grad careers.
Undergrad Business Student Leadership Council: Meet regularly with a group of student leaders and the Dean of the business school to create change and bring innovation to programming and classroom curriculums.
Member of Chi Omega Sorority: Participate in service events to fundraise for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Build relationships with other clubs and organizations on campus through events and collaborations. Held a leadership position during sophomore year (Assistant New Member Educator) to bring confidence and a sense of belonging to new members.
Where have you interned during your college career?
Haney, The Packaging Microfactory (May 2020 – August 2020)
- Marketing Intern
- Cincinnati, OH
Fifth Third Bank
- Commercial & Credit Leadership Program
- Cincinnati, OH
Where will you be working after graduation? Fifth Third Bank
- Commercial Associate Program Participant
- Charlotte, NC
Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Daniel O’Donnell – he teaches Commercial Bank Management at UD. He works at PNC bank, and therefore has tons of real-world experience to bring into the classroom. In the class, we learned so much about the actual industry which will help me as I start my career at Fifth Third Bank. Professor O’Donnell concerns himself with what his students want to learn and how they are best taught instead of following a repetitive script for each class section.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Throughout my time at UD, the course curriculum within the business school has surprised me the most. The faculty does a great job planning a wide variety of courses that must be taken so that each student gets to dip their toes into all aspects of business. To be well-rounded in today’s business environment can be the difference between getting chosen for a job over another candidate. I have been pleasantly surprised with the diverse education I have received within the business school, and even more so with the freedom to choose electives that I am actually interested in.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could repeat my experience, I would have added another minor. I have always been interested in being involved in the people side of business, so I think a minor or concentration in sales would have proved beneficial, especially as I am entering into the banking industry. Another minor that seems interesting is marketing – we use marketing all the time in our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. Learning some tips and tricks to market myself and my employer would make me more well -rounded as an employee.
What business executive do you admire most? The business executive that I admire most is my dad. After graduating college, he pursued his dreams of becoming a self-starter, founding a business that has now celebrated over 30 years of success. His leadership of the company, which is named Haney, The Packaging Microfactory, is inspiring to me because he has been able to balance his personal and professional life in so many different ways. As a leader, he is able to make the hard decisions while remaining a role model for my siblings and me. Through the pandemic, his company was able to adapt under his strong leadership skills and pivot to helping in the fight against COVID – packaging toilet paper, COVID test kits, and other essential items. Throughout my whole life, he has motivated and pushed me to becoming the best businesswoman I can, and has always been there to support me through successes and failures.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The academic achievement I am most proud of is the impact that I have been able to make within Flyer Enterprises. Since I have already covered Flyer Enterprises in depth, I will also share my greatest personal achievement. In March 2020, with what would become months and years of COVID restrictions, I was sent home from UD halfway through my sophomore year. Not knowing when we would be allowed to return to campus, and having experienced the cancellation of my summer internship abroad, I decided to set a goal and do everything in my power to achieve it. That goal was to run a marathon – and so it began. Dedicating the entire summer to training, I was able to create something out of the unfortunate situation at hand. The marathon I had been training for ended up being cancelled, and so did the backup race I had registered for. Taking matters into my own hands, I decided to plan a route in Dayton and run the race on my own. Although it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I felt an immense sense of pride in myself and support from my friends and family, who all gathered to watch. Although I definitely can see myself running another marathon, I don’t think any race can beat the feelings that I felt that day, and the pride I felt as I accomplished that goal.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? The person I would like to thank for my success is one of my peers, Max Higgins. Max helped to shape my time at UD through my involvement with Flyer Enterprises. When I was a freshman, he was the manager who hired me, gave me responsibilities within the coffee shop, and taught me the value of strong work ethic. My sophomore year, Max had been promoted to the President of the coffee shop, and I was hired as his Product Manager. He led by example and supported my ideas, building my confidence to become even more involved. Junior year, Max was elected as CEO, and promoted me to CFO alongside him. Throughout our time in the company, we grew together and relied on each other to brainstorm ideas, make hard decisions, and become better leaders. I owe my success in Flyer Enterprises to him for seeing something in me when I was a young student, and believing in me throughout.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
- Return to UD to pay it forward in some way professionally – speak with students, share my experiences, donate to fund future successes.
- Invest in myself – get my master’s degree, invest long-term for retirement and savings, and prioritize working at companies that value my work ethic, mental health, and pay fairly for the work that is done.
What are your hobbies? In my free time, I enjoy reading, staying active, and spending time with my dog (Chocolate Lab named Bailey!). For me, working out relieves stress and allows me to focus more on the tasks I need to accomplish. When I work out, I prefer running or attending Orangetheory workout classes. In terms of a more creative outlet, I enjoy painting pottery or making puzzles to keep my mind engaged in different ways!
What made Carolyn such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?
“As CEO of the sixth largest student-run business in the country, UD’s Flyer Enterprises, Carolyn had the extremely difficult task of essentially restarting a multi-million dollar business that had been dormant for a year due to Covid-19. She had to lead a student-run business that has almost 200 student employees in a highly fluid environment that required her and her executive team to act quickly and decisively to run the business. Despite all the challenges Carolyn was able to lead this team to record sales, and their first off-campus operation. Her leadership and poise under pressure are an inspiration. She has certainly left a positive, lasting impact on UD and on me!”
Vincent C. Lewis
Associate Vice-President of Entrepreneurial Initiatives
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