Graduates sit after gathering in Minges Coliseum during a past commencement ceremony.

Seniors at East Carolina University reflect on their time as Pirates while preparing for their Fall Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. in Minges Coliseum.

Madison Tinkle, a senior majoring in elementary education, said she spent four years at ECU after growing up in Davidson County, North Carolina.

Tinkle said her favorite school years were during her junior and senior year because she was able to experience elementary education first hand through her internship.

Tinkle named Julie Stanley, a professor for the College of Education, as her favorite and most influential professor.

“She made class so much fun for me and I feel like I learned so many great teaching strategies and techniques from her,” Tinkle said.

Tinkle said the first football game she attended her sophomore year was one of her fondest memories at ECU because the atmosphere and school spirit made her proud to be a Pirate.

However, Tinkle said college wasn’t always fun and said the biggest thing she learned was managing her time wisely.

“I had to juggle being a full-time student while having a full-time job. It was a struggle at first. A lot of long nights in the library and early mornings going to class. But it was all worth it,” Tinkle said.

Tinkle said she would love to return to Davidson County after graduation to look for a job in the school system she grew up in.

Rushil Patel, a senior finance major, said he will be graduating after spending three and a half years at ECU.

Patel said he has worked at a local financing firm in Greenville while attending ECU and said he had volunteered in Raleigh while also in college.

Patel said his final semester was the most fun for him because the coursework wasn’t as challenging as previous semesters.

Patel named professors Scott Below and Matthew Walker as two of his favorites in the Department of Finance.

“In general, most of the business professors are nice and easy to get along with and they’re very helpful if you reach out to them via email or even in person,” Patel said.

Patel said his favorite thing to do while at ECU was hanging out with all of the friends he made throughout the years.

After graduation, Patel said he wants to be a financial analyst and said his goal would be to eventually become a fund manager for a financial firm or company.

Madison Boone, a senior English major, will be graduating this semester after three and a half years spent at ECU.

Boone said she worked as a tutor at Pitt County Community College and in the ECU Office for Faculty Excellence while going to school full-time.

“I worked both of them at the same time over the summer in one semester and that was a lot. But now I work at just the ECU (Office for Faculty Excellence) so I have time for classes,” Boone said.

Boone said some of her favorite memories at ECU came with her friends but her favorite memory was her research and creative week social media internship.

Boone said the best advice she was given was to take advantage of connections in and out of her discipline.

“What made the best of my years there was going out of my way to make connections, you know. Meet professors, go to the events on campus, meet other students and people that can help you on your journey,” Boone said.

Boone said she has been accepted into the ECU Technical and Professional Masters program and said she plans to continue her collegiate career.

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