Student Spotlight: Emily Hull

Freshman business analytics major Emily Hull recently won the Center for Service Learning’s Service Showcase after collecting almost 800 pounds of food for Harvesters.

Emily Hull

What are you studying? Why did you choose that major?

I am a first-year business analytics student. I chose analytics because I have always enjoyed math, and I want to use my analytics degree to come up with new ways to fundraise and market for nonprofit organizations. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until I started this service project and decided that the nonprofit sector is for me.

What programs or groups are you involved with at the School of Business and at KU?

In the School of Business, I am a member of the Business Leadership Program under Dr. John Hedeman. I am also heavily involved in volunteering both on and off campus with organizations such as the Harvesters Community Food Network and the Lawrence chapter of Habitat for Humanity. As for my job, I am a student athletic tutor in the KU Athletics department.

How did you get involved with the Center for Service Learning? Tell us about your service project and what you took away from the experience.

I got involved in the Center for Service Learning first when I was accepted into an Alternative Breaks trip over winter break. I traveled to Washington, D.C., for a week to learn about hunger and poverty on a national level by working with an organization called Bread for the City. After that experience, I decided to apply for the Certificate of Service Learning through the center.

However, my service project that I presented about during the Service Showcase was unrelated to the center; I started on my first food drive after talking to a Harvesters representative at a volunteer fair at the Watson Library lawn. I began working with a volunteer engagement coordinator to plan my first food drive in early October last semester, and it was executed the week of October 14th. It was a pick-up food drive, so at the beginning of the week, we tied bags and fliers to front doors around three neighborhoods in my hometown of Eudora with instructions for participants to leave food out for the next weekend for us to collect and take to Harvesters. It was a much bigger success than I could have imagined: That food drive raised 362 pounds of food and $343, which equates to 1,391 meals.

That food drive did so well that I decided to try again at KU Athletics. I am a student athletic tutor, so I was able to work with my boss and community outreach coordinators within the department to set up a traditional food drive from November 1–15th. Since it was right before Thanksgiving, we focused on holiday food items, like canned vegetables, instant mashed potatoes, and other common holiday foods. That food drive in two weeks raised 429 pounds of food, for a total of 358 meals.

These two food drives completely changed my perspective of hunger in my community and it has led me to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector so I can make even more of a difference throughout my lifetime. I also plan to bring more nonprofit-related activities to the School of Business so students are aware that the nonprofit sector is a real option for employment after graduation.

What has been one of your best School of Business experiences?

One of my best experiences in the School of Business is the Business Leadership Program itself. Dr. Hedeman is such an inspiring professor, and I have learned that leadership doesn’t just fit into a neat little box for everyone; for some, leadership is simply making others better in whatever way that person sees to be beneficial. That definition of leadership has really helped me this year in terms of finding my own path and deciding what my leadership experience will be.

What do you like to do outside of school?

Out of school, I am a martial artist and like I said, I love volunteering. I don’t have as much time this semester as I would like to do some of these things since I am taking 19 credit hours, but I am always excited to try new things. For instance, I was named the head coordinator for a St. Jude’s fundraiser at my martial arts studio a couple weeks ago, so most of my time outside of class and work is spent finding sponsorships, raising money, and planning the event on May 11th.

What is something you still hope to learn, in or out of the classroom?

I hope to learn more about careers in the nonprofit sector and how typical organizations function. I believe that volunteering and collaborating with more nonprofit organizations will help a lot on that front.