California State University, Fullerton

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Business Major Receives International Understanding Award

May 22, 2013

A passion for business and international travel are obvious when talking with graduating business administration-marketing major Eric Don.

Back in high school, he started an award-winning recycling business and traveled on his own in Germany, staying with a friend's family and experiencing firsthand that country's educational system. Both experiences set him on his future career path.

"I'm committed to becoming a multicultural and global leader," said Don, a CSUF business and university honors student who is this year's recipient of the International Understanding Award. "I understand the necessities for building a strong international connection and have taken an active role at Cal State Fullerton in achieving that connection."

Don reinstituted the campus chapter of Hillel, serving as social action and marketing chairs, as well as this year's president. With several European friends and an ability to speak a wide range of languages, Don found it natural to establish friendships and connections with international students on campus, helping them feel welcome and introducing them to American culture.

In the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, he has been a member of the business honors society since his freshman year and was the organization's president in 2011-12. He is a member of the Leadership Scholars and Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda, and a student representative on the college's Marketing Advisory Council and External Relations Team.

In the fall, he was a member of three-person student team that won first place in the college's Boeing Co. Case Study competition, and won other college awards for marketing and volunteerism.

As his senior project, Don developed an international marketing plan for the Lollapalooza music festival. "I decided it was an excellent way for me to be prepared and stay competitive within the marketing arena," said the Buena Park resident.

"The project was a challenging one, because it is a brand that is in the mature part of its lifecycle," said Steven Chen, assistant professor of marketing. "Using marketing theory and practice, Eric has found a solution to revitalize the brand, which involved geographical expansion into Israel and Southeast Asian territories.

"He is the 'complete marketing package' with both quantitative/analytical and creative skills," added Chen.

Currently, Don is working in marketing new products and strategy analysis for a hair products company, yet has interests beyond business and international relationships. A professional actor with multiple credits in commercials, TV shows and standup comedy, he serves in Looking Ahead, a program of the Actors Fund, as a peer mentor with youth in the organization's Youth Leadership Council. He also volunteers with the Tiger Woods Learning Center.

"Overall, Eric is an excellent student, a responsible individual with remarkable achievement, motivation and a strong determination to grow personally and professionally," said Katrin Harich, professor of marketing, adding he is "one of the best that our college has to offer."

Don will be honored at Cal State Fullerton's May 24 honors convocation, then take part in the university's May 26 commencement ceremonies.

By: Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852

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