Is it too late to turn Packback into a family owned business?

by Kelly Shannon
Illinois State University Packback Brand Ambassador

When I got the text from my dad telling me that my brother, Mike, was going to be on ABC’s Shark Tank, it was immediately followed with information about the viewing party that they would be throwing at 1871. Aside from my obvious excitement, my first thought was “what the heck is 1871?” to which my dad replied “basically a big warehouse with desks and a bunch of 22 year olds running around on skateboards. Should be a good party.” With the assurance of my dad telling me I was in for a good party, I clearly couldn’t miss it. I mean… there’s a bunch of 22 year olds running around on skateboards! Doesn’t get much better than that.

Well, turns out it does. My family and I arrived a little early to help Mike set up for the viewing party. When we got there, it was surprisingly pretty similar to what my dad had described. Although there were not any skateboards, there were a bunch of Razor Scooters instead, but those are just minor details. As we began setting up, I started to realize just how exciting this was; specifically when Mike told me we needed around 250 chairs (although, the idea of setting up 250 chairs wasn’t too exciting to me). A couple hours later, people started flooding in. I greeted the family and friends that I saw and was expecting to see, but as more supporters came in, I found myself talking to people I hadn’t seen in years. It truly was incredible to look around the room and see how many people were there to support both Mike and Packback.

As the show started, everyone began to settle down a little bit. All of the seats were taken, with people standing on the side or sitting on the benches against the wall. With the exception of a few sound system issues that we’re fixed in the knick of time by Packback’s very own founders, the show ran smoothly. The excitement and energy in the room was incredible. By the end of it, the whole room was on their feet cheering as they watched the two “kids” in front of them make a $250,000 deal with Mark Cuban. $250,000. Mark Cuban. Just let that sink in for a second.

The 10 minutes or so that Packback  aired on the Shark Tank episode was fantastic to watch, but I wish the 8.3 million viewers at home could have also watched the fireside chat that took place afterwards. As Mike’s sister, and also a Brand Ambassador for Packback, I thought I knew pretty much everything about the company and how they got started- boy was I wrong. Hearing Mike and Kasey talk about the different obstacles they crossed and overcame when starting Packback as college undergrads was easily one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard.

They explained the difficulties of “having to” skip class and drive to Chicago to sneak into 1871, only hoping that it would be worth it to get some more people on their side. They talked about how you only need a few key people on board to make something happen, no matter what Mr. Wonderful says. They discussed how college students have a unique advantage in the business world, and how they were able to overcome what they did because they were current students trying to make a difference. Sitting in the audience, I couldn’t help but listen in awe at the intelligence and grace that my brother, who used to restlessly tease me until I cried, spoke with.

Both Mike and Kasey spoke in a way that showed off so much about each of their characters, and they certainly showed how hard each of them work and how much persistence they each have.

I think every college student should get that chance to hear some of the wisdom that Mike and Kasey have to share. I walked out of the viewing party with a different view on Packback, my brother, and the business world in general. It’s amazing what a couple of hungover college kids can do when they pick up the phone and cold-call the CEO of a major publishing company.

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

10 Things I Wish I Had Known as a College Freshman

by Annabel Scheer
Keene State College Packback Brand Ambassador

  1. I wish I had known laundry wasn’t free at my school. It costs 5 bucks each load, so that eventually adds up each month. On top of that, not only did I have to pay to use the machines, but then I had to pay for the detergent and the softener as well!

  2. I wish I had known the full details of my meal plan. At Keene, all residential students must have the same kind of meal plan: unlimited. Who really needs unlimited meal swipes? I pay 2,000 each semester for a plan that I do not want, but must have because I’m a residential student.

  3. I wish I had known about the many nights I would go without sleep. The end.

  4. I wish I would have known how many people at my school came to college unaware of how to properly cite their papers. Most didn’t even know what MLA citation is, so many people will try and bribe you to write their papers if they pay you, but never agree to do that because it could get you in serious trouble.

  5. I wish I had known how nice the bathrooms are in the academic buildings and the gym as opposed to my dorm, because I would use them much more than the dorm bathroom on my floor that’s shared with 60 other people and full of last weekend’s throw up (sorry for the details).

  6. I wish I had realized how expensive those little on campus stores are (the ones you can use your dining dollars at). I could have easily saved more money going to Wal-Mart to get more for a cheaper price.

  7. Being sick at schools sucks. I came down with the flu during my finals week second semester…it was awful. (which brings me to how much I wish I would have known how much I’d miss my mom..)

  8. Networking is by far the easiest way to land opportunities. Definitely get in touch with professors or important people on campus, they’ll think of you when an offer comes their way to refer a student to a job or internship.

  9. Ratemyprofessor.com is GOLDEN. USE IT. It’s a great tool that should definitely be utilized while choosing classes and making a schedule. It not only explains if a professor is difficult or not, but most of the time, you’ll get a sense of their teaching style so you will able to evaluate if their style is something you can relate with or work well with.

  10. Last but not least…I wish I would have known to avoid the campus bookstore at all costs. Never buy your textbooks at the school store. Never. Instead, use Packback!

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

Guide for Incoming freshmen: How to save money on books!

by Muhammed Waseem
Syracuse University Packback Brand Ambassador

Congratulations! You’re going to start a new adventure in your life: college.

You are just about to embark on a new phase of your life. Be excited, because according to collegeamercia.edu, less than 10 percent of the U.S. population holds a college degree.  So can you really put a price on a life journey and a solid education?

Yes, you can actually, but you probably already had this discussion with your parents when you applied.

College Board states that the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013–2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. Additionally, the cost of textbooks is estimated to be $1,207 at public colleges and $1,253 at private colleges.

While the cost of tuition cannot be helped, one expense you do have control over is the cost of the books you purchase.

Here are two tips to help you save money:

1. Avoid the college book stores.

College bookstores are without a doubt the worst place to buy textbooks. The newer textbooks severely overpriced, and the used textbooks are not much better. But wait, it gets worse. The worst case scenario, which actually happens quite often is when you buy an overpriced book, and on your very first day of class, the professor utters the words “you really don’t need the book for this class.”

Bottom line: avoid the college bookstores. There are many other options online to get your textbooks for class. But how do you which site is the best?

Don’t fret, when it comes to buying books, Packback has got your back. Here on Packback you have the ability to compare prices between different books, used and new. This saves you the hassle of going from site to site and shows you the best price available. With Packback you could also try out their daily $3-5 textbook rental feature and ensure that you’re only paying for books when you actually need them.

2. Buy the book after the first week of classes.

As the professor is going over the syllabus you will get a feel for how much you really need the textbook. Packback also offers 24 hour rental services which give you full access to an electronic copy of the textbook. This will enable you to assess the quality of the book. You can take the time to skim through the chapters and materials. If you don’t quite feel this book is worth the $259 price tag but still might need to peek at the book once or twice throughout the quarter/semester, daily ebook rentals are for you!

Regardless,as an incoming Freshman you have enough to worry about. Let Packback worry about your textbooks, and you can focus on what they’re serving at the cafeteria today..

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

Tips on Marketing Yourself Professionally

By David Hayashi
Syracuse University Packback Brand Ambassador

As college students prepare themselves for the big and scary “real world”, it’s important for them to be able to market themselves in a professional way. In order to impress employers, students need to make sure that they have polished resumes and cover letters to send recruiters in order to land those top internships or maybe Brand Ambassador programs with a start-up like Packback!

Here are tips for college students on making top-notch resumes and cover letters!

Resume Writing

A good framework for organizing your resume is to include experiences in several categories. Effective categories that highlight your strengths include: education, leadership skills, community service, work experience, and any other skills that may be relevant to the position you are seeking. Using action verbs such as corrected, guided, enabled, developed, managed, and resolved can help you stand out to the hiring manager. Lastly, organization is important and the use of bullet points can help make the appearance of your resume more appealing.

Cover Letter

The cover letter helps the hiring manager get a better idea about you and why they should hire you for the position. Therefore it is crucial to touch on your previous work experiences that are relevant in order to show why you are the most qualified person for the job. The format of the cover letter should begin with by addressing the following: who are you, why are you writing, how did you hear about the position, and why are you interested. In the next paragraph you should describe your applicable experience, show that you truly understand the position requirements, and it should be concise as well as focuses on the positive. Finally, close the cover letter by stating that you believe you are a strong candidate because of your experiences and list your contact information.

Keep these tips in mind when applying to jobs and internships. If you’re ever looking for great experience to boost those resumes and cover letters, consider applying to become a Packback Brand Ambassador! (www.packbackbooks.com/apply)

To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

4 Ways to Not Get Scammed in Paris

by Daniel Moran
Framingham University Packback Brand Ambassador

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If you’ve ever been to Paris you quickly realize a few things, that the French DONT actually hate Americans if you’re nice to them, that if you don’t get to the bakery before 10am all the baguettes are gone, and there are people trying to scam you everywhere you go. I was lucky enough to learn about the Parisians scamming methods before I attended Paris in May but I know some people aren’t as fortunate and can become a victim to the most heartless of the city.


With that being said, here are some ways to protect yourself!


Follow them, study them, learn them (you know how to study kinda right?) so that you don’t lose any more money! Tuition and books are expensive enough (at least if you’re not using Packback, they are..)!!!

The String-Ring Gift

Paris is a beautiful city- no ifs ands or buts about it. When you go to check out this magical, romantic, and stunning city, these creeps will be waiting for you.

The scam: a person will approach you, and ask you if you want a present from him/her. Before you have the chance to say no, he/she will come in closer and pull out a string. You’ll look at it and think about how it’s just a string…a harmless little string. But that’s what they want you to think! If you say yes or don’t give the person a straight answer, they will start to tie it around your finger and tell you that it is a ring that he/she is making for you. They keep tying and tying, knot after knot, and it keeps getting tighter and tighter. Soon enough, the string is tied so tight on your finger that your circulation is being blocked. Then that person will look at you, and say “if you want to keep your finger, give me 100 euro.”  The ruthless scammer will then take you to an atm (usually not too far, as they always have one close by) and take your money.


How to prevent this: JUST SAY NO. As soon as a stranger approaches you, just let out a stern NO. It works every time- they back off and you’re on your way with all of your money. They’re told no a lot so they won’t think twice about it, they’re already looking for their next victim. If you have some weird problem where you can’t say no, just keep an extra pair of scissors on you I guess…

Fake petitions

This scam, like all the others can be either performed by men or women, but in my experience this was mostly women.

The scam: you’ll find these lovely women by the base of the Eiffel Tower or by the sacre coeur. Look for the women with the clipboards. They will come up to you and say “do you speak English?” If you say yes, they will ask you to sign their petitions for a “great cause!” When you look at the paper, the top is written in French and they’re are a couple signatures by victims. It looks pretty legit, but don’t be fooled. The petition basically says “give me 200 euro or else.”

How to prevent this: DONT SIGN THE PAPER WITHOUT FULLY UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSE. Pretty straight forward- don’t sign it (you wouldn’t sign a weird petition at home, why sign one when you don’t even understand the language?) Say NO. The word does wonders; you’d be amazed at how well it works. Like before, they’re already scoping out the next victim.

Taxi drivers

My encounters with taxi drivers haven’t been too awful. It’s a great, inexpensive way to get around the city… and not to mention there are about 20 thousand of then roaming the small (petit if you will) street of Paris. You’ll find two or three every time you turn around.

The scam: the thing about taxi drivers in Paris is that they think that they’re smarter than you, and most of the time they are, in navigating around Paris that is. But we are college kids, we’re all smart! You’ll notice that the taxi drivers all have a minimum, whether it be 5€, 7€, or a whopping 10€ for the high end Mercedes-Benz taxis. So if you’re taking a short ride, know beforehand, that you have to pay a certain amount, no matter the distance. The taxi drivers will start the meter, ASAP. I’m talking, like right as you wave them down, probably even two streets before they even saw you, so be aware of that. Also, they know that you’re a tourist, and that you have little to no knowledge of the most efficient route to your destination. So they will bring you around the whole city, for a 20-minute drive that could’ve been only 5 minutes if you knew where you were.

How to prevent: In your first couple of days spend a little time studying the area you’re staying in. Take a double decker bus around, look at the sites while also checking on the best routes to and from your area. And if you’re in an unfamiliar area away from where you’re staying, buy a map. I know they’re ancient but you never know when you’ll need the five dollars the taxi driver sneakily scammed you for. TAKE THE METRO. Their subway system is great! It’s efficient, cheap, and somewhat clean (smells a little, but what can you do). You can even buy 1,2,3,4, and 5 days passes!

Pickpockets

This one is a big one, mainly because it can happen anywhere at anytime. You’re not really getting scammed here; someone is just downright stealing from you. Keep your phone by your side at all times and your wallet even closer…

The scam: Loose pockets + careless attitude = “bye bye” valuables.

How to prevent this: If you have a girl in your group (or you are the girl in your group), chances are they will have a purse. If you can keep your important stuff like your money, phone, and souvenirs in the purse you will be fine. Just make sure it is zipped up and by their side at all times. If that’s not the case, then buy a fanny pack. They may not be stylish but they damn well do their job. If you’re embarrassed wearing one, where you’re in a country that is 3,500+ miles from mainland USA and the chances of you running into someone you know are 1 in 120 million then there’s another option. It will keep you organized and safe from pickpocket(ers?)

Don’t let these potential scams drive you away from going to Paris. It is a great city with much to offer! It is a great experience that you will remember for many years to come. I had a blast and you will too! If you learn these scams before hand and remember to do a little research before you travel anywhere you will be just fine.

BONUS TIP: as we used to say in hockey “KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL” which basically means, look around and know your surroundings at all times so you don’t get an unexpected hit…apply this to walking around in Paris, and you will be leaving with everything you came with, plus a few croissants!

To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

Myths and Facts about Greek Life

by Celena Chong
Northwestern University Brand Ambassador
  

  “You see sorority girls all over campus wearing Louboutins and Jimmy Choos. Like everywhere.”

    “At U of I, they sacrifice virgins,” one of my friends said. “In a barn.”

    Awesome, I thought.

    Obviously, I knew in my mind these things weren’t true. But Greek life to me was like how pre-pubescents are when they wait for the new cooking Barbie to come out. I had already decided in my mind with sort of a strange finality that I would, wherever I went to college, become part of this cult life. It sounded kinda fun.

My school has a time period that restricts freshmen from venturing to any house with Greek letters on them. Of course, it only added onto more speculation. If Greek life was a horse, now it became a unicorn. It was untouchable. A world of fairies, dragons and a lot of winged animals that shouldn’t be winged.

    The week before rush, since I went through it in the winter, was so intense that I could have probably cut the air into blocks. While some girls panicked and others chittered about the horror stories, most of the people I talked to were surprisingly serene and eerily calm about it all—the fact that the rest of their college lives were about to be shaped by this upcoming week (and really, it was true to a certain extent if you thought about it that way).

What if I really, really like two of them?! I thought. Like, I can’t be both Gryffindor and Slytherin. This was slightly devastating to me.

If anything, rush week was the most accurate aspect of Greek life by far to its description, given to us by veterans who had already survived that battle. Sure, some people cruised through it, but I witnessed some teary messes, some girls shouting their moms on their cellphones, and some utter anchor-in-the-stomach disappointments that I had myself. It wouldn’t be apt to say that rush is like the survival of the fittest however, because at least at my school, most people ended up where they liked. It was quite nice.

I trust the process and don’t—it’s safe to say that I still hold reservations about the fundamentals of Greek life today, however being in it. There are quarterly costs involved, and a potential for people to twist it into how it’s like in the movies, quite unfortunately. However, the benefits of it far outweigh the negatives. It’s an overall satisfying, insular community that allowed me to do many things: eat food that aren’t the greasy dollops of mush that I find in cafeterias, hang out with people who think I’m funny, steal clothes from many, many people’s closets and become involved with philanthropy. It feels like cheering for yet another team that you really care about, except you do it even when there isn’t a game on. You also aren’t going to be close to everyone, but that’s okay, because you still learn to have that acceptance which you carry on outside of Greek life.

    After one year of being in a sorority, I would say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in college. That sounds pretty cliché, but it’s a pretty self-sustaining community that threw so many unexpected, yet cool opportunities in my way. So go ahead and memorize your sorority and fraternity’s creed like it’s a religious text, flash the hand symbols everywhere like they’re gang signs and even overuse this annoying phrase: “throw what you know”. It’s worth it.

To learn more about how to save BIG on textbooks, visit www.packbackbooks.com!

Check out Packback’s New Office!

We’re excited to announce that Packback is now “living” in a new office! We’ve moved out of Catapult, our past office space that we shared with various other start-ups.

Our new office is located at 330 N Wabash Ave in Chicago right off of the river. We have 360-degree views of the city, and even more amazing views inside! We’re lucky enough to be “staying” with ContextMedia, which is a company founded by one of our investors. They’re definitely making us feel right at home, and we’re adjusting to the new luxurious office and increased space that we have! We’ve still brought over our own traditions and hope to leave our mark on our new office.

Check out these pictures below to see for yourself how awesome the office is! We’re excited for our local Chicago Brand Ambassadors to come by and visit on August 8th for our first ever Brand Ambassador Workshop Day!

Packback Team Spotlight on Steven Maguire!

Steven Maguire is the infamous Head of Engineering on the Packback Team! This North Carolinian is living life in the city of Chicago, where he’s an avid customer of Portillo’s (their Maxwell Street Polish Sausage is his weakness). He’s known in the office for his witty jokes and great nicknames!

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How did you get started with Packback?
Prior to joining the Packback team, I planned and executed a technology strategy to successfully convert TrainSignal to a SaaS/subscription model after 10 years in DVD product sales business. This involved design, coding, mentoring, and pitching every aspect and interaction of the platform from user engagement to service communication strategies and environment stability. TrainSignal was acquired by Pluralsight in 2013 for $23.6MM. Several months after the acquisition Kasey discovered my profile on Angel List and contacted me about the opportunity to join the Packback team. The rest is history in the making.
What is your favorite part about working with Packback?
Having been a college student, many years ago, I know how painful it can be when organizing and financing your college textbooks; buy? borrow? not buy? In those days, online solutions were few and far between. Packback is on a mission to leverage the power of the web and provide options to students that will remove the pain that I once felt and students feel today. I am proud to be on that mission.
If you could have dinner with one person in history, dead or alive, who would it be?
Michael Bolton
List 3 things on your Bucket List:
  1. Make a bucket list
  2. Complete tasks on bucket list
  3. Die

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

Brand Ambassador Spotlight Feature: Tom Kalaj!

Tom Kalaj was one of Packback’s earliest group of Brand Ambassadors, starting his team over at Syracuse University in New York! As a sophomore student there, he studies Marketing Management & Television/Film/Radio. When he’s not studying, he’s spreading the word of Packback on campus with his rockstar Syracuse team!

3 Things on Tom’s Bucket List

        1. Go skydiving - To conquer my fear of heights

        2. Attend a World Cup Final 

        3. Visit as many countries in the world as I can.

Where do you see Packback in the next 10 years?

In 10 years Packback will be drastically different than it is today. Companies and website layouts like Google and Amazon are extremely different than they were a decade ago. I can confidently predict that Packback will effectively change to mirror the fast-paced developments of the Internet and target demographics. Most, if not all, textbooks would be available on Packback and may include some exclusive textbook content/programs from some textbook companies. The exponential growth in employees and student ambassadors over the next 10 years will push Packback to become a peerless company in the industry. 

If you could have dinner with one person in history, dead or alive, who would it be?

If I could have dinner with anyone, one of my top choices would be Elon Musk. He is a role model that I hope to eventually meet and have many questions to ask regarding SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and hyperloop. I would like to hope that the dinner would end with a possible job opportunity too…

How did you get started with Packback?

After reflecting upon my first semester at Syracuse, I decided to get more involved. I began looking for internships and start up programs for college students. One thing lead to another and I stumbled upon Packback. A little research and a quick email and the rest is history. 

If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be?

If I could travel to one place in the world, it would likely be Beijing, China. The disparate culture and opportunity to better understand international business operations are inviting reasons to visit. Though difficult, it’d be advantages to pick up some Chinese in order to be an effective employee at any multinational enterprise. Studying abroad there may be one of the best ways to fully appreciate what the culture has to offer.

Interested in joining the Packback Team? Visit www.packbackbooks.com/apply to bring Packback to your campus!

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

True Life: I Sold My Books Through Packback and Got a Check for $600

Ashley DiCosola is one of many Packback customers that is celebrating the end of their school year with a big check to start off their summer. But what better way to celebrate graduating the Nursing Program at Western Illinois University than cashing in on Nursing textbooks through Packback for $621.87?!

Name: Ashley DiCosola
Major: Nursing
School/graduating year: Western Illinois University Class of 2014
What you plan on using your $600+ check through Packback from: I plan on using the money for an interview outfit to hopefully land a great job and the rest will go to my amazing parents to use for a celebratory family dinner

Did you sell a book through Packback? Tell us what you plan on spending your money on! Email holla@packbackbooks.com

To learn more about how to save BIG on textbooks, visit www.packbackbooks.com!

When you truly believe in your company, public speaking becomes easy…

by Pablo Zayas
DePaul Packback Campus Marketing Manager


I remember my first time i went to speak about Packback in a class, as it was one of my tasks as a Brand Ambassador, I was very nervous and words could barely come out of my mouth. I had to make myself a little cheat sheet just so I wouldn’t forget anything. I remember having so many eyes on me and becoming more and more nervous. Upon starting to speak about the company and our goal, everything seemed to start flowing and it seemed easier as i spoke about fixing the textbook industry.   

Getting the attention of my classmates was tricky, but one turning point for me was using words and things that got student’s attention the most. Soon, the support from my classmates became overwhelming as soon as they found out that Packback was featured on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank. It was almost as if they woke up or told them “FREE PIZZA!”(which would become later part of our marketing strategy on campus!). It truly made speaking in class easier, as classmates were more receptive to the cause. Even after speaking in several classes, they approached me fascinated by the idea and the product itself. This is one of those products that once you hear about it, people love the idea. Now mine and my fellow Brand Ambassadors’ jobs are to spread this word around. As I keep talking to other students about Packback, I keep testing new phrasings and ways of conveying our message to gain support and potential customers.


When I meet with other interns and ambassadors, I learn so much and always love to learn about their approach and better mine. I think it all comes down to how much you understand and believe in the product you’re selling and supporting. Working for Packback, for a product that benefits me and other students, makes my internship and the people I work with and for much more exciting and very rewarding.


To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

Packback Team Spotlight on Karl Hughes!

Karl Hughes is Packback’s notorious Engineering Manager. Karl lives in Chicago and is an avid reminder to the rest of the team that healthy eating exists. Karl is a southern vegan that is constantly cracking jokes in the office, creating a fun and positive atmosphere to work in.

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How did you get started with Packback?
I saw Kasey and Mike pitch at Technori in the spring of 2013. At the time I was working at another college-related startup, so I was immediately interested in what Packback was doing, and met with Kasey a few days later. He kept in touch and when they had secured enough funding in December of last year I jumped at the chance to join the team.

What have you learned from working with Packback?
Learn to tell a story. Kasey and Mike didn’t have a ton of validation in the form of revenue, big deals with publishers, or press when I joined, but they could show me and their investors that they had the commitment and vision to make Packback work.

 What’s your dream career?
Unlike most people, I’m just 25 and doing exactly what I dreamed I would be: working in a venture funded startup as an early employee. I’ll be in startups as either an early-stage employee, founder, or investor for the rest of my life.

 What’s your best childhood memory?
I spent thousands of hours building things out of Lego bricks as a kid. I literally spent every second of my free time before the age of 12 building stuff, and that definitely sparked my interest in engineering. I find the process of creating and building things insanely fun.

 Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

Brand Ambassador Spotlight on Alex Brewer!

Alex Brewer (who just happens to be the birthday boy!) is a proud Junior Redbird representing Packback on the Illinois State University campus! While spreading the wonderful news of Packback, Alex is also a double major in International Business and Managerial Economics with a minor in Chinese. When he’s not highly involved in student organizations and being a strong member of the Packback Team, he’s jetsetting around the world; Alex is in the Netherlands until his next adventure: Germany.
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How did you get started with Packback?
I started interning with Packback during my second year at Illinois State.  I had been reading a lot about startups and business culture at the time and the Packback Brand Ambassador program was just opening up.  It seemed like a good way to learn about these things firsthand so I applied right away.  The next thing I knew, I was in Chicago for a viewing party to see Packback featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.
What have you learned from working with Packback?
It’s the people that make the company.  The people I get to work with at Packback are some of the friendliest, most hard-working people I have ever met.  They really care about the mission and future of the company and that really says a lot to me.  Just having a great service is one thing, but having the drive to pick it up and get it to the next level is whole different animal.
List 3 things on your Bucket List
  • Visit every continent
  • Scuba dive in a ship wreck
  • Climb a mountain (a big one)
What’s your dream career?
At the moment I’m really interested in the economics of criminal organizations.  A career as an economic analyst would be pretty cool.  On the other hand, I’d like a career that would allow me to travel and be outdoors.  Possibly environmental conservation in Antarctica?  Looks like I’ve got some narrowing-down to do. 
Tell me about studying abroad! What’s the coolest things you’ve seen so far?
My study abroad program in the Netherlands is going very well, I’m on my last week! There’s a lot to see here.  Everybody rides their bikes.  There are thousands all over the city.  Our director has told us that there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands.  Pretty cool!  Getting ready to move to Germany for the summer after the program ends. Here are some pictures of my experience so far!
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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/

How to: Have a Productive College Summer!

By Tom Kalaj, Syracuse University
Packback Brand Ambassador

As summer approaches, students tend to have a relaxed mindset because of decreased responsibility that exists without classes and involvement. However, with an increasingly competitive workforce, it is beneficial to take advantage of your summer to get ahead of the competition. These tips will give you a productive, yet fun, break to prepare for the fall semester!

Getting a job should be one your top priorities. However, job searching as a college student is different than searching as a high schooler. During college breaks, try to find jobs and experience that have something to do with your career aspirations! For example, applying to be a bank teller is more beneficial to a finance major than a summer spent as a camp counselor- but being a camp counselor would be beneficial to an education major. The experience and knowledge in working towards your major is very attractive on resumes. Furthermore, there is a monetary benefit to working during the summer. A student can easily make enough money to pay for all their books, along with some fun money for the upcoming year, especially if they are using Packback to get their books.

Take Summer Classes

If you want to simply get ahead of your college curriculum or save some extra money, taking summer classes can be very beneficial. It is best to speak to a counselor first to see which classes will give you the most bang for your buck. Often times, students take the more difficult classes, especially gen-eds (math, language, etc,), in the summer because they are easier and usually on a pass-fail grading system. Also, it does not matter where you take these classes. Taking them at your local community college at home can save you loads of money when compared to larger, private universities. Even for a couple of credits, taking summer classes can make a big difference by saving you time, work, and money during the regular school year.

Get an Internship (…especially with Packback)

Similar to a job, an internship can give you hands-on experience towards your career path. While most internships are unpaid, there are still perks for working as an intern. Besides accumulating great experience and knowledge, most internships provide you with the same benefits as employees of the company receive. Interning for Packback is a great example of this. Free e-book rentals, communication with executive management and the attractable experience of working for a powerful startup are all valuable perks. Additionally, unlike other internships, Packback provides the opportunity to speak with their powerful investors every month. Finding the right internship can give you the upper hand when you finally get into the workforce after college, especially compared to your peers that failed to do anything with their summer vacation.

So, make the most out of your summers! Because would you rather have a job out of college, or a nice tan each fall?

PACKBACK by Rodrigo Aldecoa Falcon

First of all, let me tell you that I am no different from any other college student around U.S. I know what it is to wake up early for that class you do not want to attend, or stay long nights working on assignments that are due the next day. I know about not sleeping for a week during finals and having to deal with the unhealthy food of the campus cafeteria because you cannot afford eating out every day. Most likely, you have a work too, where you earn some money to cover your basic needs such as food and booze. Where does the rest of the money go to? Well, I know I spend a lot of money buying textbooks.

My college works with the quarter system, meaning I have to buy books 3 times a year at the beginning of each quarter. Most of my money goes for books I sometimes never use in class. Moreover the books required for class can cost up to $200, meaning that if you are taking five classes it can cost you $1000 per quarter or $3000 per academic year. If you stay in college for 4 years, you will spend $12,000 in books you many never use or open in your life. Is this fair? Don’t you feel you are wasting your money? Imagine all the things you could do with that money…buy a car, go on a vacation of a lifetime, more booze.., or taking your parents out for a nice dinner.  You could give a better use to that money than books you will use to balance the table when playing beer pong.

I am writing this message to you, my peers, because I believe I have found the solution to our problem, and it is PACKBACKBOOKS.COM. From selling all those elective courses books, comparing prices to find the cheapest option in the market, to renting books for $5 a day, Packback does it all. Exactly bro, rent your book for the finals week and get rid of the book afterwards.

I truly believe of the benefits of this webpage for students. I am proud to be doing an internship with this amazing start-up business as I feel this business just want to help students like you and me. The cofounders of the business just graduated a year ago from college, so they know about our struggle.

Trust me, spread the word and let everyone know about PACKBACKBOOKS.COM as it will make your college life much easier.

Peace all.

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To find out more on how to save BIG on textbooks: check out: http://www.packbackbooks.com/