Tips for Landing the Perfect Internship

By Lisette Avila
Loyola University Packback Brand Ambassador

Internships are a great way for college students to get their foot in the door and hopefully figure out what kind of job they want after graduation. If you’re not sure whether you picked the right major, an internship is a good learning strategy to see what exactly it is that you want out of your future career. But how does one land the internship of their dreams? Here are a few tips to turn your dream into a reality!

First start by updating your resume. If you don’t have prior work experience, it’s a good idea to include relevant coursework in your resume. For example, if you are a marketing major, including class projects where you created a marketing strategy for a company or conducted a market research survey can help you stand out from other students applying for the same internship. It shows your future employer that you have prior knowledge and are passionate about the position you are applying for as it applies to your major.

Another good internship practice is to create and/or update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for business professionals. This can also help you get noticed based on the work experience and skills you list on your profile. Many job recruiters turn to LinkedIn to find the perfect candidate. It is also a great way to keep in touch with business professionals or past professors you have had. Speaking of professors, they are also a great resource for internship knowledge. Many professors love hearing about students’ future career plans and are more often than not happy to review a resume or write a letter of recommendation if needed.  

Building off having a strong LinkedIn profile and keeping in touch with professors, networking is extremely important. Going to career fairs at your school are a great way to meet future employers. It may seem like a lot of effort to have to get dressed up and print multiple copies of your resume, but it is definitely worth it! People will give you their business cards and it is important to keep them and connect with those people on LinkedIn because it shows you have initiative and are motivated to land the internship you really want and maybe even a full time job.

Once you’re in the part of your college career where internships are an essential part of getting a full time job, it may make you very nervous to embark on this next chapter of your life. It is important to be confident when interviewing for an internship and to have a strong argument for why you are a worthy candidate, so just relax and be yourself!

Now that you’ve learned more about landing the perfect internship, look no further than Packback! Apply to be a Packback Brand Ambassador and be a part of the best team of students across the country bringing affordable textbook options to students everywhere!

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

How to Avoid Gaining the ‘Freshman 15’

by Maureen Feeney
Rutgers University Brand Ambassador


As fun and exciting it is to go away to college, I’m sure you’ve heard the warnings from your parents or older friends about the dreaded “Freshmen 15”.  It’s easy to get carried away in the dining hall when it’s all you-can-eat with so many different options (both healthy and not!). With classes, studying, homework, and club meetings, it can be easy to fall off of the workout band wagon, but don’t worry I’m here to share my tips for how to avoid the Freshmen 15!

 1. Set up a gym date with friends

My friends and I went to the gym at 3:15 on Fridays after everyone was done with class. Having a set time makes it hard to skip a workout, not to mention the fact that your friends will hold you accountable! Plus who doesn’t want to workout while chatting with friends?

 2. Join intramurals or the club team

If you were involved in sports in high school, chances are you’ll miss that in college. Most colleges offer a wide range of both club sports and intramurals. Club sports let you compete against other colleges and even travel to another state (My roommate got to visit Virginia Beach for a field hockey tournament!). If you just want to stay on campus then check out intramurals. Grab some friends and make a team, and you’ll get to have fun and be active at the same time.

 3. Eating fruits/ vegetables at every meal

I know, I probably sound like your mom right now, but having fruits            or veggies is a great way to ensure you’re always eating something      healthy even if the rest of your meal is pizza. A great tip is to eat the        fruits and veggies first so that you don’t forget to eat them or become too full.    

4. Remember: the dining hall menu repeats itself

Don’t think that today will be the last day that the dining hall will have chicken fingers. If you’re school is anything like mine, the menu repeats itself constantly. (I’m pretty sure fajitas or tacos were served every Tuesday second semester at Rutgers.) It’s okay to skip the chicken finger line every other time it’s there and choose something a little healthier; you’ll enjoy them more if you eat them less frequently.

 5. Keep healthy snacks in your room

I’m all for having chips for a snack but I found that when I had chips or a granola bar as a snack option in my room, I was more likely to go for the chips. Whenever you run to Target or the grocery store for snacks, try to get healthier options. Try baked chips instead of fried or grab a container of hummus to dip pretzels in. I loved grabbing a clementine to snack on because they’re sweet but healthy (plus easy to eat in class). If you are going to eat something unhealthy for a late night snack, put it in a bowl so that you don’t end up mindlessly eating the whole bag, you’ll probably regret that snack once you realize how much you ate.

 6. Get outside

There is a pretty high chance that you’ll know someone who has a soccer ball, football, frisbee, etc, otherwise your school’s rec center probably has some that you can borrow/check out with your Student ID. When it’s a nice day out, grab some friends and go play a quick soccer game for fun outside. Even if it’s just a 20 minute game, that’s 20 minutes of exercise that you’re getting, plus it’s fun!

 Follow these simple tips and you won’t have to worry about gaining the dreaded ‘Freshman 15’, and instead you can make great memories with friends while staying healthy and active!

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

Packback Team Spotlight: Martin Vitek!

Martin Vitek is a senior studying business at DePaul University in Chicago. After coming here as an international student from the Czech Republic, Martin was an early member of the Packback team as an intern. Known for his abilities to “hustle” and get anything done, he quickly moved up through the Packback ranks and managed a few teams of Brand Ambassadors as a Campus Marketing Manager, along with the student groups that Packback sponsors.

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1. How did you get started with Packback?

    I have started working with Packback in November of the year 2013. It was just a small team of 5 people in the office back then: Kasey, Mike, Karl, Deepak and Kim. We were working in a small cubicle, which was supposed to serve only 3 people that ended up being shared by 5 sometimes by 7 people in the same time. We grew from that small team of 10 people to the team of about 500 including all the brand ambassadors around the United States in just half a year. And how did I get the job that was always as with everything just luck. I was looking at a time for internship in order to complete my college credit and the DePaul University sent me a newsletter regarding this opportunity. I turned down a paid internship in a real estate company and became a campus marketing manager and I have been part of Packback ever since.

    2. 3 adjectives to describe what it’s been like working with Packback

    Flexible, Exciting, Challenging

    3. If you won the lottery worth $1 million, what would you buy?

    First I would have to tax it; therefore, from the $1 million I would be left with circa $650 000. I would buy properties in developing areas of Chicago worth all together about $400 000. I would invest $150 000 into 3 start-ups and remaining money I would invest in my post graduate education and living expenses.

    4. What do you enjoy the most about being a college student?

    I enjoy the most the opportunity to create something splendid while still having the opportunity to fail without taking any major hit to me or to my family. If I fail now I am not going to hurt any people but me; however, if I fail down the line when I have my own family, children that are dependent on me that scenario could be disastrous.

    5. Tell more about Fundchaser

    My business is called Fundchaser and we provide aspiring crowdfunding campaigns with consultation services as well with contacts that will help them utilize their newfound fame and get as much as they can from their crowdfunding experience. Currently we are running a Kickstarter campaign: “From Czech to Chicago, Creativity Transcends Borders”, which is bringing Czech art from small village to grandiose city of Chicago in order to show of the Czech creativity and collaborate with local artists and to leave an impact by organizing a one of a kind show. More information you can find under this link: http://kck.st/1o23fk1. Please consider backing and spread the word, there are only 24 days left!

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    Packback Brand Ambassador Spotlight: Austin Helms!

    Meet Austin Helms, a Junior who’s studying business at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and is very interested in entrepreneurship. Austin joined the Packback Team in the middle of the summer and has already WOWed us in his efforts of spreading the word in his campus. Read more to learn more about him!

    1. How did you get started with Packback?

    My story with Packback started when I first saw the Shark Tank episode. When my roommate and I were watching the episode last spring I became a supporter. Then this summer I was emailed by Kenan-Flagler Business School, which notified me that Packback was hiring. Applying for the position never crossed my mind, Packback had me from hello (or Shark Tank).

    2. Where do you see Packback in the next 10 years?

    In 10 years I see Packback becoming a name that is known by every college student. When you think textbooks you think Packback. Also, I see prices being decreased to 3 dollars or less, with increased users the price will become “The” place to rent books.

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

    I’m a Tar Heel, which usually correlates to loving basketball. Those two things have shaped me into the person I am today. With that being said, I would love the opportunity to have dinner with Michael Jordan.

    4. What’s your dream career?

    Currently my dream career is to own multiple businesses dealing with real estate, automotive car, and entertainment (marketing company that focused on commercials).

    I am in the process of writing a book on my college journey. I began writing when I graduated high school, June 2012. The book is targeted to future college students, and it is currently in blog format. When I graduate I plan to publish the book and take a year to give book talks around the US.

    5. Share 1 of your funniest/most embarrassing moments

    I have dressed up as a girl more than once for Halloween. Both times have been award winning. 6th grade I won a church competition, and first year of college I dressed up as Tinkerbell and was featured in a local newspaper.

    Going Away To School: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    By Drew Schroeder
    Arizona State Packback Brand Ambassador

               Many friends have warned me about going away to school; They talk about how little they get to see their families, the terrible process of moving back and forth between home and school on breaks, and worst of all, they have to do their own laundry.

                None of this has ever phased me. Since I was six years old I wanted to get as far away from my home as possible for college. Not because I hated my home- in fact, I love my home and the neighborhood I grew up in. I just wanted to go somewhere warm where it was baseball season all year round, where the sun was always shining, and where there were plenty of beautiful girls roaming around campus. So, I chose Arizona State.

                I tell many people that ASU was my dream school and they just scoff, assuming that I am either an alcoholic, idiot, or party animal. I held a 3.4 GPA at one of the most prestigious high schools in Illinois, I don’t drink since I’m underage (*wink wink*), and I don’t mind staying in on the weekends. I simply fell in love with the school for their baseball program, their business school, their campus and atmosphere. If you don’t know what I mean by the atmosphere, let me give you an example. During my summers I work in Downtown Chicago at a law office. More often than not I go into Starbucks to get my morning Cup O’ Joe. When I get to the counter the person typically says, “What can I getcha?” Not too bad, right? But when I visited Arizona when I was in high school, I walked into Starbucks at 7 am on a Saturday morning and the girl behind the counter had the brightest smile I’d ever seen on someone that early in the morning and exclaimed, “Hi! How are you?” To which I replied that I was fine and we actually started a conversation about why I was just fine and not “awesome,” “grand,” or “spectacular.”

                It caught me off guard how nice people in Arizona seemed to be. I thought everyone was the same in terms of their happiness levels or their overall demeanor. Then I realized, the sun is always out so there’s rarely any reason to stay inside, and it’s the type of place where a lot of people go on vacation. People in Arizona seemed, at least to me, to be much friendlier than the people I was used to back home in Chicago.

                I told friends I was going to ASU and they said they had wanted to go there but it was “too far,” or too much of a party school. People party anywhere, you just have to discipline yourself. As the only student from my graduating class attending ASU, not to mention the only one from the past 4 years of my high school, I was completely alone to start fresh when I got there, and that forced me to make friends quickly.

                The best thing about going away to ASU was no doubt the weather. I was able to wear shorts and tanks to class without worrying about frostbite or hypothermia. Then, the ability to be on my own set in. This scares a lot of people but let me tell you, it’s much better than you think. You don’t have a curfew, live by your own rules essentially, and you are your own boss in terms of time management. There is no one forcing you to wake up early, you can be as neat or dirty as you want, and you are independent. The overwhelming freedom I experienced was incredible. You do have to become very responsible though, but if you manage it well, you can still do very dumb and very fun things.

                There were drawbacks, of course. Homesickness hits everyone, but doesn’t last long once you find a group of friends to hangout with all the time. It’s not as big of a deal as many make it out to be. The worst part, at least for me, was being away from my dad. However, I was able to call/skype/text him whenever and I see him every break I get. The distance prohibited me from visiting home throughout the semester, but it forced me to make the most out of my college experience. Although I was alone at ASU, getting involved in clubs and club sports like baseball enabled me to make some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

                Being so far from home and not having a car sucks, but you’ll easily find a friend willing to drive you or lend you their car. I had no way of getting food or to practice without a car and my friends definitely helped me through that. I had to walk to every class and practically everywhere else. This enabled me to form a mini-family at ASU, where we leaned on each other when we were in need. Walking also allowed me to appreciate the campus a lot more and get some exercise between studying, classes, and partying. I was walking a mile every day, to and from class, when it was 110 degrees.

                In the end, it’s all about feeling comfortable. If you break out of your shell, you’ll be fine, regardless of whichever school you choose. Don’t let a great opportunity pass you up because your dream school too far. You’ll make the best friends of your life in college. Just remember, it’s not about making a good decision, it’s about making a decision good.

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

    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!