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Alumni Spotlight

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What was the best part about attending UD? How did it prepare you for your future career?

In college, I was pursuing a career in radio, so I spent a lot of time at UD’s radio station, 91.3 WVUD. There, I was able to refine my skills and do new and creative things. When I graduated, I was able to land a job as an on-air personality hosting nights and then afternoons on a 50,000- watt country station serving the entire state. In 2013, I finally decided to leave radio and launch my own company.

What do you wish you knew then about UD?

I wish that I’d realized how special my time on WVUD was. I was able write my own comedic bits and do things that I think mainstream radio is drifting away from. I would’ve enjoyed that more and not been so worried about what was next.

What advice would you give future students?

Just pursue your interests. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at all of the opportunities that present themselves if you just put yourself out there. 

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I’m going to say Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. In fact, I just had a growler of their pumpkin ale, and it really was amazing. 

What are you doing today?

I’m a practicing auditor working on becoming a CPA, and I run a successful e-commerce company, Integrity Brands, where I’m the managing partner. We source and sell products on Amazon.com and specialize primarily in selling toys and games. We utilize a number of software programs and have even developed proprietary software to help make smart sourcing decisions. Our new venture, Geek Stash Toys & Games, is a stand-alone online toy store. In 2016, we have plans to bring our own unique products to market.


 

Brandon Tull
University of Delaware, Class of 2011

Mark Brault
Villanova University, MBA Class of 2012

What made you choose Villanova?

I wanted a high-quality education that was close to home and that meshed well with my life. I lived in Bryn Mawr at the time, so the Villanova main campus was convenient to attend evening and weekend classes, and the “fast track” MBA program allowed me to pursue an advanced degree on a part-time basis at a full-time pace without taking time away from work. I finished the two-year program a semester early with Beta Gamma Sigma honors.

What do you wish you knew then about Villanova?

If I’d known I was going to quit my job and start my own business, I may have looked at the curriculum through a slightly different lens. I didn’t even know the Villanova institute for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship existed until I graduated. It’s an outstanding resource for personal development and networking.

What advice would you give future students?

Take advantage of the resources available to you. The professors possess incredible knowledge and wisdom derived from real-life experience as operators and business owners.  

What would you have done differently?

Made more time for study abroad. I was fortunate to travel to Dubai, Chile and Argentina as part of the MBA curriculum, but there were several other international business and cultural-immersion courses I wish I could’ve pursued. I think these trips bring incredible value to students, both in terms of providing diverse learning opportunities and building stronger relationships with classmates.

What are you doing today?

I’m the owner, president and chief maltster at Deer Creek Malthouse in Glen Mills. It’s the state’s first commercial malting operation since prohibition.  


 

Kathleen Poliski    
Neumann University, Class of 2014

What was the best part about attending Neumann? How did it prepare you for your career?

I’d always loved making videos. I didn’t think I could turn it into a career, especially at Neumann, because there wasn’t even a program. Once I had the keys to the “TV studio,” that’s when Neumann really started preparing me for my career. I started from scratch. I didn’t even know how to use the video-editing software there. Over the next three years, I built Neumann Video up to almost 30 active members, producing weekly videos. What I loved most is how supportive all my professors were. By my senior year, we had “Advanced Television Production” offered as a course. Now they are in the process of building a professional television studio on campus, with editing suites and a green-screen wall.

What advice would you give to future students?

Get involved in clubs and activities pertaining to your degree. And never expect anything to be handed to you. Once I graduated, I couldn’t get hired despite my qualifications. From June to December, I produced free videos for local businesses and even a wedding. Before I knew it, I started getting inquiries about paid jobs, which led me to begin K. Productions.

What would you have done differently?

I would’ve started freshman year looking for internships or volunteer work I could’ve done with video. With how competitive this field is, the earlier the better.

What are you doing today?

I just ended a nine-month seasonal position with the Philadelphia Union as their video production assistant. I filmed and edited over 50 videos during my time there, which included press conferences, preview/post game videos, sponsorship videos, community-involvement videos, and “Ask The U,” which involved players answering funny questions and editing them together. I also produced several radio commercials for the Union’s weekly radio show, “The 90th Minute.” 


 

Anna Ornelas
Wilmington University, Class of 2013 and 2018

What made you choose Wilmington University?

I chose Wilmington University because it’s where my mother graduated from. She had a busy life raising two girls and working full time, and she managed to graduate with her bachelor’s degree. I found it inspiring how well the university worked with her to achieve her goals. I knew that, if I were going to have a job and other responsibilities, Wilmington would be the place to help me grow. 

What was the best part about attending Wilmington? How did it prepare you for your career?

The people I met. The majority of my classes were at night, and all of my classmates were already working in the field—they would come to class after work. This was a motivation for me. They taught me so much through their experiences, and voiced their concerns about the community in which they worked. The teachers were also professionals—and most graduated from WilmU themselves. I’ve run into my teachers and classmates working in the field now, and it’s so nice to catch up and see how we have all grown professionally.  

What advice would you give to future students?

Pace yourself and keep going no matter what obstacles you encounter.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The study rooms. I like that we have them. It made it easy for me to go in and do homework without distractions. But I also had teachers and mentors who were close by if I needed help. 

What are you doing today?

I work for NHS Mental Health in Delaware as part of an Assertive Community Treatment team. I’m the Mental Health Worker in charge of educational vocational programs for people diagnosed with mental illness and living in recovery.


 

Eric Gibble
Cabrini College, Class of 2011

What made you choose Cabrini?

I was interested in majoring in communications, and being near a major media market was a top priority. What stood out about Cabrini from other Philadelphia-area schools was the small class sizes and how they encouraged you to explore all types of media, from video to radio to writing. In a profession that’s increasingly multimedia, this was a huge factor in my decision-making process. Additionally, each class had an extremely low student-teacher ratio and Cabrini has historically emphasized social justice.

What was the best part about attending Cabrini? How did it prepare you for your career?

The best experience for me was being involved in Cabrini’s student-run Loquitur newspaper as a staff writer and, later, news editor. This allowed me to learn a multitude of skills. I use every one of these daily at my current position. I also became passionate about immigration reform through my extracurricular activities, and covering the immigration debate as a reporter. Now, I’m working in a communications capacity for an organization that promotes laws and policies that preserve our proud history as a nation of immigrants. 

What advice would you give to future students?

Don’t be afraid to dive into extracurricular activities that pique your interest. It’s important to expose yourself to everything college has to offer. 

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

There are so many beautiful spaces—including the lawn outside the mansion. Jazzman’s Cafe was a great spot to grab a cup of coffee or lunch.

What are you doing today?

I work for the American Immigration Council as the online communications associate. We provide policymakers, the media and the public with information on the role of immigrants and immigration policy in the U.S.  Our reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. 

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