Blog

Members Making an Impact: Erin Kelly

Flying. It’s something you have to do sometimes in order to experience some of the most rewarding things life has to offer. Whether it’s taking you to a different country, across the world, or even Texas.

My name is Erin Kelly and I am a member of the Student Alumni Association. In September, I wrote about a conference I attended for the radio station WSOU. The beginning of November, I attended another conference for them. This was the College Broadcasters Inc. conference. The conference was focused on the audio and visual aspects of broadcast and presented panels to help all aspects of a station, from management to sports, news, music etc.

With this being my first year on the management board as social media manager, I was able to attend the conference, which took place in San Antonio, TX. By far, this was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. Not only because I was able to bring back ideas for the station, but also because I was able to present.Back in the summer, WSOU’s Sports Director and I submitted a session proposal to host a panel on sports and social media titled “Growing Your Sports Audience through Social Media”. In the beginning of October I learned that our panel would be one of many that the 400 plus attendees could see.

Our session took place on Friday at 3:00pm, and about ten or people attended our session. Ideally, it was supposed to last for 50 minutes but we talked for about 25, followed by a 20 minute Q&A. It was a rewarding experience to be able to present on how we engage our audience on our social media. The best thing though was a girl from Baylor came up and told us that our session was one of the most rewarding sessions she had attended, and her saying that meant so much. Just knowing that we influenced this girl and she was able to get something out it was great to hear.

CBI not only gave me rewarding experiences but also showed me how lucky I am to live in this country, but also to attend Seton Hall. I attended a session on media in Macedonia. I saw clips of the violence there and how the government controls it, and it made me realize how lucky I am to be going into a field where my freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment.

However, the biggest thing was that I learned how lucky I really am to be attending Seton Hall. In my own session we talked about tagging sponsors, and that is not something that everyone has the benefit of. Having a staff of 120+ members and being able to create our own shows when we DJ isn’t a luxury that other college stations have. WSOU has that opportunity to offer students. We’re able to get sponsors, to have more than four student managers, and to receive stipends as managers. In addition, the only reason why I have WSOU is that I go to Seton Hall. Without Seton Hall, I don’t have WSOU or the Student Alumni Association. I couldn’t imagine my life without either.

-Erin Kelly ’19

 

Member of the Month: Lori Amato

My decision to join SAA was truly one of the best decisions I could have made in my entire college career. Before SAA I was not heavily involved on campus and was not sure where I was supposed to fit in. After signing an interest sheet at the involvement fair in the fall, I was excited to see what events they had to offer. My brother who had graduated two years prior was a general member and used to talk about all the cool opportunities he had being in SAA, such as attending alumni events, wearing the pirate suit and attending conferences. My other brother, who is a year older, also attends Seton Hall and joined SAA his freshman year. He too had only great stories to share and I only made me want to join sooner.

After finally being accepted into SAA the spring of my freshman year, I was anxious to start planning events. As a member of the Student Alumni Association, we get to brainstorm all of our ideas in teams and plan events on campus to foster school spirit and pirate pride. As a member of the True Blue Team specifically, we focus on having students give back to the university by promoting philanthropic giving through fun member only events. Students provide us with their contact information, demonstrate their pirate pride, and donate to a cause on campus of their choosing to become a True Blue Member. Being a True Blue Member allows you to attend these awesome member only events like “Thanks a Brunch” and “Pumpkin Smash” while also being able to win cool pirate swag and prizes.

This past month I was chosen as the Member of the Month for my dedication to the True Blue Team. I can gladly say that I finally found my place on campus by joining this team. I wanted to be a part of an organization that encourages students to stay connected with their alma mater and I found that within SAA. The True Blue Team has given me the opportunity to branch out of my comfort zone and flaunt my pirate pride without hesitation. I cannot wait to plan new events and get even more students to become True Blue and take advantage of what Seton Hall has to offer.

-Lori Amato

 

True Blue Member Spotlight

Name: Darby DeBonis

Year: 2020

Major: Nursing

Why did you become True Blue?

I decided to become True Blue because I love being a Pirate and see value in supporting an organization that cultivates the unique school spirit embodied by Seton Hall.

Why is it important for other students to give back to Seton hall?

I believe it’s important for other students to give back to Seton Hall because of the opportunities we have been given by the University, as well as the opportunities granted to us by generous alumni who also believe in Seton Hall’s Catholic mission. Going True Blue is one way to say “Thank you” to the people who have made our time at Seton Hall worthwhile.

 

What do you love about Seton Hall?

I love Seton Hall’s network of students, alumni, and faculty who are kind-hearted and determined to make the world a better place. I am blessed and excited by my role as a student and am proud to be True Blue.

 

Want to learn more about becoming True Blue? Email the True Blue Team Leader, Matt Minor, at matthew.minor@stuent.shu.edu with any questions!

 

 

The Pirate Pride Initiative

The Student Alumni Association at Seton Hall University has been piloting a program this Fall called

the Pirate Pride Initiative. The Pirate Pride Initiative will connect students within the Student Alumni Association (SAA) with alumni of Seton Hall. It will also challenge SAA to branch out in getting to know more alumni of the University. This program is going to allow SAA to achieve the goal of creating meaningful relationships with alumni through in depth and personal interviews. The SAA will be traveling with Alumni Relations to some of our emerging markets to help them organize alumni chapter events. The Pirate Pride Initiative will help Alumni Relations to facilitate these events as students can gauge the interest that our alumni have for different types of engagement opportunities. The chance to travel is a huge opportunity for SAA members; we also have the added benefit of creating relationships with alumni from diverse areas of the country.

The Pirate Pride Initiative is built upon the idea that a student interviewing an alumnus will allow the student and alumnus to reach a mutual understanding with one another. In addition to doing these interviews in our emerging markets, we will arrange many interviews with alumni in the New Jersey and New York areas. Seton Hall wants to help its alumni in any way that it can, using the information pulled from these interviews we will be able to better understand and serve our alumni.

What is the Purpose of the Program? 

The Purpose of the program is to better comprehend the thoughts and feelings of our alumni so that Alumni Relations at Seton Hall can improve the services they provide. We want the focus of these interviews to be about understanding the views our alumni have about Seton Hall and making the voice of each alumnus feel heard. During an interview students will inquire about the time the alumnus spent at Seton Hall, the path they took after leaving, and the level of engagement they currently have with the University. But, one of the most important aspects of the program is for the student to gauge what the alumnus knows about the True Blue program, and to then discuss the program with them in its entirety. We also want to get feedback on all programs run by Seton Hall that target our alumni, with a large focus on the aspects of the True Blue program.

What will be done with the information from the interview? 

Each interview is important to the students in SAA as well as the Alumni Relations team. We love our alumni at Seton Hall and always aim to keep them pleased with the current state of affairs at the University. Interviews with alumni allow us to understand the feelings and opinions of our alumni on all matters regarding the University. Some of these responses can be very personal, which is why all results from student alumni interviews done through the Pirate Pride Initiative are to be kept confidential. All SAA members will be prepared and trained before conducting interviews with alumni so that we can ensure the success of the program. The Pirate Pride Initiative and the information it gathers will be used by Alumni Relations at Seton Hall to better serve the alumni of Seton Hall University.

-Spencer Ross

 

Alpha Phi Red Dress Gala

Red Dress Gala is Alpha Phi’s annual philanthropy event, in which the organization works hard to raise money for our philanthropy, the Alpha Phi Foundation which works to promote women’s cardiac care and invests in research to help end heart disease, which is the leading killer of women every year. Red Dress Gala holds a special place in my heart because it is a family event, in which all of our sisters’ families come in from out of town, along with years of alumnae, to enjoy a very special evening.

This is especially meaningful for me, as I get to see many of my sisters who have graduated in recent years, and are still some of my closest friends. As a member of SAA, I have attended many events similar to this one, in promoting philanthropy and networking with alumni. Knowing what to expect, and what alumnae want to know about life on campus now, has prepared me to have an even more meaningful experience at this gala, year after year. At this event, Seton Hall holds a place in the hearts of every guest. Through my involvement with SAA, I have become a loyal Pirate, and I love the opportunity to spend time with sisters and family who also hold this university dear.

-Tela Wittig

 

1967 Golden Pirates Reunion

The Student Alumni Association provides students with incredible opportunities to meet all sorts of alumni and mingle with them about their life experiences and their memories of Seton Hall. One event that is particularly nostalgic is the Golden Pirates Event. The Golden Pirates Event is a reunion for individuals celebrating their 50th anniversary of graduating from Seton Hall. The whole day is dedicated to honoring amazing Pirates, remembering Seton Hall as it was 50 years ago, and envisioning what Seton Hall is progressing towards.

This year, the class of 1967 was being honored and so many amazing alumni came back to their beloved campus to see how it had changed. During the reception, there were many speakers acknowledging the accomplishments of the alumni and many laughs were shared as everyone reminisced about their years spent at Seton Hall and how this University has helped shaped them into who they have become.

It was such an honor to attend this event, I feel as though I appreciate Seton Hall so much more. One of my favorite memories from the event was being able to mingle with the alumni at brunch. I had the pleasure of sitting with a group of 5 alumnae who all graduated from the nursing program together. They told me stories of their classes, of their peers, and from the places they worked for the years following graduation. All of their stories were incredible, but what I think was the most amazing was how the women were all still friends! They had obviously kept in touch and to see these women as good friends 50 years later blew me away – they are just one example of how the bonds formed at Seton Hall truly are life-long ones.

It was just incredible to see so many loyal Pirates come back after graduating, for some it was their first time back in 50 years, and to see their reactions as we gave them tours of the campus as it is today. By the end of the tour, it was basically the Golden Pirates explaining how things were when they were here which was pretty amazing and the memories they shared as they explained were priceless.

I am so grateful for SAA and the opportunities it provides me with such as this because it really helps me love my school even more (if that’s even possible). I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful alumni of 50 years who share the same love for Seton Hall as I do – it is truly an experience I will never forget.

-Emily Osborn
The Bayley Society Event
One of the opportunities the Student Alumni Association offers its members is to be the student representatives at alumni events. One recent event in which SAA played this role was the Bayley Society Event. This event is held each year to honor donors of the university who gave $1000 or more within the past year.
Being chosen to attend as a student representative was an honor. I loved getting to greet all of the alumni and their guests who were attending the event. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. As the first face donors see at the event, I felt it was important to ensure that from the moment the event began, donors felt welcomed.
As the night went on, we had a chance to hear from a student who’s education was made possible through the generosity of those donors and the President of Seton Hall. This is a subject I feel very passionate about because without scholarships, I also would not have been able to attend Seton Hall University.
I am appreciative of the opportunities the Student Alumni Association has given me to interact with alumni and donors, without whom, this university would not be the great institution it is today. Even more importantly, I gain more networking and professional skills with every event that I attend as a part of the Student Alumni Association. These skills make me a better young professional, and more prepared for life after college.

-Abbi Cormier

 

The Leadership Fellows Program

The Leadership Fellows Program is an invitation-only program facilitated and managed by a committee of administrators responsible for leadership development on campus. I was fortunate to be nominated by the chair of the Political Science Department, Dr. Robert Pallitto. The program, in the past, invites Seton Hall alumni to come back and give a presentation relevant to students who are preparing to graduate, or looking to their future after they receive their degrees.  For the first time, this program was opened to juniors, but was originally it was created to serve seniors and graduate students.

Alumni Pat Headley, founder and CEO of The Path Ahead and author of Meet 100 People was the first guest speaker on Tuesday evening.  She presented on her passion, helping young-adults build their networks early on.  She was generous enough to provide each of the attendees with a copy of this eye-opening book.  The book focuses on the main tips that she wished she had known for how to create a network.  Her most valuable advice was to just go out and meet people, as her title indicates.  She poses that meeting people has so many benefits, but the most basic, often over-looked one, is the mere fact that you will learn something.  Each individual knows something that you do not, and by introducing yourself to different people you attain knowledge you didn’t already have.  This knowledge doesn’t have to be something life shattering, but it will be something new to add to your repertoire.  As a senior, this talk was filled with useful tips for interviewing, boosting my resume, and the like.

There was one aspect of this talk that stuck out above the rest: connect with people on a human level with the things you both find interesting.  In an age of Skype interviews and online applications, we often forget the importance of building relationships with your potential bosses.  Her advice to this end, was to ask people about their stories.  How did the founder of Starbucks begin their journey? How did Mark Zuckerberg come up with the idea of an online network? All of these questions are great ways to start a conversation. This was an enlightening evening that celebrates the importance of current student and alumni relationships, and highlights the value of the Seton Hall community.

-Rachel Beeman

 

Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A great thing about the Student Alumni Association is that I take what I learn here and bring it to the other organizations I’m involved in! Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I felt it was appropriate to talk about the sorority I’m in, which is Zeta Tau Alpha. I say this because our philanthropy is Breast Cancer Awareness and Education.

     October has been filled with amazing events to promote awareness. Our national partnership with the NFL led us to MetLife Stadium on October 8th. We walked around the parking lot and gave out “Think Pink, Think Zeta” ribbons, as well as sold various items to raise money. On October 12th, we partnered with Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. and listened to a representative from the Susan G. Komen foundation teach us about how to detect signs of breast cancer and the astonishing statistics surrounding this disease. On October 13th, we partnered with Colleges Against Cancer and hosted a “Pink Tie Semi-Formal,” this was a fun way to not only promote breast cancer awareness, but awareness for all types of cancer and Seton Hall’s annual Relay for Life. October 15th and 22nd were spent celebrating with breast cancer survivors at Making Strides Walks in Newark and Jersey City. ZTA was fortunate enough to be asked by Alpha Phi to help host a Philanthropy Gala along with Phi Delta Theta. They allowed us the opportunity to teach people about Breast Cancer Awareness, as well as help raise money for the cause! From October 23-27th, ZTA will be on various spots on campus for our 1st annual Think Pink Week! From bake sales, to teaching about breast exams, to pinking out the green, ZTA wants everyone to be educated.

  Through the networking skills I learned from the Student Alumni Association, I was able to effectively interact with people at the NFL game and other events to promote our cause. I learned how to be confident in what I’m saying and properly get my point across. Breast cancer affects both men and women and its crucial people are properly informed about it.

-Antonella Carovillano

 

Hellooooo Pirates!

  My name is Antonella Carovillano and I am currently a junior here at Seton Hall. My entire freshman year I was in search of an organization I felt I belonged too. Luckily, the Student Alumni Association was just the right place

! I know the name of the organization itself sounds odd, student and alumni? Definitely confusing. However, once you learn about it, you understand why this is the name. Essentially, SAA is current students fostering relationships with alumni because it is vital for the success of a university. Along with that, we try to build pirate pride by hosting various events on campus!

Within the Student Alumni Association, I am a general member and a part of the True Blue team. As part of the True Blue team, we try to spread the word around campus for people to join! Being True Blue shows how much you love Seton Hall, while getting the benefits of attending exclusive events. You can read all about True Blue in the previous blog posts! However, by being a general member, I contribute ideas for events that we put on and try to help them be successful. Its an incredible feeling seeing your ideas come to life!  We recently celebrated National Talk Like a Pirate Day. At this event, set out on the Green with music, food, and prizes to celebrate! Nothing shows pirate pride like talking like one! Ahoy! We also partake in Pirate Pandemoniums. Here, we set up tables at athletic events and give out swag to help support our teams!

Another great thing about SAA is we don’t let our members’ hard work go unnoticed. This past week, I was awarded Member of the Month for September! Receiving this really puts into perspective the impact you have on the organization, as well as the event itself! SAA hosts a bunch of events, including Bounce N Trounce. Since there is so much to look forward to, I hope you guys come out in the future!!

 

 

-Antonella Carovillano

 

 

 

Pirate Pride at College Gameday, even without football

On a historic morning for ESPN, many fans representing different schools took to the streets of Times Square to be a part of College Gameday’s first production in New York City. The Seton Hall Pirates, though without a football team, were well represented.

  It was 5:30am when I woke up on that Saturday morning, questioning myself, “why did I decide to wake up at this time?” and thought, “maybe I should go back to sleep.” But I powered through with my friends to trek to the city that never sleeps to get my sign on national television. A sign that read, “The Big East is Back”, in reference to the biggest NCAA conference based in New York City. My other friends held up signs about Seton Hall, joking about their “undefeated” football team that has not played a down of football since 1982.

As I arrived in Times Square at the early hours of September 23, Pirate fans took the streets, carrying signs and coming up with chants, by tradition of College Gameday. We found our fellow Pirates and joined along with them for the show. Just before the show started at 9am, Seton Hall’s chants were the loudest out of all the schools, and we do not even have a football team. My friends and I joined in sharing our school pride with fans of other schools from the Power 5 conferences, such as Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Oregon. We were even able to get alumni of Army West Point to chant our school’s name. We returned the favor for to those schools, of course.

Even though we were over a month away from the first tipoff of the college basketball season, there was plenty of pride from other Big East teams, as I got many reactions to my “Big East is Back” sign. St. John’s, which is based in New York City, were present at the event, as well as Marquette fans. Villanova, which has a Division I FCS football team (the tier below FBS), had some great representation as well. All four represented schools participated in some friendly banter, but it was the “Let’s go Pirates!” chants that were prominent over the other Big East schools.

Some were confused as to why a school with no football team would have so many fans in attendance to ESPN’s morning college football show, some also travelled from the other side of the country and had no clue who Seton Hall were. But at the end of the show, Pirate Pride prevailed and even overshadowed some of the biggest schools represented, like Syracuse, Rutgers, and Alabama.

At the end of the day, I understood why I woke up at 5:30am. Even without a football team, Seton Hall had an amazing representation on a morning where people celebrated college football.

-Michael Lovero

 

Member Spotlight: Morgan Mount

Hello fellow Pirates! My name is Morgan Mount and I’m a True Blue student at Seton Hall. Because I love being True Blue so much, I thought I’d share my story with you!

True Blue is loyalty rewards program at Seton Hall and there are 4 simple steps to becoming True Blue:

  1. Attend a True-Blue-approved student event during the school year
  2. Donate to the cause of your choice at Seton Hall
  3. Update your contact information
  4. And show your Pirate Pride!

Here’s how the process worked for me. First, I attended a Student Alumni Association pandemonium at a Men’s Soccer game, which was a True-Blue-approved event. Next, I made a donation to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, which helps students afford Seton Hall in the case of a financial emergency. Step 3 was the easiest because as a student all of my contact information is already up to date. Finally, I showed my Pirate Pride by snapping and sharing a picture of myself wearing Pirate gear. In under 5 minutes I became True Blue, and you can too!

Shortly after becoming True Blue I received a welcome packet in the mail with cool True Blue materials, including a Pirate head pin! And now that I’m True Blue, I get invited to exclusive True Blue member only events.

As a True Blue student, I am giving back to my Seton Hall community and making a lasting impact on the University. I love Seton Hall and I am proud to be True Blue.

Go Pirates!

Are you True Blue? Learn more at: https://advancement.shu.edu/pirate-pride/true-blue

-Morgan Mount’19

 

True Blue Program

Hello, Pirates! My name is Matthew Minor, and I am so excited to be the True Blue Team Leader for the Student Alumni Association. You’ll be hearing from me often to encourage you to become True Blue, to tell your friends about True Blue, and to show your Pirate Pride! I love True Blue because it’s the most meaningful way to give back to my fellow Pirates and play a role in raising SHU’s national profile. I cannot wait to share with you True Blue’s mission.

True Blue is SHU’s four-step loyalty rewards program to recognize its most loyal Pirates. Money donated to True Blue goes primarily to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, a fund students can use to help ease the burden of expenses in an emergency that may prevent them from continuing their education at SHU.

Students benefit from True Blue by gaining access to member-only events throughout the year, and there is no better program on campus that rewards students for their Pirate Pride. From the first day students come to campus, everyone talks about getting involved in campus life at SHU. Well, the best way to get involved is to give back, encourage your friends to give back, and help create a culture of philanthropy at Seton Hall.

The best part about True Blue is that it’s so easy for students to become True Blue. Becoming True Blue has four steps. First, students attend a True Blue event. This can be an event put on by the Student Alumni Association, or any event where you see True Blue. Second, students can donate any amount they wish to True Blue. Every dollar students donate goes directly to helping fellow students. All students have already completed step three, which is to update their contact information. Students complete this step just by enrolling at SHU. Finally, step four is to show your Pirate Pride! Take a picture of yourself in Pirate Blue, honoring one of our traditions, or tell your friends about True Blue. Becoming True Blue may not cancel out that time you stepped on the seal the first week of freshman year, but it will without a doubt help fellow students at SHU.

Hazard zet forward!

-Matthew Minor

 

Member Spotlight: Erin Kelly

Last week, I did something that I’ve terrified to do for part of my life: flying. I’ve been terrified of flying for a while, but I overcame that in order to attend a conference.

My name is Erin Kelly and I’m a member of the Student Alumni Association at Seton Hall. Along with being a part of SAA, I am also highly involved in WSOU, Seton Hall’s Radio Station where I am currently the Social Media Manager. It was my involvement in WSOU that led me to conquer this fear of flying.

There’s a radio convention every year called the Nation Association of Broadcasting (NAB) Radio Show and this year it was held in Austin, Texas. Though the show is geared towards professionals, they offer an opportunity for students to attend through the Radio Show Student Scholar Program. I was one of the lucky students who got accepted to attend on behalf of WSOU, with three other students from the station joining me.

At the conference which ran from September 5th– September 7th, I was approached with amazing opportunities. I was able to attend info sessions that would help benefit the social media department of WSOU, I was able to connect with students from across the country, but I was also able to connect myself with influential people in radio.

It was the last two opportunities that I had that the skills I have received from my time in SAA that helped me succeed. This especially came in handy during my mentor session. Student Scholars were given the chance to sign up for mentor sessions with extremely influential people in the field. It was because of this that I met one of the most powerful men in radio (according to Radio Ink): Scott Herman.

Scott Herman is the Chief Operating Officer of CBS Radio. He works and lives in the NY area and is originally from Brooklyn. I learned this not from him, but because I looked it up, to make sure that I was prepared before meeting him, something that I probably wouldn’t have done if SAA hadn’t held a workshop on how to prepare for an interview. When I met him and said I was from Seton Hall he replied, “You’re in my neck of the woods” and was able to have a conversation with him about the area.

Through SAA and WSOU I’ve learned that networking and who you know is everything. During my research of Scott I learned that he started his career at 1010 WINS where one of my current professors, Frank Garrity, used to work. If I hadn’t known that networking is everything, I wouldn’t have mentioned Garrity to Scott, but I did, and he knew my professor and said “Frank’s a good friend of mine…he’s a good guy…tell him I said hi.”

Finding out that Scott was from CBS and in the local area and having an indication that he might have known my professor allowed me to talk more easily to Scott. The mentor session had nine other scholars there and though I was admittedly quiet, Scott remembered me. In the beginning of the session Scott asked us all our names and where we were from. Now personally I’d easily forget what college someone was from, but Scott didn’t. During the session a radio writer named Tom Taylor stopped by the session and asked if anyone was from WSOU (our general manager Mark Maben had told him four students were attending the convention. As I was raising my hand Scott immediately pointed at me. At no time did I mention WSOU, I just said I was from Seton Hall, but Scott knew Seton Hall’s station, and he pointed me out. Despite not talking a ton, I think my personal connection with Scott, area wise, stayed with him.

It was an amazing experience attending this conference and though I’m still afraid of heights, the opportunity that was provided to me was worth getting on a plane for the first time in 15 years.

-Erin Kelly, ’19

SAA Member Retreat

I recently went on the member retreat for the Student Alumni Association. I was honestly skeptical about the entire experience because of my reluctance to make new friends, step outside my comfort zone and to go across a high ropes course mainly. Once that I got there though, I felt so welcomed right from inside the car. Daniela, our advisor, was so excited to see me and Marisa that it made me more excited about the retreat. Right off the bat, we sat around a campfire and took a journey into other people’s lives through our special objects. I was astonished at the honesty and sincerity of all these people around me that barely even knew me but were willing to reveal their true selves and extremely personal stories. I felt so welcome and trusted very early on in my experience. Throughout the rest of the trip, I continued to feel the same way. It started with s’mores around a campfire and went to team activities, trust exercises, awkward ice breakers and the most intense rock paper scissors competition ever. I got close to people I used to feel that I could never connect with and learned more about everyone who attended. The Student Alumni Association is so fast paced during the year so the retreat was the best getaway opportunity to develop new relationships that will serve to be relationships for life.

-Victoria Blakey-Padilla ’19

Check out the SAA Flickr to see photos from our trip!

SAA Flickr

 

It Starts with a Smile

This summer, one of our members, Michael, has been interning with Enterprise. Read on to learn more about his experience, and how he has bridged the divide between his major, and the experiences he’s gained with Enterprise.

I wake up at 5:00am every morning, getting ready for a 12-hour workday. I get ready before the sun rises, putting on my suit, a white button down shirt, and one of my funky patterned ties from my tie collection. I eat breakfast, drink my coffee, and head out the door by 6:00am to drive 45 minutes from Bergenfield to Rahway down the Garden State Parkway. By the time I get there, I am awake, and I feel bright and ready to work for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. As the first customer walks in at 7:30am, my smile forms on my face in an effort to brighten up their morning. “Hi, welcome to Enterprise,” I say with my arm extended to them. That is my morning routine.

This summer, I have the pleasure of working with Enterprise Rent-a-Car for an internship. I have been there for over a month and a half, and have enjoyed the challenges and rewards that come with it. At times it may not be the prettiest of jobs, but the connection with some of the customers outweighs any of the obstacles that come in the way between me and making the sale. For me, that connection starts with a smile.

My job is to do what everyone else does at the branch; I do pitch into just about everything around the branch. I check people into cars, sell coverage, upgrade people into bigger and nicer cars, drive customers to pick them up and drop them off, pick up cars from other branches, wash and clean cars, send cars to get repaired, call back customers to check up on them, set up corporate accounts for companies, and smile and listen to customers. Those are the simplest ways to put every task.

The car rental business is an interesting one that I did not see myself in when I started college. I am a marketing and sport management student in the Stillman School of Business; ideally, I would want a future in sports business or marketing. Enterprise is neither, but it has helped me in trying to get to that point. Enterprise Holdings, the umbrella group, prides itself on being the best car rental company in America, which it is. It has the most branches, it owns Enterprise, National, and Alamo, and it makes up the most market share of any other rental company.

Enterprise also prides itself on customer service. Though Enterprise is a large corporation in America, its individual branches act like your friendly neighborhood outlet store, where regulars come in and talk to us about their plans and reward us when we go above and beyond their expectations. Believe me, some of the rewards are delicious. How do we get customers to like us? By making sure they are completely satisfied before they walk out the door for the last time by any means necessary.

My plan differs from customer to customer, and each customer has its different challenges. Though we have to show exceptional customer service, we still have to sell additional products aside from the car, such as coverage and upgrades; I cannot forget about that. However, we want to have customers come back to Enterprise for any of their rental needs. Each customer has a balance between business and personal. I need to be personal with each customer, but I also need to try to sell to them. That is why it is important for me to do two things: make a positive first impression and listen.

By making a positive first impression, customers will feel comfortable with me. They can speak to me, which will allow for me to listen to their needs and wants. After that, I can come up with a plan to try to sell. Even though I may be a salesman to these people, I try to break the salesman stereotype. I try to be friendly with them, cracking jokes and speaking casually to them about anything that interests them. But I never lose my smile. The saying “a smile could go a long way” is accurate. My customers have felt comfortable enough with me that they have specifically asked for me, and I am only an intern who has been there for a month and a half.

-Michael Lovero ’18

 

 

World Food Prize Internship

One of our members, Emma Tobin, has spent her summer working for the World Food Prize. Read more about her experience, and how Seton Hall has played a role in her success.

My name is Emma Tobin and I am a rising sophomore in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. This summer I am a George Washington Carver Intern at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. The World Food Prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Norman Borlaug, in an effort to recognize the achievements of “individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.” The World Food Prize is often recognized as the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture. Dr. Borlaug, is recognized as a world leader in food security because he “saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived” through his development of high-quality wheat. The World Food Prize was created to celebrate breakthrough accomplishments and it awards a $250,000 prize every year to an individual who is changing the world. The award recipient is announced in June every year and the award is presented at the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in October where world leaders, CEOs, and other speakers discuss the importance of agriculture and food security.

As a Planning intern for the World Food Prize, I helped to plan the Announcement Ceremony for the 2017 Laureate, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank. The Announcement Ceremony happened on June 26 at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C.  In the past, only full-time World Food Prize employees have attended this Announcement. However, a few of the interns, including myself, decided to travel to Washington in order to participate in the Announcement so that we could see the process play out from start to  finish. It was amazing to see all of our hard work pay off as we saw the event run smoothly, and as we responded to changes in the moment. I was able to meet foreign dignitaries, U.S. Senators, former World Prize Laureates, American Ambassadors, and a variety of other distinguished guests. It was so incredibly moving to watch a group of people who had so little in common come together to recognize the importance of food security and the ending of world hunger.

My week in D.C. allowed me not only to help plan and execute a professional event, but also to use some Seton Hall connections to learn more about the State Department. Kyle Younger, Seton Hall Director of Professional Services, arranged for me to meet with two Seton Hall Alumni from the Diplomacy School who currently work on the civil side of the State Department.  These kind women agreed to meet with me to discuss the internship programs the State Department offers and gave me a personal tour of the main State Department building. Their advice was incredibly valuable and they made my trip to D.C. for the World Food Prize even more valuable.

Following my return from D.C., my role shifted from working on the Announcement Ceremony to working on the Borlaug Dialogue, a 3-day conference which takes place in October of every year. Morgan Day, my mentor, is the Director of Planning and is in charge of both the Announcement Ceremony and the Dialogue.  Morgan’s professional advice and her incredible knowledge of protocol, planning, and people has helped me to grow tremendously as a young professional. I also work closely with the President of the World Food Prize, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn.  Amb. Quinn is the former Ambassador to Cambodia and had a long career as a Foreign Service Officer. Ambassador Quinn is always willing to indulge my many questions about the Foreign Service while telling amazing stories of his experiences in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. Some of my favorite days at the World Food Prize are centered around listening to Ambassador Quinn’s stories or sitting in on meetings with Morgan.

I have been able to grow tremendously as a professional because of the opportunities the World Food Prize has given me. On any given day I have called foreign embassies and congressional offices, written letters to African Heads of State and world leaders such as Bill Gates, done extensive research on different governmental programs, or helped to organize panels with former Secretaries of Agriculture, actors, and world leaders. My internship at the World Food Prize has been incredibly informative and has allowed me to understand my major in a way I did not expect.  It is because of this experience that I truly understand that feeding people is the key to world security and peace.  I may study Diplomacy in the classroom but I am learning it firsthand every day I work at the World Food Prize. I look forward to being able to use these skills when I return to Iowa in October to help out with the Borlaug Dialogue.

 

 

Hall on the Hill

This summer, a number of our SAA members and faculty had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to attend the annual Hall on the Hill alumni event. Our members got the opportunity to network, learn more about the Seton Hall community, and even had a little time for exploring our nation’s capital. Read on to learn more about this experience from some of our members who were able to attend!

 

“How tall do you think it is”?  It was late at night, and six SAA members, Laura, Alex, Lauren, Anna, Calloway and myself were staring up at the Washington Monument.  All of us made a guess, with our answers ranging from 17 to 3000 feet.  One of us finally Googled it.  Just a day prior, the six of us were all doing different things.  Some of us were at work, others were in different states, but on June 14th we all gathered at the Ring Building in South Orange so we could travel to Washington D.C. together.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate the achievements of the Seton Hall alumni who have had an influence in the D.C. area.  I spoke with countless alumni who at one time crammed for finals in the Walsh Library and sat on the Green on sunny days.  Speaking with them and listening to what they have accomplished inspired me, and made me realize just how lucky I am to be at Seton Hall.  After the event, we ventured to the Old Ebbitt Grill to celebrate another successful Hall on the Hill.  The meal was great, but I think all of us enjoyed the company more than the food.  We talked about everything, from the alumni event itself, season five of House of Cards and even the contentious debate of Lebron vs Jordan.   To end the day that started in New Jersey, we decided to see everything our nation’s capital had to offer.  Still dressed in our blazer attire, we stopped at each monument, soaking up the view and enjoying our only night together in D.C.  At the Lincoln Memorial we took one final picture to commemorate the day we shared together. The next day, we took the train back to South Orange and we went our separate ways until late August, when we begin another semester at Seton Hall.  Summer days tend to blend together and small details are easily forgotten.  However, I know that I will never forget my first SAA event on June 14th, the spicy sausage garganelli from the Old Ebbitt Grill, the picture I took at the Lincoln Memorial and that the Washington Monument is 555 feet tall.

-Anthony Pulverenti ’19

Being a Diplomacy and International Relations major, there was no better event than Hall on the Hill to attend with SAA for the first time. Not only did I get to know my fellow SAA members a little better, but I was able to talk with some alumni who have been doing amazing things in Washington D.C. It was inspiring and educational for me as I am still not exactly sure what I’ll be doing with my degree. I also got to discuss internships and ideas with fellow students that were in the area for the summer. Hall on the Hill not only allowed me to learn more about what SAA does and how it works, but I was able to learn more about my own major and Seton Hall in general. Overall, a great first experience!

-Anna Fagan ’20

Going to Hall on the Hill was more than I ever expected. I was able to network with Congressmen, bond with other members of SAA, and explore Washington DC in a way that I never have before. I learned about what makes an SAA event successful and how to make connections with alumni who I’ve never met. I felt like such a rockstar walking around DC late at night in my blazer attire! My favorite part was definitely seeing the national mall at midnight with my co-SAA members. I had an amazing time and would love to go again!

-Calloway Korbisch ’20

Attending Hall on the Hill with SAA this year was an experience that allowed me to see the program in a different light. Not only are all of the fellow members very warm and welcoming, but the staff that went to DC are all very welcoming and share the same pirate pride, even though not all of them are alumni! While in DC, there was nothing like the feeling that you get when you see a person wearing a Seton Hall pin in a place outside of New Jersey. I learned on this trip that no matter how far or how close you live to Seton Hall, alums are proud to be from there and are always willing to talk and help a fellow pirate. My favorite part was being able to go to dinner with other SAA members and faculty from the alumni relations and the annual giving office. It was great to be able to talk to them and learn more about these people who we spend so much time with! Overall, I had an extremely positive experience at Hall on the Hill and I am looking forward to attending other events and hopefully returning to DC next summer.

-Lauren Borowick ’20

 

 

 

Many Are One Alumni Gala

Last month, some of our members were given the opportunity to attend the Many Are One gala, celebrating Seton Hall alumni. Read on to learn about the experiences of two of our members, Lori and Marisa.

On June 9th I was lucky enough to attend Seton Hall University’s Many Are One Gala. Aside from being a lavish evening celebrating the ways in which the University’s alumni have positively influenced our world, this year’s gala also celebrated a significant milestone. As of this year, Seton Hall has reached a network of 100,000 alumni. Standing in the room with hundreds of other alumni and listening to the speeches of the humble honorees filled me with great pride and comfort. Pride in my University and comfort in knowing I chose a school where I belong and where I am meant to become a better version of myself.

Throughout the night I was lucky enough to have been the escort for Alumni Impact Award Honoree, Joseph Kacierk, M.A. ’81. He being a retired principle, and me pursuing a career in education, conversation was light and easy. We talked about my course work and he gave me advice as well as wished well in my future endeavors. It was seeing him up on stage accepting his award that made me realize attending college should never come to an abrupt end after graduation. His passion for connecting with current students and his dedication to Seton Hall has inspired me to seek more opportunities to get and stay involved. One day, I hope to see myself standing in his position accepting an award on behalf of my impact on the future of Seton Hall, just as he along with many others in attendance, have impacted me. It is safe to say that my time at Many Are One was both fun and influential. I hope to be in attendance for the many years to come.

-Lori Amato ’19

 

This month, I was lucky enough to attend Many Are One. This event honors some of the most distinguished Seton Hall Alumni by highlighting their accomplishments and achievements. This night truly gave me a better appreciation of what kinds of doors a Seton Hall education will open for me once I graduate. It was incredible hearing the stories of all the distinguished alumni during the course of the event, but for me personally, a highlight was hearing the story of the Most Distinguished Alumna, Bonnie Evans. Starting as a physical therapist, she has now become a Chief Executive Officer of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange. Next month, I will start taking physical therapy graduate courses, so hearing about Ms. Evans’ journey was so inspirational for me. I was able to talk to her a number of times throughout the night and she gave me such kind words of encouragement and well wishes. The conversations I had with her, along with other members of the Seton Hall community during Many Are One just reaffirmed for me that three years ago, I made the best choice of my life by deciding to become a Seton Hall Pirate!

-Marisa Harding ’18