Credit: Liza Gentile

Yesterday, I was beyond honored to attend my alma matter Johnson and Wales University’s Alumni Week, where I took part in their School of Business Day at Xavier Academic Hall, in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island.  The day was filled with so many exciting activities, including teaching an amazing class, being part of a great panel, a delicious lunch, and so much more.  Overall, it was a wonderful day that I hope to be part of again next year.

Back in February, Johnson and Wales Alumni Relations invited me to be part of this prestigious day, alongside several other notable alumni who have had phenomenal progression in their careers post JWU.  I was giddy with anticipation yesterday morning, as I was very excited to share my story about my Johnson and Wales experience, and how I got to where I am today in my journalism career.  I shared the day with some pretty amazing JWU graduates, including Kevin Belmont, Vice President of Marketing & Technology at RK Centers, Jenna Barone, Executive Assistant to the President at Rachael Roy, and several more.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

After a quick breakfast, I was led up to the 5th floor in Xavier Academic Center where I did my presentation in Professor Beth Carey’s Marketing Communications class, in front of approximately 40 students.  There I was able to discuss my own JWU experience and several different aspects to my journalism career including highlights and lowlights that have brought me to where I am now.  After that, we were treated to an incredible five course meal done by current Johnson and Wales students, both wait staff and chefs, in their beautiful Bistro 61.  They served us delicious items from Duck to Shrimp Ceviche, and if this is how they are cooking now, they should all be looking forward to a bright future ahead of them.

After that, five of us, including myself, participated in a panel at the Schneider Auditorium, in front of hundreds of JWU students.  This was the highlight of my day, as each of us delivered very passionate and inspiring stories that led us to where we are now.  The audience of students was in full participation, asking individual questions for each of us and group ones including topics such as biggest piece of advice on getting your name out there to student loans and so much more.  It was an awesome experience.  After that, we met with several department chairs to discuss the exciting developments at Johnson and Wales, and finished the day with a wonderful reception at Garde de la Mer, inside the Providence G.

This is an experience that I will not forget and will look back on with gratitude and hope that I was able to inspire the next generation of journalists and creative minds to put themselves out there and make a name for themselves in the world we live in.