Philadelphia native Hakeem Thomas took advantage of the biggest opportunity of his life —one that he hopes will lead to a career in cyber security — during summer 2016. “If this support wasn’t available for me, I would have missed out on this opportunity that I know is going to change my life,” he says.
September 12, 2015
Hosting a Husky Road Trip
Vinny Ottomanelli '88
CEO & Regional Director
New York City
Major: Accounting & Business Administration
It’s important for us, as alumni, to lift our heads up once in a while, look beyond our current positions, and think of what we can do to give back. It’s part of what we’re supposed to do in life. I started by coming back to Bloomsburg to speak at a Zeigler Institute for Professional Development Business Conference. I enjoyed it so much I later decided to host a Husky Road Trip.
More than two dozen art and marketing students came up to visit our flagship store in NYC for the day. My mission was to give them exposure—to this industry and to opportunities they might not have thought of before. I had them talk to people in a variety of departments. I thought it’d be interesting for students to not only see what we do, but also to learn how each of us ended up here, so they could better direct their studies to fit their path.
It was an “aha” moment for many students. They walked away with a whole new perspective of the fashion/retail industry and got a glimpse at the many careers available. It was also a rewarding experience for our company. These young students asked us great questions and pushed us to think of our brand in new ways.
Today, success comes from being good at what you do, working hard, and networking with individuals in your industry. Building that network is so powerful. Having an initiative like Professional U that allows students to mix with alumni in many industries not only benefits students by helping them start that network, but also offers great value to participating companies, and our alma mater as well.