Success in Life
next step: success
By the Numbers
Why Drew was Perfect for Me
“I graduated with a theatre arts major and turned it into a bright future career at a top-tier investment bank. Drew made me well-rounded, knowledgeable and open to new paths. I never expected to end up in the world of finance, but it has truly become an exciting and fascinating field to me.”
Annette Terrizzi ’11
see yourself #hired
The Class of 2014 is already making waves in the real world. Some have landed impressive,
hard-to-get jobs, while others are attending jaw-droppingly prestigious graduate schools.
In this gallery, meet our most recent graduates.
Randa R. Barsoom
Where are you headed: Jefferson Medical College
Why there? It has amazing neurosurgery opportunities, location and emphasis on great clinical care. I felt I fit in very well.
How did Drew help you get there? Rigorous curriculum that incorporated hands-on research and book learning, research with RISE, caring and highly qualified professors and advisers and opportunities to apply what I learned by teaching other students.
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years? Hopefully, a successful and happy neurosurgeon.
Major: Pan-African studies, Spanish, history
Where are you headed? NYU for a PhD in the history of the African diaspora
Why there? Their emphasis on the African diaspora
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years? Teaching as a college professor
Major: Studio art
Where are you now? Interning in development at Montclair Art Museum
How did you get there? Professor Claire Sherman encouraged me to apply during my Artist Writes course.
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years? I want to work in photography and in museums or galleries. I hope to be steadily working and traveling to build my portfolio.
Major: Political science
Where are you now? Working for Aon Hewitt, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing corporation
Job title: Business delivery specialist
How did Drew help you get there? The Career Center—their connections got my résumé to Aon [which] led to an interview.
Major: Biochemistry and molecular biology
Where are you headed next? Weill Cornell Graduate School for a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology
Why there? I wanted to live in the city, and the many labs conducting research that interests me.
How did Drew help you get there? The scientific research experience at Drew allowed me to be a competitive graduate school applicant.
Major: Theatre arts
Where are you now? Lincoln Center as assistant stage manager of two outdoor concert series
How did Drew help you prepare for this? Had I gone to another college, I doubt I would have developed the extensive résumé that got me the internship with Lincoln Center, and without that internship, I would not be in a job at a great cultural institution in a city that I love.
Where are you now? Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ in New York City
Job title: Product consultant
How did you land this job? Through the referral of an alum currently working at Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ. The company is a perfect fit for me and really speaks to my passion for finance.
Major: Biochemistry and molecular biology
Where are you now? Princeton University for a PhD in molecular biology
Why there? It has an excellent program for molecular biology, and I am highly interested in the research going on there
What helped prepare you for this? My research experiences while at Drew, as well as the entire biochemistry and molecular biology major, helped prepare me for a PhD.
Major: Political science
Next step: NYU for a master’s degree in applied psychology
How did Drew prepare you for this? My academic advisers and my professors guided me to apply to appropriate programs.
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years? As a guidance counselor at a small school, helping students when they need it most.
With a Drew degree, your long-term career prospects are solid.
From Apple exec to spintronics Ph.D. to founding producer of ABC’s
Desperate Housewives, Drew graduates excel at what they love.
Michael Jokubaitis ’10
For Michael Jokubaitis, Drew’s physics program was like a particle accelerator—by customizing his curriculum, he got a head start that propelled him into the doctoral progam in physics at Brown University. As a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, Jokubaitis studies the burgeoning field of spintronics, harnessing electron momentum to inform a new generation of electronics, from hard drives to low-cost MRI machines. Drew physics faculty—many of whom are now his friends—”challenge you to not just accept what’s in the textbook but make sure you can understand it and use that as a basis for your own questions,” he says. “It’s that attitude that was really instilled in me at Drew.”
Miya Carey ’11
Miya Carey came to the Forest as a history major, but she left as a historian. After a U.S. women’s history course grabbed her attention, she went on to win a $3,000 fellowship that allowed her to research the cultural significance of African-American cotillions. “I like telling a story that has not been told, or putting a different perspective on a story that’s been told many times,” she says. Now she’s getting her Ph.D. in history at Rutgers, studying African-American history and women’s and gender studies. “I definitely see myself as a historian of black women,” says Carey. “I’m a very good researcher, and I credit that to what I learned at Drew.”
Robert E. Schmidle Jr. ’75
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle Jr., relishes the “healthy tension” between new ideas and established protocol, “challenging all the things we hold dear to our hearts that need to be periodically reexamined.” This dynamic has shaped his career as a decorated officer—including his current post as deputy commandant for aviation in the Marine Corps—and an accomplished scholar. It was at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College where he realized how much Drew had taught him about writing and analysis. From there, he received a master’s in philosophy from American University and is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. at Georgetown. Schmidle also appreciates the healthy tension between thinking and doing. The ideal, he says, is to pursue “learning to the point that it’s like breathing.”
Kevin Murphy ’89
His parents wanted him to make a good living, but the theater was calling. So Kevin Murphy came to Drew, where he pursued both as a political science and theatre arts double major. His successful showbiz career—fueled by creative collaborations with Drew classmates—has seen him at the helm of hit shows like Desperate Housewives and SyFy’s Caprica, as well as winning an Emmy for a musical theater adaptation of Reefer Madness. Behind the scenes, Murphy’s projects require crafting arguments, motivating teams and managing resources—skills honed in both the classroom and the theater. “At Drew, we were thrown into deep end,” he says. “The faculty would support you and get you started, but you figure out how to do it.”
Jennifer Icklan ’04
Jennifer Icklan didn’t know what being a journalist really entailed until a Drew professor asked her, “Do you just want to learn to write, or do you want to know what you’re writing about?” “From there, ” says Icklan, who realized that the latter option was the wiser course, “it struck me that there was a difference at Drew compared to other schools.” Icklan—an English major with a double minor in political science and writing—took Drew’s U.N. Semester and worked all four years at The Acorn, Drew’s student newspaper. She interned at MSNBC, VH1, the Newark Star-Ledger and CNN, where she works today as a producer with the Money Unit. “There are so many headlines and statistics out there,” she says. “Our mission is to break it down and tell you how it matters to you.”
Andrew Sedgwick ’85
Andrew Sedgwick came to Drew a self-confessed tough guy know-it-all. But in the Forest, as a double major in economics and music, “they taught me how to convert that into business rationale.” Sedgwick landed at Apple, where he spent a nearly 10-year assignment heading business in Korea, launching multiple product lines including the iPhone and iPad. More recently, he managed the launch of Apple’s new retail pilot project with Walmart, the first of its kind for the company. “Music taught me how to be good in business, and business taught me how to be good in music,” says Sedgwick. “I prefer to try and fail and try again than never try at all, and that goes back to my music roots.”
Jennifer Velez ’87
State of New Jersey
As commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services, Jennifer Velez is committed to providing vital services to people in need amid tremendous budget constraints. It’s a challenge she feels empowered to face thanks to Drew, where she learned to lead, solve problems and believe in her own voice. “[Drew] was a great environment to find what you were really good at.” Student government was one such opportunity, Velez recalls. “Just the prospect of igniting change to improve our experience certainly carried over to my work today in government.”