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
full-impact learningearly career success
From landing a spot as an assistant V.P. at JPMorgan Chase to teaching in Thailand,
our graduates are getting the most out of full-impact learning at Drew,
a dynamic approach to education rooted in tradition, yet geared toward tomorrow.
Find out what successful Drew alumni are doing their first year out.
Drew’s Wall Street Semester helped Kyle Reinhardt land a position with a New York City investment firm managing $3.9 billion in assets.
Reinhardt is starting his career by helping others exit theirs on a high note. The former Drew soccer star is working for KLS Professional Advisers Group, where he and his colleagues build investment portfolios that enable their clients to retire. “I also provide insurance advice and estate planning services—it’s comprehensive financial management,” he says. One of the company’s directors—a Drew alumna who listed his position with Drew’s Center for Career Services—had a particular interest in hiring from the Forest. This came as no surprise to Reinhardt, who credits the Wall Street Semester and Drew’s expansive curriculum with his success. “Taking courses in a lot of different [subject] areas taught me how to adapt [to changing workplace needs],” he says. “A lot of schools don’t offer that type of exposure.”
Erik Gray’s background in psychology brought him to the heart of today’s critical medical research.
As a human research coordinator at Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Gray is responsible for the intake of patients who participate in some of the nation’s most advanced medical research. Gray got his start in human studies as a Drew undergrad when he spent a semester working with psychology faculty on an experiment. “The consent process for that study was really similar to what I do now,” he says, referring to the paperwork that’s required by federal agencies. When not working, Gray is busy applying to PhD programs in psychology. “I see myself,” he says, “doing human research as a principal investigator.”
An NYU graduate program in education policy is preparing Geneva Lewis to speak out for the reforms that America’s students need.
Working to repair public education is a high priority for Lewis, now in the MA program at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education. The Pan-African studies and sociology double major is aiming for the think-tank world, where she hopes to become a leading advocate for smart and sustainable reforms. Lewis became interested in education policy after taking a few political science courses at Drew and working as a summer school teacher in Newark, N.J. “I saw firsthand what can happen when individual communities lose control of their schools,” she says. “It’s time to restore ownership to the local stakeholders who have the most to gain from student success.”
Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Krissia Funes is finding grad school an easy pill to swallow.
Heading to Spain for a semester abroad, Funes, a biochemistry and Spanish double major, was torn about her future. Focus on language skills, or pursue science? By chance, she found herself living with a Spanish family of medical clinicians and researchers. Now the North Jersey native is following in the footsteps of her host sister, a pharmacist in Seville. Funes, a doctor of pharmacy candidate at Temple University, chose the school after being admitted everywhere she applied. “I hit the ground running in grad school,” she says, “because a lot of the material is stuff I already studied at Drew.”
John Dabrowski counts folk-rock sensation Mumford & Sons among his clients in the music industry.
Becoming a marketing assistant at Red Distribution, a Sony Music subsidiary in New York City’s Union Square, was a homecoming of sorts for Dabrowski. The award-winning English major worked there as a summer intern between his sophomore and junior years, with a little help from Drew’s career center and a scholarship that covered his commute. A former general manager of WMNJ, Drew’s radio station, Dabrowski also interned at Def Jam to build a fan base for new recording artists. “There are a lot of people working behind the scenes to build momentum for new musicians,” he says. “We give them a voice by using ours.”
If Nicholas Nacamuli is close-mouthed about his job, it’s not because he’s rude.
As an intelligence officer for the U.S. Air Force, Nacamuli analyzes highly classified documents and transmissions, making sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands. Now on active duty, the Russian studies and political science double major will call the Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, home for the next four years. The last time Nacamuli served the public, it was as the youngest member of the school board in the North Hunterdon-Voorhees district in New Jersey, an experience that prepped him in exercising diplomacy and building consensus. “I think everyone there appreciated my perspectives on the issues,” he says, “and so far, the Air Force does too.”
Theatre arts major Richard Drake pairs his dream of Broadway stardom with a career in museum administration.
Drake is doing all he can to make it big in the theater world—and in the process, flourishing in the New York City art scene. In the group services department at the Museum of Modern Art, he builds tours for school groups. “I work with teachers to plan itineraries that enliven the themes, styles and periods that their students are learning about in school,” he says. By night, Drake collaborates with a group of NYC-based Drew theater alumni bent on revolutionizing drama as we know it. They’re currently working on an immersive performance piece that pays tribute to Tennessee Williams and gives each member of the company an equal say in directorial, production and stage management decisions. “Everyone does a bit of everything,” he says. “It’s very liberal arts.”
Studying philosophy taught Melissa Wrzesniewsky how to empathize and solve problems—a perfect combo for a career in customer satisfaction.
Wrzesniewsky’s job search led straight to L’Oreal’s corporate headquarters in Berkeley Heights, N.J. A full-time intern working at the Fortune 500 firm, she is already riding the newest wave in customer service by using social media to gauge product success. She’s also on the frontlines of L’Oreal’s customer service efforts, alongside many professionals who also started as interns. “My studies at Drew taught me how to reason around a problem and identify the best solution, while being cognizant of the need for empathy,” she says. “That basically sums up my job description, so it’s a perfect match.”
Working offshore is building Katherine Luby’s global credentials for a career in real estate.
“I didn’t want to do the get-a-regular-job thing after graduation,” says Luby. The business and Spanish double major—who’s spending the year teaching English in Thailand—has gotten her wish. The Connecticut native who’s now at home in a village an hour west of Bangkok is giving the Far East’s rising generation the language skills they’ll need to have an edge in the global marketplace. And she says they’re doing the same for her. “A successful career in business requires fluency in foreign cultures,” she says, explaining the overseas pursuits of this future real estate professional. But before she trades in the schoolhouse for the open house, she plans to cement her global citizenship by going after a teaching job in another offshore location. Says Luby, “I’m thinking Argentina.”
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.”