From Exploratory Studies to Entrepreneurial Star

Jo Carter sits next to a Business Hall sign at Rowan University, wearing a pink button down blouse and holding a notebook

Jo Carter, a recently graduated senior from Lindenwold, NJ (Camden County), has always been full of ideas, but when she first transferred from Albright College, she wasn’t quite sure how to bring them to life. “I came to Rowan as an Exploratory Studies major, (within the College of Humanities & Social Sciences) unsure of what I wanted to do after graduation,” she says. “I knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to be my own boss, which required getting into business. I decided to explore entrepreneurship after looking into the college of business, since that is what I was most interested in. And the rest is history!”

An article Jo came across on Snapchat sparked an epiphany, which would transform the rest of her time at Rowan. “The article discussed the fact that we will run out of fresh water by the year 2050. Here we thought we had an endless supply of water, but we really do not! I wanted to use my creativity to help,” she says.

Around the time she discovered the article, Jo was part of a class called New Ventures Development, where students expand on an idea for a potential startup business or product, and experience the process of bringing it to life. “In that class, I came up with the concept of a personal filtration system within a water bottle, called RefresH2O,” Jo says. “Wherever you are – hiking, spending time outdoors – you can scoop up water from a nearby body of water, and it will be filtered fresh. This will alleviate our plastic usage, and make us wiser about how we source our water.” Another class, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, helped Jo finalize the marketing plan and details for her product, including the target market and purpose. “I wanted to make a product that even a three year old could use. Everyone needs clean water — it’s a human right, but not everyone is lucky enough to have that,” she explains.

Jo notes her professors as the most impactful people in this stage of her life. “For a little bit, I became discouraged because not everything about my idea was perfect. That held me back a lot — the thought that I had to have everything completely set before putting it out there,” she reflects. She is grateful to have had class with Professor Kimble Byrd right before his retirement. “He was such an inspiration for the three or four semesters I had him. He kept us on our toes in class, and saw the fire in my belly and told me to keep my passion going, keep that drive, do what needs to be done, and just go for it.” Jo’s professors asked the tough questions she had tried to avoid in the past, and helped her stay on the track to success.

Her future plans include owning her own environmentally sustainable holdings or manufacturing company, and possibly even attending graduate school for a degree in engineering management, to continue to grow. She advises freshmen coming into the field to not let the idea of ‘perfection’ interfere with your goals. “‘Good’ is good enough; just get your name and idea out in the world and continue to work on your idea as you progress,” she says. “And keep track of your commitments! Juggling school work, being on the track team and my internship, senior year has been the most challenging year yet, but planning it all out and prioritizing made it a lot better.”

For now, Jo continues to accrue meaningful experience in the entrepreneurial field, working as an intern for the Office of Technology Commercialization at the tech park. “If a faculty member or student has research and the beginnings of a new venture or product that they are interested in marketing, we help them patent it, market it, or possibly license their technology,” she explains. As an intern for the office, Jo helps to build the content for the website and market the services the office has to offer.

“Now that I am familiar with the office and how it runs, I know that I can come here with my future projects and they will help me. I have a vision, I have a plan, and now my goal is to find similar people who can help me bring this to life. My mind just never shuts off with all these different ideas, and the entrepreneurship program here has really helped me put everything on paper. ”

Like what you see? Register for a tour or open house. 
VISIT CAMPUS​​

Story and photo by: Nicole Cier, junior writing arts major

Computer Science Major Kick-Starts her Career with Co-Op Experience

Monica Mahon, a rising senior from Mays Landing, NJ (Atlantic County), is one of the lucky kind of students who knew what she wanted to study before even coming to college. “I took a computer science class in high school and had a really great teacher that introduced me to it. It was something I really liked and could see myself doing,” she says, in regards to her Rowan career in the computer science major.

During her first computer science course on campus, Monica learned the ins and outs of the industry, as well as coding and communication skills that she would use later on. Her first professor in the field, Professor Chia Chien, “has been a huge help throughout my college experience. She really encouraged me and opened my eyes to great opportunities.” Professor Chien even introduced her to her current resume-builder, as a co-op worker for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). Through the AFMS (ASRC Federal Mission Solutions) program with the Rowan computer science department, students can partake in a real-life work environment and contribute to meaningful projects that improve their skills.  “The program allows students to immerse themselves in a real job, full time, with the option to take classes part time, at night or online,” Monica explains. “You partner with industry companies and really learn how they function and how your knowledge can contribute.”

In the program’s second year, Monica is already making a major positive impact. She works with a software development company through the Department of Defense, to maintain ongoing company projects, and develop software solutions for the Navy. And while this may sound overwhelming for a college student, she explains that the ASRC pairs each new student employee with a mentor that is experienced and willing to guide their mentee through the experience, and help troubleshoot any challenge that may arise.

Monica and two friends smile as they look on at the computer, where Monica is working on HTML coding.
Monica receives advice from her classmates on a Comp Sci project.

“Being quickly introduced to this opportunity and having work assigned to me right away, I learned how to work closely with other employees. They didn’t treat me like an intern,” Monica says. “Learning the workflow of an office environment and seeing the whole process in my specific field – from writing to testing to identifying software issues and engineering solutions, and building the final product – it’s helpful to be part of it and really see how it all works.”

Monica’s on-campus experience has helped her tremendously when it comes to being knowledgeable and prepared for this important role. “Rowan’s computer science program prepares you to work full-time. I felt like I could handle the job going into it, because we learned how to use different operating systems and programming skills right off the bat. Working efficiently in a team is something that is really emphasized here.” As a learning assistant within the department, she works alongside her professors, addressing student questions during class and tackling any issues they may need help with. She notes that having to communicate concepts to students has translated directly to her AFMS experience, where she must communicate her ideas to colleagues.

Monica and her friends stand outside of Robinson Hall, petting a dog.
Monica makes a friend outside of Robinson Hall!

 “For me, choosing computer science as a major was a risk,” Monica says, “I was intimidated at first to enroll knowing that I would feel like a minority as a woman in the STEM industry, but I found a bunch of great friends that really support me and make me feel part of the community. Being a woman in STEM here has felt empowering, instead of limiting.”

Like what you see? Come visit us!

VISIT CAMPUS​​

Photo by: Nicole Cier, rising senior writing arts major

Political Science Alumnus Highlights Internships as Path to Public Service Career

Rowan University alumnus Bill Moen taking a selfie with supporters at a political event.

How did Bill pave his way from undergraduate student to successful politician? One word: internships! “Use the time you have during your undergraduate years to pursue as many internships as possible,” he says. “They provide the opportunity to focus on your interests, and help narrow the scope of where you want to be when you […]

Enzo Ronchi Discusses Organ Donor Day

young male student leaning over a railing with a contemplating look on his face

Organ Donor Day is meant to promote and encourage more people to become organ donors and acts as a social event that encourages the community, students, and faculty to come together. The event is designed to be family-friendly with carnival-like games, free food and beverages. There’s an opportunity to mingle and get any information you may […]

Inspiring Change Through Biology and Africana Studies

“Sophomore year, I took an introductory course to Africana Studies as an elective and fell in love with it. It opened my eyes to so many things — politics, race, issues in society. I decided, ‘I have to add this minor!’” she says. Her involvement from there snowballed as she acquired leadership positions in the […]

Students Win First Place in Marketing Challenge

kailey and tim of rowan university review their award-winning presentation

A semester-long commitment to a project showcasing public relations, advertising and marketing skills proved to be worth the hard work, as five College of Communication & Creative Arts students swept the first place prize at the Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge on March 4. The challenge, sponsored by a nonprofit called Marketing EDGE, provided students from colleges across the country with requirements with which to build their presentation around: create a multichannel campaign that appeals to the target demographic of busy moms in affluent suburbs in the US, and use multiple tactics to acquire new consumers. Tactics required included digital, non-digital, word of mouth, and guerilla marketing tactics.

Brittany and Megan of Rowan University cross the street in a crosswalk outside the communication buildingThe students — Kailey Bertelson (advertising), Brittany Eng (public relations, advertising), Megan Jean (studio art), Timothy Stanford (advertising), and Hannah Vendetta (public relations, advertising) — spent many long nights and weekends in the Public Relations & Advertising High Street building on campus, developing their campaign for BOXED, an e-commerce store and app that provides customers the convenience of purchasing household items in bulk online, and shipping to their door for an affordable price. The group’s winning campaign ran with the slogan “Two Day Shipping, More Two Day Weekends,” and included the optional addition of a video advertisement, featuring Hannah as a busy mom trying to balance maintaining a household and spending quality time with her kids. The judges loved the creativity and detail of the campaign, awarding the group, nicknamed “The Incredible Bulk,” first place and a cash prize of $2,000 to split!

We worked great as a team because each of us brought something unique to the group. I think that helped us stand out to the judges,” Megan reflects. The students share that their professors in their public relations and advertising classes prepared them by giving them the foundation to tackle projects with a strategic mindset and provided advice and expertise throughout the semester.

kailey and tim of Rowan University discuss their project outside the communication building as tim holds a rowan university umbrella“My Intro to PR and Advertising Research class prepared me the most for this challenge. A massive portion of the proposal was gathering the information that we needed, both secondary and primary,” Tim says. Brittany agrees that learning the techniques for research ahead of time in class definitely helped advance their campaign. “Our skills in media, design, research and writing are a result of our professors’ dedication towards bringing out the best qualities in their students,” she says. When the results were gathered and interpreted, Megan took the next step of designing their display: “I took everything that I learned from my graphic design professors to help put together the design. Once we had gathered all of our information it came down to getting it laid out to make it visually pleasing to the viewer,” she says.

megan works on her laptopAnd while knowledge and experience from classes definitely helped fuel the winning project, working together also helped each member of the group strengthen skills that they had not practiced before. Brittany admits that she came into the competition with little experience in research, but was confident that the competition would enhance her abilities in a real-world scenario — and it did! “Now I have experience creating and analyzing the results of a national scale survey,” she says, which is a major accomplishment for a college student.

Not only does their participation in a semester-long research project look great for future employers, but members of The Incredible Bulk can proudly say that their efforts came to fruition through their victory. 

Like what you see? Join us this fall!

APPLY NOW​​

Story by: Nicole Cier, junior writing arts major

Music Industry Major Works With Dream Company

During the summer of 2018, Devon interned with Sponsorships, then Premium Seat Sales in the fall. She anticipated challenges going into her sales position, but overcame issues faced with sales by integrating a different personality needed for the job. Her hard work paid off because she now works for Live Nation as a Scheduling Coordinator […]

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons