A Good Year: Alumna Marjorie Marino
Alumna Marjorie Marino is a dual French/American citizen who grew up in Madrid, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland. She graduated from JCU in 2010, with a major in Humanistic Studies with a concentration in the Ancient World. She is currently the owner of Tenuta Marino, a company she started with her husband two years ago. They grow and produce wine and olive oil in the Italian Marche region.
What made you decide to study at JCU?
I started college at the American University in Washington, DC, as a Communications and Graphic Design major. Having grown up in Europe, it never occurred to me that I might experience some culture shock living in America! So, after one semester, I decided I would prefer to pursue the rest of my studies in Europe.
I was always interested in Classical studies, and when I came across JCU’s Humanistic Studies program I simply fell in love. I visited the campus during Easter and soon realized that I couldn’t ask for a better setting to study the art history, religion, philosophy, sociology and history of the ancient world. I even took two semesters of Latin and, classes such as Ancient Eats and Ancient Mythology!
What motivated you to pursue a career in the food and beverage industry?
After a few years of work experience as a research analyst for IATA in Geneva, Miami, and Rome, I decided to pursue a degree in Classical Culinary Arts at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Then, I worked as a line cook in New York City restaurant kitchens, an advisor at a hospitality consultancy firm, and finally as a sales assistant in the events department of a boutique hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
I enjoyed my career progression in the world of food and beverage in New York City but felt ready for a change…a big one! My husband and I decided it was the perfect time for us to venture out on our own, put together all aspects of our careers, step out of city life, and embark on a more pure form of living: growing the food and wine we both love so much.
How did John Cabot University prepare you for your career?
At JCU I learned the importance of research. How to gather quality data, look for it from unexpected sources, analyze it with an unbiased filter, and then once all the facts have been gathered, form an opinion you could back up confidently. The beauty of it is that this is a skill that JCU will teach you regardless of what major you choose or which classes you take.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your professional career?
The biggest challenge I have faced in my professional career has probably been – switching careers! While this has been the biggest challenge, it has also been the best decision. The challenge of being a business owner is adjusting to answering to yourself and managing your own expectations. With professional autonomy comes the feeling of disappointment when you can’t reach the goals you outlined for yourself. On the other hand, when you do get those wins (whether big or small), they feel that much better.
What advice would you give to students considering JCU?
My advice would be to get to really know your professors – it is so pleasant to be taught by people who are not only genuinely passionate about not their particular fields but also passionate about teaching itself. I loved the intimate feel of some of the seminar classes and felt this was a great, if not the best advantage of studying at JCU.
I know we are taught to follow our own paths, but my advice would be not to forget to check in with yourself and make sure you’re still in sync with the path you have chosen and embarked upon because it may have changed without you even realizing it. Be flexible and open to what may come your way because it may end up really surprising you for the better.