Bridging the Gap Between the Classroom and the Workplace

According to a recent New York Times article, in the early 2010s, 74% of American adults considered a university education “very important.” Today, that number has dropped to a staggering 41% as many people question the necessity of a higher education and its true impact on their professional lives. Now more than ever, the question arises: What is the actual value of a university education?

John Cabot University Guarini Campus
John Cabot University Guarini Campus

On September 14th, the JCU Center for Career Services hosted the talk “Fashion Retailing and Store Management with Hollister” in the context of Professor Antonella Salvatore’s Retailing Applied to Fashion Industry course. The guest speakers were Lilia Tasso (Stores Recruiter), Noemi Rapacchietta (Store Manager), Jean DaSilva Loureiro (Stores Recruiter), and JCU alumna Adele Donnarumma (Assistant Manager). Hollister has been a consistent guest at John Cabot University, with talks ranging from brand values to the expertise that goes into running a store, offering a great learning opportunity for business students.

This holds especially true for Adele Donnarumma. As a Spring 2023 JCU graduate, Adele’s journey from a Marketing student with a minor in Entrepreneurship to her new role as Assistant Manager at Hollister is a testament to the impact that her studies had on her career. Sharing insights into her daily responsibilities, Adele attributed much of her professional success to her courses and experiences at JCU. She emphasized that not only did the knowledge she gained from her professors and peers aid her in her professional career but also that JCU’s Career Services Office was largely the reason for her getting the position in the first place. Through networking and working closely with the office, she was able to prepare her application and interview with ease.

Two specific courses stood out for Adele: Retailing Applied to Fashion Industry with Professor Antonella Salvatore and Consumer Behavior with Professor Alessandro Signorini. These classes provided her with essential store management skills, from visual merchandising to inventory management, and fostered a better understanding of the market. For Adele, classroom learning directly translated into real-life applications.

Adele’s success story is one of many examples of how institutions like John Cabot University empower students to secure meaningful positions after their studies. As the ongoing debate of higher education’s value persists, one truth arises: there are certain skills that are only acquired in university settings. Not only that, but these institutions create invaluable networking opportunities between companies and students.

In closing, Adele advised students to take advantage of all that JCU offers in order to unlock the full potential of their educational experience.

(Michaela Salzman)