Student Spotlight: Alexandria “Rosie” Grasso C’21

Alexandria “Rosie” Grasso  C’21                                 

What attracted you to Drew?

I loved that Drew had a study abroad program in Spain and nycTRECS. The proximity to the city was definitely a factor that attracted me to Drew. Plus, Drew had such a magnificently friendly community and a beautiful small campus. Once I did more investigation, I was also intrigued by how easy it was to pursue more than one major or minor.

Why did you choose Business and Spanish as majors?

My entire family is incredibly business-oriented. However, upon starting college, I thought I should explore a different path – international relations. I was set on partaking in the Semester on the United Nations. Further along in my journey, as I took some courses within the business major, I discovered that my passion was truly associated with all things business. Changing my major was an incredibly easy process.

As for my Spanish major, Spanish has always been a huge part of my life, I fell in love with everything about the language at a young age. I studied it in grammar school and throughout high school, ultimately continuing to develop and hone my skills through the AP Spanish course. I always wanted to pursue proficiency at a higher level and complete research within the field. I also planned to use my language skills in the job market and to help me foster relationships with native speakers.

If this experience taught me anything, it is that it’s wonderful to have exposure to a plethora of different fields before you decide on a potential career path.

Did you have an idea of a dream job when you started at Drew?

When I first started at Drew, I thought I wanted to be a translator for the United Nations.

Have you done any internships?

I was a virtual consulting intern for Reeves-Reed Arboretum for about two months in the summer of 2020. I created marketing materials for a new initiative they developed for recent graduates. I originally applied for an Event Coordinator position but this experience ended up being eliminated due to COVID-19.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

Professor Steven Firestone, Director of the Master of Science in Finance Program, has provided immense support throughout my academic and professional pursuits. He has been incredibly instrumental throughout the course of my internship search and has helped me to strengthen my networking skills. Professor Firestone has also elaborated upon several career paths within the finance field, opening my mind to new opportunities within the business world.

Professor Raphaele Chappe, Director of the Semester on Wall Street, has wholeheartedly supported my academic advancement. Throughout the course of this semester, she has imparted so much knowledge regarding Wall Street and its macroeconomic connections while connecting students to a wide breadth of speakers from divergent areas of the business field. Professor Chappe has highlighted many resources that are particularly of use to undergraduate students studying business hoping to break into the industry.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short or nycTRECs?

I am currently participating in the Semester on Wall Street. Although it is virtual, it is an incredibly worthwhile experience. Actually, being virtual allows us the opportunity to have a larger breadth of speakers. This course has assisted me to not only better understand financial institutions, systems, markets, and their intricacies, but also has imparted real life advice regarding internships and jobs.

With regards to shortTRECS, I would like to study abroad in Barcelona before I graduate. However, I am unsure if it will still be offered this summer.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

An issue that I have been monitoring that means a lot to me would be femicide. To be specific, an example that stood out to me through my studies is that of Juárez, Mexico. There is a vivid connection between cartel violence, maquiladoras (which are factories close to the U.S.-Mexico border), and the disappearances and murders of teenage girls and women of Juárez. The officials meant to serve the public and enforce the law are not exempt from corruption and the violence is further extended through that vein. It is disheartening, disturbing, and chilling to hear these stories and to know that these women are not being protected. This is an issue more people should discuss and investigate so we may continue to raise awareness and better understand how to cut out the problem at its roots.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew?

My favorite memories of Drew would without a doubt be spending time with my friends and building relationships with faculty. Whether it be jam sessions with my roommate, absurdly late C-store runs or on-campus events, I have always enjoyed socializing and making memories with everyone I meet at Drew.

Moreover, I have been privileged to work on many projects that have facilitated the fostering of faculty relationships and have led to the creation of a strong support network for me within Drew.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

I would like to share a few pieces of advice. First, I wish someone had told me that it is normal not to have your entire college trajectory planned out on the first day. Everyone moves at their own pace and no one can predict the future. Be true to yourself, college is a trial and error period, nothing bad happens if you try a new club or new course and you end up disliking it. In fact, this just gets added to your arsenal of experience.

If you have an idea for a research project, club, or otherwise, do not be afraid to share it. Try not to let your class year stop you from expressing your ideas and creating meaningful projects for yourself and the community. Lastly, (this one I learned the hard way), I wish someone had highlighted the importance of making time for yourself. I tend to fill my schedule to the maximum and I’m not very good at taking breaks. It has taken time to get accustomed to setting aside thirty minutes or an hour for reflection, or a walk, or for something else but it is certainly worth it.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to find a meaningful and fulfilling career that aligns with my passions and also serves my community. Recently, I have been considering paths in ESG (environmental, social, and government) investing. I am interested in unveiling the multiple ways it intersects with human rights and finance and delving into the particularities.

On the other hand, I am extremely interested in the U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and would love to work there one day. Entrepreneurship also excites me, so perhaps that can be another prospective career.

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

As student body president of my high school, I delivered the 125th Anniversary welcome speech introducing Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.

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