Chiara Colicino, B.A. screenwriting and psychology ’13, credits networking as the key factor in helping her land a great job right after graduation. In this Alumni Spotlight, Chiara encourages current Chapman students to expand their horizons and reflects on some of her favorite professors.
Tell us about your career- what do you do on a day to day basis?
I am the catering manager for Which Wich Superior Sandwiches with locations in Orange and Tustin, CA. My responsibilities include marketing, community outreach and managing catering orders and deliveries. Under the guidance of owner-operator (and Chapman alumnus) Edison Cook III ’08, I distribute promotional materials to local businesses, schools and homes, write marketing materials, get involved in community events and help out in store. What I enjoy most about my job is that it’s different every day.
What insight would you give to current students and alumni who are searching for employment?
Networking is a word that’s thrown around a lot. Campuses are constantly offering networking events, your parents are on you about making lasting relationships with your employers. But, I can say from firsthand experience that it was the strong rapport I had already built with Edison Cook III that landed me a job offer. So to any current student looking for employment I would say always do your best at any job you have, you never know what opportunities will arise or what recommendations may come of it. Don’t be afraid to discuss these prospects with your employer once graduation is approaching. Basically, your parents, friends and professors are right – network, network, network.
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out
of their time at Chapman?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. When I was a freshman I joined Chapman’s rowing team and stayed for all 4 years. Something I barely knew about when I stepped on campus was one of the things that defined my experience. It’s likely there won’t be another time like this in your life. Your life will never be filled with as much free time and as few bills. If you’re lucky like I was, my tuition was paid for and I was financially supported. I took the most advantage of this by doing as many unpaid internships and extra curricular activities I could. Chapman is constantly growing with the free activities, events and offers they have for students. Does something sound interesting? Give it a try!
From your time at Chapman, which faculty member(s) made the greatest impact on you and why?
There are a few professors that stand out in my mind as shaping my Chapman experiences – Dr. Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Dr. William L. Cumiford and Ross Brown. In my brief stint as a history major, Dr. Cumiford had some of the most engaging, hilarious and informative lectures I’ve ever heard. He also took me under his wing as a freshman, helping shape my future at Chapman. Ross Brown did the same for me in the screenwriting department. I looked up to his talent, success, good humor and wonderfully critical eye. Dr. Kuchenbecker is well loved and known by most students in the psychology department. Her creative,
insightful lectures floored me. She is the most intelligent, most challenging professor I’ve had at Chapman and by far the most nurturing. Her encouragement and guidance is still part of my daily life and future decisions.
How has the Chapman University network helped you in your professional and personal life?
As I stated before, networking was how I got a lot of recommendations, jobs and internships. At my Which Wich interview, Edison told me he was a Chapman alumnus, instantly putting me at ease. The network him and I have with Chapman continues to help his business thrive and my position gain success. Additionally, the professors I became close with are still a part of my big career and educational decisions. I treasure their advice.
How were you involved on campus during your time as a Chapman student?
In my sophomore year, I was a resident advisor of Glass Hall and took a big involvement in the residence life community. I was a coxswain for the men’s rowing team for 4 years.
What is your favorite Chapman memory?
Many of my favorite Chapman memories took place at our boathouse in Newport during practices and regattas, like our 2012 victory over our rival Orange Coast College at the Newport Regatta.
What was your favorite spot on campus as a student?
Atallah Piazza was my favorite spot to spend time with friends between classes and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Have you been involved with Chapman since graduating?
I haven’t been involved with Chapman since graduation this past May, but I’m sure once rowing season starts up again I will be on campus and at events to support my former teammates.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Chapman Family?
Which Wich in Orange, CA offers a free 22 oz. drink to Chapman faculty, staff and alumni – Edison’s gift to his Chapman Family! Come by and say hi!
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Chiara Colicino ’13: Now and Then
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