Name: Elena Marinelli
Class of: 2012
Position: Assistant Director of Student Life for Involvement and Leadership
Employer: Daniel Webster College
Summary: When Elena first arrived on campus she hesitated
becoming involved in campus activities, having never participated in clubs during
high school, over time she decided being active on campus was important to
her. Elena became aware of the many
organizations available on Riv’s campus through her Work Study position as a
Campus Tour Guide. She eventually joined
the Student Government Association (SGA), Student Programming Board (SPB), became
a Peer Mentor, and over the summer an Orientation Leader. During
Elena’s junior year she was elected Vice President of SGA, became a Peer Mentor
Coordinator and New Student Coordinator for Orientation for the summer. Elena took on three new leadership roles her senior
year by being elected Chairperson of SGA and President of SPB and by becoming
Assistant Coordinator of Orientation.
What made you decide to major in
Originally, I started out as a Nursing major at Rivier. After a rough start, I learned that nursing
was not my true passion and that I would be much happier majoring in something
else. When I began exploring other
majors, I knew I still wanted a degree and career that would allow me to help people.
That led me to Sociology and the many
opportunities it presented. Once I chose
Sociology, I decided to add a Social Work minor because I felt the two went
hand in hand. I could not be happier
with the path I chose!
What skills did you obtained from participating
in campus clubs and organizations?
I gained a great deal of knowledge and skills through those
experiences. I never dreamed I could
take something that I had so much fun doing in college and turn it into a
profession. I was able to develop great
time management, delegation, and leadership skills. Thankfully, all of the clubs and club leaders
taught me just how important having time management skills and the ability to delegate
are for any strong leader. Also because
of my participation in these clubs, I was given and took advantage of the opportunities
to attend a dozen or so conferences that helped me to improve and gain more
How did gaining those skills help
you to prepare for your current position?
The skills I gained by participating in clubs and collaborating
with students, staff and faculty directly correlate to the job I have now,
which I could not be more thankful for. I
was the type of person who would continue to take on task after task until I’m
in way over my head so learning how to delegate and let others help has been
very beneficial for me. Also, the
knowledge I gained from the conferences I attended have greatly helped me in my
new role as an advisor. But most
importantly, being around such strong leaders and advisors who were so
knowledgeable make me strive to be like them in my new job.
What Career Development Center services
did you utilize?
I used the Career Development Center twice throughout my
time at Riv. Both times it was incredibly beneficial to me. When I first
switched my major my mother came up to the college to meet with my Academic
Advisor and discuss my options. After this meeting my mother still had a great
deal of unanswered questions so my advisor directed us to the Career
Development Center. Marie was wonderful.
She met with us for a long period of
time explaining how she could help. After
that appointment, Marie and I agreed to meet on a regular basis to complete
different activities in order to learn more about my Sociology major and the
options associated with it. After this
series of meetings, I felt much more comfortable with my decision. The next
time I met with the Career Development Center was when I began writing my
resume. Again, Marie met with me for
weeks from the beginning until the end of my resume writing experience. When I first went into the Center I didn’t
even know where to begin with my resume! I am so
grateful to Marie and the Career Development Center, without them I would have
had no idea where to begin! Who knows
what my resume would have looked like if I hadn’t sought help.
What job search techniques did you
find most valuable (i.e. internships, networking, student
I found my involvement on campus
was instrumental in finding a job. The faculty
and staff told me about different job opportunities they had heard of and by
suggesting a variety of organizations to research for jobs. I was also able to network with the connections
I had made off campus which ultimately helped me acquire my job.
What was your most important
accomplishment while attending Rivier?
My most important accomplishment
at Riv was becoming involved on campus and meeting the wonderful staff who helped
me. If I had not joined the Student Government
Association and the Student Programming Board, I would not be where I am today. I am very grateful for all of the options
Rivier gave me. I believe at larger
institutions you do not have the opportunity to make as much of a connection to
staff members or have as many options to excel. Rivier was a blessing to me and I will be forever
Based on your experience, what
advice would you give current students to be better prepared for their careers?
I think the best advice I can
give; is to find something you love and stick to it. If you are truly
passionate about something there is a good chance you can use it for your
future job. I never imagined that I
would be where I am today when I was a freshman. If I had not stepped out of
the box and tried something new, I can honestly say I don’t know where I would
be. If I did not fall in love with Riv,
I would have ended up moving home and pursuing less interesting and challenging
career opportunities. There are so many
jobs out there so never stop pushing for what you truly want to do!