Landing on a corporate communication degree was an easy choice for Vincent Villani. While the degree is communication-focused, he found its versatility also fit his future career.
Villani grew up locally in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, so coming to nearby Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) for the first two years of his college experience was an easy choice, as well. What surprised him, however, was his choice to stay all four years.
“PSU-LV values students who demonstrate work ethic and concern. My professors and advisers are the reason I stayed. They really went to bat for me – which did wonders for me as I went off to search for a career,” Villani said.
After graduating in 2016, Villani obtained a position with Olympus. In less than a year, he was promoted to a territory management position in the surgical energy division, where he works to maintain and increase revenue for surgical products in his region.
“Vince quickly excelled in his role and proved he possessed the work ethic and business acumen to be a successful territory manager,” said Anthony LaBarbera, regional vice president, surgical energy, Olympus Corporation. “I believe Vince’s degree in corporate communication provided a solid foundation in communication, business and technology that has ultimately translated into making him a successful sales professional. His ability to effectively communicate allows him to be a trusted consultant to his customers while meeting their needs and providing maximum value.”
Villani credits his success to the personal and professional values instilled in him during his time at Penn State Lehigh Valley.
“Working in my role is a constant pursuit of self-development, so what I learned at PSU-LV has been invaluable to me as a person and business professional,” Villani said.
Villani recalls many professors going out of their way to incorporate real-world advice into their courses. Beyond the course materials, they made sure he and his classmates were ready for the inevitable curveballs that would come at them in their professional careers.
Villani remembers preparing intensely for a project, only to have his professor point to the tiniest hole in his opening statement.
“He exposed a crack that despite all the prep work would have taken me out. I learned a valuable lesson that day: know what the heck you're saying,” Villani said. “All of my professors were amazing and had something to teach outside of the curriculum.”
The strength of the Penn State alumni network was another reason Villani stayed at PSU-LV.
“Being a PSU-LV graduate still means you're a PSU alum, which grants you access to thousands of networking opportunities with other alums,” Villani said.
But the biggest benefit of attending Penn State Lehigh Valley was, as Villani said, the easy access to professors due to smaller class sizes.
“Students considering PSU-LV should attend if they want a high-level, yet intimate education. You get an experience that is real-world, practical, and modernized to the digital era.”
-- Penn State alumnus Vincent Villani
Kevin Black contributed to this story.