Finding Their Way in the World
by Nick DiUlio
Standing at the window inside his apartment, Joshua Stroup '08 looks down at the streets of Dubai and considers how he got here, living and working half a world away from the small, rural Pennsylvania town of his youth.
“It’s funny,” Stroup recalls. “Growing up, I knew I eventually wanted to travel. But I always assumed that would mean saving up some money to take a vacation every now and then. I can’t say that I ever thought I’d live and work in another country, let alone the United Arab Emirates.”
It’s been almost nine months since Stroup first arrived in Dubai, where he works as a senior underwriter of engineering lines for the Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Co. Stroup is responsible for the sales and development of various corporate insurance products covering potential perils of construction projects in 250 countries. In addition to promoting new business growth in the region, Stroup is also responsible for managing the pricing and technical development of Zurich underwriters located throughout the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkey, Qatar and Lebanon.
“I consider myself very fortunate to be here right now, and it all started with the opportunities I had while at Susquehanna,” says Stroup, 27. “It’s almost unbelievable when I think about how far I’ve come, but that’s what happens when you stay open to life’s opportunities and aren’t afraid to say ‘yes.’”
And he’s certainly said “yes” quite a bit. Since enrolling at Susquehanna as a business administration major and Asian studies minor in 2004, Stroup has traveled to China, London, Chicago and Los Angeles. And while Dubai may be his most exotic adventure so far, it’s certainly not going to be his last.
“My mind was opened to so many possibilities at Susquehanna,” says Stroup. “One of the greatest things about the university is that a student’s level of success really is up to the student and how much he or she takes advantage of the opportunities in front of them. All a student has to do is reach out and take that first step.”
Stroup’s first steps occurred (quite literally) in the small town of Richfield, Pa., where he grew up surrounded by generations of people who had never ventured far from the cozy confines of their agrarian surroundings. But from an early age, Stroup knew that wasn’t what life had in store for him. And while he didn’t exactly know what he wanted to do for a living, he knew that he wanted to expand his horizons beyond Richfield.
“For rural communities such as Richfield, with generations of family history, it has become a cultural norm for many people to spend much of their lives within the same general area,” says Stroup. “But I decided that wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I wanted to see more of the world.”
He eventually decided that a business degree would afford him that opportunity, and Susquehanna seemed like the ideal place to get it. Not only was he drawn to the intimate campus and favorable professor-to-student ratio, he also knew that the Sigmund Weis School of Business had a strong reputation outside the halls of the university, comprising industry professionals with decades of experience and alumni who had gone on to work for some of the world’s most prestigious companies.
Pebbles in a Pond
The Ripple Effect of Networking
by Bruce E. Beans
JPMorgan Chase. Goldman Sachs. Ernst & Young. Exxon. Johnson & Johnson. Graduates of Susquehanna University’s Sigmund Weis School of Business continue to land successful careers at these and other top companies.
Credit the exceptionally well-rounded education they receive in both business and the liberal arts, along with the door-opening network of supportive alumni who, having already climbed corporate ladders, know firsthand the value of a Susquehanna education and are confident in the preparation students receive—both for prized internships and full-time jobs.
During his junior year, Jameson Troutman ’02 sat through a mock interview with a Susquehanna alumnus who was working for JPMorgan Chase. “I must have impressed him, because he turned the mock interview into a real interview and later called me to ask if I’d be interested in pursuing a summer internship,” he recalls.
At the end of that technology integration internship in Delaware—and pending his graduation—the firm offered Troutman not one but two different full-time positions. Today, he is the vice president for JPMorgan Chase’s Consumer and Community Banking line of business in Wilmington, Del.
Even before his internship, he was being mentored by a JPMorgan employee, Kevin Wilson ’98, now a director for RBC Capital Markets. “He was instrumental in helping me sort through my options and make the right decision,” says Troutman.
Kyle Robertson ’11 tells a similar tale: “During our senior year, my friends were looking for jobs on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com,” recalls Robertson. “I told them, ‘I don’t understand what you are doing. We have this great alumni network. Why aren’t you reaching out and using them?’”
He did so, for two summer internships—the first with Dan Ditzler ’77, president and creative director of Newton Associates, a marketing and communications firm in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; and the second, arranged through Aldo Russo ’09, with the predecessor of ITT Excelis, a defense contractor in Clifton, N.J.
Business alumni routinely pay their good fortune forward by helping other Susquehanna graduates kick-start their careers. For instance, Troutman helped Dan Smith ’07 land a summer internship at JPMorgan and apply for a full-time position with the company. “When you’re applying to a big firm like JPMorgan, and you’re coming from a smaller-name school and competing against students from places like Harvard,” says Smith, “you have to take advantage of all your networks.”
RECENT JOB PLACEMENTS FOR SIGMUND WEIS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS GRADUATES
• WEIS MARKETS
• NEW YORK JETS
• BEST BUY
• ERNST & YOUNG
• ZURICH FINANCIAL
• NATIONWIDE INSURANCE
• BALTIMORE RAVENS
• U.S. GOVERNMENT
• ESTEE LAUDER
• TIFFANY & CO.
• JOHNSON & JOHNSON
• EDWARD JONES
• GEISINGER HEALTH PLAN