March 01, 2022

By Alaina Uricheck ’24

Cade Vogelsong ’07 and Ariana Stowe ’13 are two SU alumni who leaned on their entrepreneurial mindsets to pursue fulfilling, self-designed careers. They shared their insights during the Break Through panel Start-Ups: The Culture of Entrepreneurship.

Cade Vogelsong '07 Cade Vogelsong ’07Vogelsong began his career as a financial advisor on Wall Street before taking a leap and moving to West Virginia to start an investment advisory firm and eventually also became the COO of a construction company. “Entrepreneurship gives you freedom early on to figure out who you are without anyone else telling you what to do,” he said.

Stowe majored in English and pre-law and initially worked at a law firm. However, after watching a colleague suffer a nervous breakdown, she decided the lifestyle of a lawyer was not for her. In 2018, she started her own personal fitness company, Ariana Stowe Fitness, and is now known as the Waist Snatcher. When the pandemic hit, she pivoted and started a financial planning practice with Northwestern Mutual. “My reception at SU as a transfer student gave me the confidence to start businesses in this crazy world.”

Stowe and Vogelsong advised students to view failure as a learning opportunity.

Ariana Stowe '13 Ariana Stowe ’13“You will fail way more than you succeed and you have to be comfortable with that. I love when people fail because it is a great learning opportunity and is a great way to see how that person deals with adversity. How quickly can you get back on your feet,” Vogelsong said. “If you can’t get up quickly, entrepreneurship isn’t for you because failure is very much a part of it.”

“What would you tell a student who wants to take time off school to start a business,” asked Sebastian Freire ’25, a management major from Clinton, New Jersey. Both panelists stressed making education a priority and completing a degree before embarking on an entrepreneurial pathway.

“You don’t know what you don’t know and there are a lot of unknowns,” Stowe said. “Don’t leave any options on the table.”

Both panelists expressed their gratitude for being able to give back to SU by participating in Break Through.

“What I am reflecting on the most is how much more confident I am now than before, which means that I must be doing something right, which I credit to my SU experience,” Stowe said.