A back arrow

All Articles

Lessons Learned: 2018-2010

Lessons Learned: 2018-2010

Our Alumni November 30, 2018

Class of 2018

Erin Frey
Media Planner, Chicago

Erin Frey ’18As a recent grad, I discovered the ‘real word’ isn’t as bad as I thought. I have come to understand that no one really knows what they are doing, and that makes it a lot less scary.

My advice to an incoming UD student would be to remember everyone else is also lost. Don’t blink. Make every friend you can.

I’m obsessed with strong women, Skyline Chili 3-Ways, positive people, my grandma Joanie and baby videos on Facebook.

My parents always told me to work hard and be financially independent. My parents are the hardest-working people I know.

I actually walked past ramen noodles at the grocery store the other day and almost bought some. I will always love ramen, no shame.

As a student, working for the UD Magazine inspired my love of writing. The other thing I really miss about UD is the people. Even after moving to Chicago I still choose to surround myself with the amazing friends I made while at UD.

I find iPhones necessary; failure inevitable; curiosity essential; patience imperative; time limited; politics intriguing; and humor attractive.

If it was socially acceptable, I’d list ice cream on my résumé under passions.

Class of 2017

Davis Urena
Engineer, Panama City, Panama

My father once told me, “Discipline is everything. It doesn’t matter if you are lacking a special skill or education to master or accomplish something — with enough discipline, you can achieve everything you propose to.” 

Davis Urena ’17My most prized possession would be my own time. Time is a human construct, but what I have come to understand is that it’s limited for everyone. Every second that passes is time that does not belong to you anymore, and you’re left with less time than you had before. That’s why I think that you can possess anything and everything in the world, but without possessing time, nothing else would be of importance.

The relationships that you build around a particular place makes it a home. What is especially impor-tant is developing relationships that are nourishing, fulfilling and give a purpose to your life.

I would tell current freshmen that this chapter is one of the best chapters of their lives. Take advantage of these years. Don’t skip classes, make friends, and remember that your time is precious.

Success looks like an elderly person in a rocking chair thinking about the past and smiling.

Class of 2016

Joe Armstrong
Community Relations Specialist, Cincinnati

Working at a nonprofit organ-ization is never boring.

Step outside of your skillset.

Learn about how to be a good leader and try and figure out what kind of boss you want to work for.

Joe Armstrong ’16When you have someone to fight for and when you have someone to love, it’s amazing what you can overcome.

My thoughts on marriage: Be honest with your spouse. Be a good listener, too.

When you’re in college, it’s nerdy, but figuring out what professors are researching is a good way to expose yourself to different careers; it may end up pointing you in a direction you would have never considered. And when you graduate, remember to go back to UD as often as you can and visit former professors.

When you live in a house that’s the same vintage as the Titanic, you learn a lot about asbestos, lead paint, stained glass, quirky closets and hidden rooms.

Runners come from all walks of life. If you have the opportunity, join a running club.

Fulfill a mission or a goal every day.

Find a mentor. Figuring out what you want to do in life is so much about building relationships with people of all ages and lifestyles.

Class of 2015

CC Hutten
Production Team Coordinator, New York City

It brings me joy to genuinely know people. I am so painfully extroverted, and it makes me very happy to be surrounded by people.

CC Hutten ’15It is really important to have bad experiences. I don’t think I would be the same, grateful employee I am now if I didn’t have a difficult work experience in the past.

Sometimes production feels like you’re swimming upstream, but when you figure a way out of the current it feels exhilarating. It’s high risk and high reward. If you mess up, you could ruin someone’s life work. It’s scary but amazing when it works.

In English classes, you learn how to own your mistakes and work through them. You can’t grow, individually or collaboratively, without self-awareness.

I don’t think a lot of undergrads realize how much of a job involves emailing. Struggling with writing and communicating can create calamitous roadblocks personally and professionally.

Don’t be scared to talk to people and reach out to people. Yes, some people may tell you to go away, but someone’s going to bite. Stay humble and talk to everyone.

Class of 2014

Devin Oliver
Basketball Player, Bandirma, Turkey

I have been to more than 25 countries and experienced their people, foods and religions. The opportunity to interact allows you to grow as an individual. It’s been a blessing to be able to do what I love and see the world.

Devin Oliver ’14I like to believe I am a man who claims he will accomplish something and then follows through on such claims. 

Something that scares me is losing my mother, father or sister. Family is the most important thing in my life. That fear has taught me to cherish and appreciate every moment that we have together as a family.

Three things about basketball that keep my passion strong: my ambition to reach the highest level; the opportunity reaching the NBA would give me to take care of my family financially; and the opportunity to inspire youth. As I have traveled, I have recognized that kids truly look up to me. It grants me the opportunity to give them hope as well as set an example as to how to be a good person.

The most important thing my parents taught me is love. I was disciplined and punished for wrong behavior, like most kids, but it always ended with love.

Class of 2013

Jia Jia Wei
Higher Education Director, Suzhou, China

My mother always told me that no one is born strong, but that we are made to be strong. This has helped me a lot, especially in times where I have felt defeated and needed that extra push to keep going. There’s an old Chinese proverb, “Do not do harm onto others, but also learn to protect yourself.” That is also something I live by, to see the best in people and to stand up for myself when I need to.

Jia Jia Wei ’13I am a very curious person who likes to ask a lot of questions. Inquisition spurs new ideas and fosters creativity.

I believe that money is earned to be spent.

If I ever have great-grandchildren, I hope they know me to be a person who lived with no regrets; someone who believed in dreams and lived a life to fulfill those dreams; a person who hoped to make a difference in the world, little by little.

I am most happy when I am doing something creative — I play the flute and draw.

I am lucky to have four places where I call home. Even though I only spent my youth in Nanjing, whenever I enter the Nanjing City Wall, I feel like I am home. The same goes for when I land at the airports in Melbourne and Dayton. Home is familiarity, a comfort zone, and a sense of belonging.

Class of 2012

Jeremy Vinluan
Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator, Marion, Iowa

To me, family is sacred. There are over 7 billion people on the planet. So many of them don’t have a family of their own. When you think you are having a bad day, think of those who long for a family.

Jeremy Vinluan ’12I have struggled with hearing loss most of my life. I have learned that people out in the world have a choice in communicating with me. They can treat me with kindness and compassion — or they can mistreat me with misunderstanding and misinformation.    

Endless prayers and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ make a place home.

Listening is a lot of work. But I truly love to listen to what people have to say about themselves and to their stories. This is why I studied journalism at UD. Everybody has a story to share, no matter how big or small.

I write letters by hand because I will never know how much time I have left on Earth. My letters will last until the ink fades away and the paper turns yellow and crumbles. But my soul in Christ will live forever.

Flyer red or Flyer blue? Flyer red all the way — even my car is Flyer red.

Class of 2011

Jim Saywell
Lawyer, Washington, D.C.

It’s all about delayed gratification. You can have that piece of fried chicken, but if you hold off, you’ll be so much more satisfied later. Down the line you’ll get a return on that investment.

Jim Saywell ’11I laugh the most at my dog, Luca. She has the ability to switch from being passed-out asleep to getting up and wanting to play right now faster than any animal or human I’ve seen.

Marriage is the ultimate partnership. You better be best friends with that person because you’re going to spend your life together. My marriage has helped me grow in my faith, as well. We hold each other accountable.

We could fix a lot of problems in this world if we could just try and understand each other. We’re so polarized. But, on a microlevel, we can start fixing that by just being kind to each other. Just be kind.

I used to be a skeptic. But it’s true — a dog’s love and partnership is real. There is something just so sweet, innocent and genuine about the love a dog has for you.

Being positive is integral to being successful. Love life.

Class of 2010

Rachael Bade
Political Reporter, Alexandria, Virginia

Start somewhere. Learn everything there is to know and own the crap out of it.

Rachael Bade ’10I knew when I got to Washington, D.C., I would work hard and climb the ladder. Journalism is a career where you can excel and get noticed for your perseverance immediately.

Remember: Lawmakers are people, too.

I’ve realized that the things that drive me to write for POLITICO are the backstories, the people, and the why behind all that’s happening in politics and lobbying and activism today.

My advice to today’s student: Read more if you want to improve your writing skills. Then write, write, write!

I’m doing a lot of television ap-pearances, and it’s terrifying. I have mixed up Jeff Sessions’ and Pete Sessions’ names on live TV, but I have to just accept the mistake and move on. There are definitely going to be more on-camera bloopers.

I’ve been on TV panels with people who have big personalities, lots of opinions, and like to talk about themselves. My strength is my reporting, rather than my opinion. I know, and report, the facts.

Marry someone with the opposite personality. That way you can really unplug at the end of the day.

Click to Read More






Golden Flyers