Alumni Career Speaker Series: Endless Possibilities Ahead

Villanova’s dynamic and far-flung alumni network has long paved the way for our graduates to find and follow fulfilling callings around the world. 

From Google techies to doctors, from engineers to CEOs, Villanova graduates have used their education to make profound and positive differences in the world. In an effort to help our current students imagine the myriad potential career options ahead of them, the Alumni Association launched the “Career Days” speaker program.

During the 2020-2021 school year, students had the opportunity to hear from seven alumni about their journeys after Villanova and what they do in their respective fields. Speakers included:

  • Tara Hernandez '89, senior engineering manager at Google
    “Tech Is for Anybody!”
  • Mike Taylor ‘86, chief financial officer at GitHub
    "Low-Tech Roads Into Hi-Tech: How Villanova Prepared Me for Tesla and Microsoft"
  • Dr. Monika Foster Martin '05, neonatal & perinatal medicine at Harbor UCLA and Children’s Hospital UCLA
    "An Unconventional Journey to Medicine"
  • John Fuller '80, president & CEO at Wahlburgers
    "Things I Wish I Knew Back Then That I Know Now, and Wish Someone Would Have Told Me."
  • Rob Taylor '86, head of partnerships and alliances at Google Cloud
    "Don't Be Afraid to Take Bets—They'll All Work out in the End."
  • Jessica Landon '00, project director at Cordoba Corporation
    "Building the Career of Your Dreams."
  • Andrea Maahs '98, freelance video game designer
    "Getting Into Game Design." 

This year, the 2021-2022 school year, the series continues on currently with the student body having heard from:

  • Matt LaVere '97, Ventura County Supervisor, District 1 at County of Ventura
    "My Journey from VPS to Ventura County Supervisor"
  • Celia Palermo '13, content producer, PGA Tour
    "From the Stands to the Sidelines: Turning Sports into a Career"
  • Michael Wilson '59, film producer & writer, James Bond Series
    “An Interview and Q&A Session”
  • Richard Hurley '05, schedule analyst, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
    “Exploring the Universe from NASA JPL”

From medicine to business, to game design and film, each Villanova graduate shared personal stories and perspective on the ways Villanova prepared them not only for college but for their careers ahead. Students engaged with the speakers by asking thoughtful questions about their work, how to get started, and tips for the future. The speakers series continues on at Villanova, showcasing the work of our talented alumni while providing meaning, direction, and inspiration to the work students are currently engaged in.