University News

Newest Business Graduates Reflect on Experience as Chargers

Meet several exceptional new alumni of the University of New Haven’s Pompea College of Business who accepted their degrees as part of the University’s Spring Commencement.

May 18, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Commencement day arena
More than 1,600 members of the Universityâs Class of 2021 were awarded their degrees on Commencement Day.

A few months after Angela Chan ’21 came to the University of New Haven from her home state of Florida, she experienced one of her first snow days as a Charger. She fondly remembers that more than a foot of snow fell that day, and she and her friends had a great time playing outside in it.

Many of her other favorite memories of her time as a Charger were made on the volleyball court. Chan, who has enjoyed the sport since she was a kid, was a setter on the Chargers Women’s volleyball team for four years.

Angela Chan '21
Angela Chan '21

“A favorite memory from my first year was experiencing the NCAA Elite Eight tournament in Pensacola after winning the Northeast-10 Conference Championship and the East Region Tournament,” said Chan, a member of the University’s Honors Program who recently accepted her bachelor’s degree in sport management. “I think being a student-athlete helped refine my time-management skills and ability to work in high-pressure situations, which I believe will be important in the professional world.”

Chan, who plans to return to Florida after Commencement, is among the more than 1,600 members of the Class of 2021 who were awarded their degrees during the University’s two Spring Commencement ceremonies on May 17.

'Pushed me to be the best version of myself'

One of Chan’s classmates, Michael Calabrese ’21, was a member of the University’s fast-track program and earned his degree in just three years. A campus tour guide and orientation leader, he completed several internships as a Charger, including two during the Spring 2020 semester.

Michael Calabrese '21
Michael Calabrese '21

Interning in the University’s Athletics department and working alongside Jonathan Mays, associate director of athletics, and for Yale University Athletics, he says, inspired him to pursue a new direction for his career.

“I want to work in college athletic departments and help make a student-athlete’s experience even better during their collegiate career,” said Calabrese, who plans to pursue his MBA. “The University of New Haven presented wonderful avenues for me to develop skills as a professional, a student, and most importantly, as a person. I was able to surround myself with people who pushed me to be the best version of myself that I could be, and I am forever grateful for them.”

'Everyone has had an impact on who I am'

Emma Beckerman ’21, who earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, is grateful for the opportunities she had to work on multiple real-world projects with companies such as Savant, a home automation company, and to take part in the Google Nonprofit Marketing Immersion.

Emma Beckerman '21
Emma Beckerman '21

Beckerman also dedicated herself to giving back to the University community, having served as a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a community service co-ed fraternity, and as a founding member and board member of the University’s Hillel Club.

“My most cherished memories from my time as a Charger include all the people I have been able to meet,” said Beckerman, who plans to move to the Boston area after graduation. “I have been able to connect with students and faculty with a variety of backgrounds, and everyone has had an impact on who I am today.”

'My learning experience has been the best'

Jocelyn Rodrigues ’21 MBA, who graduated with her third master’s degree, leaves a legacy for future Chargers as a founding member and president of the University’s new Women in Business Club. Some of her favorite experiences at the University were the result of her graduate assistantship in the provost’s office, which enabled her to engage with hundreds of undergraduate students. She also helped run the Pompea College of Business Professional Enrichment Program.

Jocelyn Rodrigues ’21
Jocelyn Rodrigues ’21

As a brand management intern for Reckitt, a consumer goods company that owns brands such as Lysol, Rodrigues gained important experience working with a product that provides nutrition for newborn babies with severe allergies. Rodrigues, who completed the University’s STEM-designated data analytics concentration, will be joining Reckitt in June as a full-time assistant brand manager, for which she will be eligible to receive optional practical training, a benefit of her STEM-designated degree.

“My learning experience has been the best in terms of academics, cocurricular activities, and the work environment,” she said. “Several of my analytical, marketing, and management classes were tied directly into the work I did during my internship. The University of New Haven not only provided us with networking opportunities, but it also helped us develop a competitive edge to be successful in our future careers.”