Senior Gives Back to the College She Loves

By Hannah Werthan

Melissa Guida finds it hard to believe that she is already about to graduate. Four short years ago, the Bethpage, New York, native began her college career as a Management and Marketing major in the Business Honors program at Molloy. This summer, she will start a new chapter in her life as she embarks upon her career in consumer marketing with an assistant manager position in eCommerce Strategy for Newell Brands.  

Becoming a Lion

Melissa chose to attend Molloy because she wanted to be part of a tight-knit community. "I graduated from St. Dominic High School (in Oyster Bay, New York) with a class of 100 students. I knew that I didn't want to be in a lecture hall. I wanted my professors to know me, so I would feel a greater sense of responsibility to do well in my classes," she says. Melissa applied and was accepted to Molloy's Business Honors program. The rigorous application process included a one-on-one interview with the Dean of the Business program. As an Honors student, she joined a group of 30 students who took mostly the same Business classes freshman and sophomore year.

Learning Outside of the Classroom 

Some of Melissa's favorite Molloy experiences have happened away from campus. As a Business Honors student, she took a 10-day trip to Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany, with her cohort. She also travelled to the Amalfi Coast in Italy for 10 days, which was a general education trip. Melissa is grateful for the opportunity to study abroad twice. "I took away so much from both trips," she says. Last semester, Melissa signed up for Molloy's Gotham: The New York Experience course. Students take the train into New York City every week and learn about culture, history, and the arts. A different section of the city is explored each time. The class was one of Melissa's favorites during her college career. "Professor Michael Russo is very knowledgeable about everything to do with New York. Plus, it was fun to meet new students and hang out with them in the city afterwards," she says.

Getting Involved

As a freshman, Melissa would walk around with her Business Honors peers and wonder how they knew everyone they saw on campus. It turns out they had met through Molloy Student Government (MSG). "I remember thinking 'I want to know everyone,' so I decided to become involved in MSG as a sophomore. I joined for the community aspect; however, I stayed these three years because I saw what a big impact Student Government has on campus," she says. When she was a sophomore, Melissa was the Executive Board Assistant; as a junior, she served on the Executive Board and was in charge of event planning. This year, she ran for Vice President, and lost. However, Melissa says that everything worked out for the best. "Initially, I was upset that I did not win the election. Ultimately though, I am happy that I am able to serve as a Resident Life Representative. I enjoy advocating on behalf of our resident students and, since I am not on the Executive Board, I am able to devote more time to other endeavors," she says.

Melissa became a Resident Assistant (R.A.) this year, a job that goes hand-in-hand with her Student Government position. "As an R.A., my job is to enhance the life of the residents," she says. Melissa lives in Fitzgerald Hall, and her residents are mostly Theatre Arts freshmen from out-of-state. "I am much more aware of my surroundings now. When I come back from class, I might notice someone outside of her dorm room, and I make sure she's okay and not locked out. I want to be a helpful figure for these students," she says.

Melissa is also Molloy College's Twitter ambassador. She enjoys representing the school on social media and interacting with students on the platform. "It's fun to see accepted students get excited about coming to Molloy," she says.

Landing the Job

Melissa credits the Business program with helping her to realize that she should intern as much as possible in college in order to gain experience and find out what she wanted to do with her degree. "When I was a freshman, I met with [Business Placement Coordinator] Nancy Israel and she told me I could intern even though I was just starting college. Since then, I've held seven internships," she says.

Melissa found her job as an indirect result of one of those internships. When she was a sophomore, she interned at 1-800-Flowers. The internship led to a job at Smile Farms, a non-profit created by the founder and CEO of 1-800-Flowers. In December of last year, through her position at Smile Farms, she was invited to a networking event where she met the CEO of the eCommerce division at Newell Brands. She was able to schedule a one-on-one with him where they talked about her career goals, which lead to an interview with the Strategy Team at Newell. In February, she had the job offer. "I am excited to start my new position. It is a great opportunity, I am passionate about the consumer goods industry, and the company has plenty of room for advancement," she says.

Looking Ahead

Melissa doesn't begin her job until July 10, but she'll be staying busy in the meantime. "This summer, I want to study and take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). I plan to get my MBA eventually, and this is a great opportunity to start the process," she says. However, she promises to enjoy her time off as well. Melissa has plans to soak up the sun as much as she can before starting her 9-to-5 life. After all, she's more than earned a little rest and relaxation.

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