Lex Tomaszewski ’01, Carroll News Alumnus

Hey you. Glad you’re picking up the latest edition of the Carroll News with the intention of reading it cover to cover. Or stuff it in your backpack and pull it out later during classes like Film & Communication, Sports Journalism or Campaign Issues and Images (all some of my favorites).

I did the same back in my day, learning all things seen and heard on JCU’s campus, as well as re-reading my prose – seeing it in print to figure what I could’ve possibly done better as a budding beat writer. Covering various sports for the Carroll News, primarily football, I had it easy as the teams were consistently successful… except against the school in Alliance that shall go unnamed. It was a great experience, for I was using what I was learning as a Communications major while preparing for my then-desired career as a sportswriter. I landed an internship in the sports department at The Plain Dealer and parlayed that into a position as a full-time sportswriter at a hometown newspaper covering prep sports and Ohio State football after graduating in 2001.

Now more than 10 years later, I find myself leading marketing programs and initiatives in the University Banking segment of Consumer Marketing at PNC Bank. My work takes me to colleges and universities across our 19-state footprint. One of many reasons why I enjoy my job is because it’s a steady reminder of how great the college experience is and what mine at John Carroll University has meant to me both professionally and personally. I met my wife here and boast many friendships with classmates I still see regularly. Needless to say I’m a proud alum.

Along the way during my career pursuits, the interview question always came up: “Where do you want to be in 10 years?” In college, I’d never imagine I’d be a sportswriter turned banker. And I still feel that it’s a trick question. Who really knows what they want to be when they grow up? I don’t know – I’m still trying to determine an answer to that one.

I do know that, through all of its offerings and experiences, JCU taught me transcendent skills that I’ve come to rely upon as I’ve navigated my own professional endeavors across various functions from consumer/small business underwriting to retail distribution strategy to marketing. The 5-part programming series Backpacks 2 Briefcases (BP2BC) is a great opportunity to learn and practice the intangible skills that leave lasting impressions, like how to stand out from other applicants during job interviews all while networking and building relationships with fellow students and members of the local Cleveland business scene.

One’s professional and career development – much like the college experience – is what you make of it. So my advice to you? Take full advantage of all the opportunities JCU provides to exercise and enhance your personal brand, thereby living the John Carroll University brand of learning, leadership and service.