Cheers to Unexpected Opportunities
The year is 2004 and Facebook has just kicked off, AOL messaging is mainstream, flip-phones are the newest piece of technology, and Joey Venezia ’06, M’13 has just switched his major from business to digital communications. Wanting to differentiate himself to future employers, Venezia knew the advantage he would hold over the competition who would most likely have little to no knowledge of technology.
“The realization set in that I was going to be more than likely interviewing with someone in a few years who hadn’t evolved with technology at the rate I had and my value to them as an incumbent employee would be strong. It turns out that decision was critical to my growth and development in a tech boom that is still going today,” Venezia said.
Holding close the mantra of taking advantage of every opportunity presented, Venezia landed a two-year internship with the Hershey Bears through the help of LVC’s Center for Career Services, which is now the Breen Center for Graduate Success.
“There were long hours at the arena, but experiences that I would not exchange for anything,” said Venezia, who was a four-year football letterman at LVC. “To see how a first-class organization is run, the people it takes to operate it, the players, and the chance to hoist and celebrate with the championship Calder Cup trophy were unique and career-molding experiences.”
After graduating from LVC, Venezia accepted a sales desk position as he continued to search for his perfect job. Except, the job found him. While bartending as a side gig, Venezia recognized a group of business clients and quickly sprung on the opportunity to chat them up.
“They had a long wait for dinner, so I jumped in and took them to a side table where I catered to them all evening while balancing my other duties,” Venezia recalled. “By the end of the meal, I had an interview set up, and soon became Hollywood Casino’s first marketing manager.”
Venezia remained at Hollywood Casino in Grantville, Pa., for five years, helping them open the property. Then he accepted a corporate position with Penn National Gaming LLC, which offered a tuition reimbursement program that allowed him to return to LVC for his MBA degree.
He decided that pursuing his MBA was a great way to enhance his résumé and apply the skills learned during his career thus far.
“The curriculum was extremely fluid and relatable in several facets. It presented a way for me to engage in the courses as a transformed student while interacting with a wide variety of business professionals of all ages and backgrounds,” Venezia said.
Venezia, resides with his wife and twin girls in Bethany Beach and works as the assistant general manager at Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth, Del. He directs all operations that focus on safety, cleanliness, construction, and oversees major capital improvements to the properties. The dynamic position allows him to split time between site walks or working at his desk, where he collaborates with his team on the next big concept.
“Working for Tanger is like working with family,” he said. “You’re supported, congratulated on successes, and encouraged to come to work wanting to do your very best. Our brand has such strong name recognition and a high level of public regard it allows us to partner with some great business leaders to make an impact in our community.”
— Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant