As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2021, Jessica Gittleman, a hospitality business management major with a minor in entrepreneurship from Warren, New Jersey, has not had the typical final year or commencement at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. She, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered.
Gittleman was nominated for this series by UD Hospitality Professor Srikanth Beldona, who said, “She is the Chairwoman of the Lerner Student Advisory Board, has earned nationally recognized awards and is UD’s representative in “She has a Deal”, which is a signature event that creates a pathway to hotel ownership by bringing together women to source, analyze and pitch real hotel projects to win deal equity.”
In this profile, Gittleman shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Gittleman: I have become more confident since my first semester at UD. Starting out as a freshman I was so nervous to reach out to professors, talk to my peers and speak up in class. I quickly learned that the only way to get better at something is through practice. I learned to speak up in class, make meetings with my professors, sit in the front row and to make study groups with peers. Confidence is key to being successful in your studies!
Lerner: What is your favorite place at UD?
Gittleman: My favorite place at UD is the Green. I love how everyone sits outside and does homework and chats while looking at the beautiful landscape. Sitting on the green is very peaceful and provides a quick getaway from the busy college life.
Lerner: What is the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Gittleman: The most memorable course I took at UD was HOSP230, Executive Presentations and Problem Solving, with Sarah Baker Andrus. This class taught me how to feel comfortable public speaking, which is a skill you need to have to be successful in the business world. Sarah Andrus provided the class with real life experience and created an environment where we all felt comfortable to grow.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience?
Gittleman: My favorite UD experience is joining all the clubs I am involved in. UD has so many options when it comes to joining clubs. This past year I have had the honor to serve as the Chairwoman for The Lerner Student Advisory Board. This position has taught me so much and has made this year so exciting.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Gittleman: Being a Lifelong Lerner means that we are never done learning. Always question things and strive to learn more about things you do not know much about. Being a student at Lerner has taught me that the most rewarding things come with hard work and dedication. I will continue to learn each day and give back to Lerner for teaching me these valuable lessons.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Gittleman: Currently seeking a role in NYC!