Zip-lining for three hours straight requires a lot of courage and focus – so does being an entrepreneur, moving across the world for a graduate degree, and starting a student club on campus. Joanne has done all of these things and even more, proving that she is a go-getter. As an international student from Thessaloniki, Greece, she has taken full advantage of various Lubin-oriented opportunities and services, including our Graduate Assistantship program, guest speaker events, and the Entrepreneurship Lab.
You got your BA in psychology and communications. Why did you decide to enroll in business school and why did you choose Pace University for your master’s degree?
I realized that I needed some more business skills and exposure to business concepts to understand my professional path after college better. I found that Pace’s location is ideal for me since it is close to the headquarters of some of the best companies in the country. Pace also has a great alumni network, which I am looking forward to joining once I graduate!
You have a passion for entrepreneurship and sustainability. Tell us about where that journey started and the business that you’ve created by combining the two.
While I was attending high school in Greece, I spent my summers in the USA. I got to participate in multiple summer programs on sustainability and entrepreneurship. I was fascinated by the complexity of businesses and the importance of sustainable practices at an early age. Inspired by my love for fashion, I started a company called DGRwear in 2017 with my sister. We are now using the company’s social media platforms to educate people on sustainable fashion. Our company focuses on creating 100% handmade clothes and accessories made in Greece.
This journey has allowed me to meet amazing people worldwide that use fashion as a platform to make a change. I was also the COO for Fashion Revolution Greece in 2020-2021, a local chapter of a global organization that works towards making the fashion industry more sustainable. While working there, my team and I built the first sustainable fashion school in Greece for the summer of 2022.
Tell us about your experience at Lubin; what resources have you been taking advantage of here?
Although I started my first semester virtually, I managed to gain plenty of experience at Lubin. First, I became a graduate assistant and had the honor of working with Professor Tarique, a professional I admire very much and from whom I have learned a lot. I have attended various online events with great speakers and alumni hosted by Lubin or student organizations. The Entrepreneurship Lab is always putting together amazing events, too! Lastly, for me, the alumni connections have been a great highlight this past semester. Through the Pace Mentoring Program and reaching out to alumni directly by utilizing LinkedIn or being referred to them by Pace’s staff, I have met inspiring and motivating alumni who want to give back.
What has it been like to start a brand-new graduate student organization on campus and what are the club’s goals?
I like creating community wherever I go; connecting with like-minded individuals always motivates me and helps my vision grow. I had started a club at my high school called NGSW (New Generation Sustainable World), and that experience gave me the confidence to create something similar at Pace. With the encouragement and help of Professor Tarique, I founded the Strategy and International Business Club (SIB). I am very grateful to the executive board we have formed for this organization. We have bonded very well and are continuing strong this semester! The club’s goals are to provide a safe space for students to interact, debate, and discuss current topics on a global scale, from the pandemic and globalization to sustainability and the legalization of marijuana. This semester we have planned more networking events, and we are very excited to welcome more people to join us.
What are your future goals for your career?
Eventually, I want to work in international business, give back to my country and to people in need, and always strive for a more equal world.
What does #LubinLife mean to you?
#LubinLife is the New York City experience, a multicultural adventure filled with high energy and vibrations.
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