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Alumni Spotlight February 2016

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Stephen Reilly

Stephen Reilly '96

BA - Communication Arts
 Fulton School

MAJOR FIELD OF STUDY: Communication Arts  

CURRENT EMPLOYER: Global Experiences, Inc.

CURRENT OCCUPATION: Co-Founder

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER PATH:
I started Global Experiences, the premier international internship program provider in the world today, 15 years ago with my lovely wife of 16 years. And yes we know its crazy and hard enough to be married for that long much less have a business together too! With GE, think study abroad but rather than a classroom experience at the core, we provide custom practical career training internships to complement one's academic program. We have now survived 15 years with over 5,000 alumni, including (I am happy to say) dozens of current and former Seagulls through a partnership which grows stronger each year with SU. Headquartered in Annapolis, we employ a staff of 40 around the world. I'm convinced none of it would have been possible if not for my time at SU. After graduating SU in '96, I worked for a big law firm in DC and learned after 3 weeks I loathed it. After trudging through almost a year in a job I knew I didn't want, I deferred my enrollment to Georgetown Law School and jumped on a one way flight to Hong Kong where I taught English for almost a year before setting off for my travels around Asia and Europe. I subsequently won a Fulbright and earned my Masters in Sweden, where I met my (now) wife of 16 years. After a year in Australia (her home country), we moved back to the states where I took a job with then chair of the MD democratic party, for whom I worked on several private projects mostly focused in telecom. I soon started Global Experiences with my wife and within 18 months I made the move away from full time employment to focus exclusively on GE, a move which has enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams. I've since started or partnered with a few other businesses and find the challenge of building and growing a business exciting. While GE is still the true calling (at least for now!), I am always happy to consider new challenges! To learn more about how Global Experiences and Salisbury University are partnering go to salisbury.edu/news.

MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED WHILE ATTENDING SALISBURY UNIVERSITY:
I learned greater self-awareness and perseverance to finish things I started while SU opened more opportunities for me through extra curricular activities and close relationships with faculty.

WHAT CAMPUS ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH?
I acted several theater productions and was involved in club sports.

BEST COLLEGE MEMORY:
I recall seeing a flyer for the upcoming theater production of "All in the Timing" and told a group of friends I always wanted to be in a play.  After a few off-handed "I dare you" comments, I agreed to try out the next day.  I landed one of the leads in the play and went on to act or participate in a couple more during my time at SU.  I loved being a part of the theater program and my only regret was not having tried out sooner! 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SALISBURY UNIVERSITY?
In addition to many friends having great things to say as alumni about their experiences there, the school appealed to me over the other MD schools like UMD (too big), Frostburg (too cold), Towson (too city), etc. SU was just right, especially with OC less than a half our away.

IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE SALISBURY UNIVERSITY IN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?
Underrated (great school, beautiful campus, top notch academics but not enough acknowledgement) Valuable (good value for money) Manageable (good size, nice blend of activities, accessible faculty and admin, easy campus to negotiate) 

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT AND WHY?
Cambodia because of its amazing history, rich culture, great food, complete opposite of any comfort zone, sights, smells, kindness, what more could I say?

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
16 years of marriage and 3 excellent children (Jared 15, Brendan 11, Charlotte 9)

WHAT IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I always wanted to be Eddie Vetter or POTUS, perhaps there is still time?

HOBBIES/OTHER INTERESTS:
Kids, travel, skiing, business, foodie, dancing (just don't watch), running

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