Veronica Gerosimo currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Student Life & Leadership at Hudson County Community College in New Jersey. An involved student leader turned Student Affairs professional, Veronica is passionate about cultivating student leaders, providing an engaging and supportive student life, and leading by example to ensure her diverse student population feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. A self-proclaimed workaholic and panda lover, when Veronica is not on her laptop, her favorite thing to do is visit Walt Disney World with her wife.
Tune into my conversation with Veronica to learn how to take pride in everything you do on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
Connections and Initiative
During the summer before her senior year, Veronica sought an internship that combined her two passions: public relations and music. Even though she didn’t have a connection within the music industry, her professor knew that Veronica loved live music and went out of his way to nominate her for a position at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, vouching for her work ethic.
“Who’s talking about you when you’re not in the room? And not just talking about how good you are but saying ‘here’s an opportunity; this person should be part of this opportunity.’”
Veronica’s focus on relationships coupled with her ambition and excitement helped Veronica shine at the Lincoln Center. She credits her positive attitude and ability to take pride in even the smallest assignments to her success. For example, on one assignment sorting press clippings featuring the Center, Veronica noticed that the current system was disorganized with clippings spilling out of the folder. She decided to scan the clippings onto pages in order to create a proper, easy-to-use portfolio. What seems in hindsight like a simple solution to a minor problem made a strong impression with her team, and the organization switched to her system moving forward.
“I tend to not be shy to start things or to see something that needs to be changed, and make the change, be part of the change, and create the sustainable infrastructure that carries along with the organization even beyond my time.”
This was just one of the many projects Veronica threw herself into to help her team, including starting the Center’s YouTube channel and creating an entire program focused on Jazz outreach to college students. The Lincoln Center appreciated her work so much so that they went directly to her, and only her, with a job offer.
Giving Back to the Students
Veronica left the jazz world to pursue a career in academia and currently serves as Assistant Dean of Student Life, helping students to thrive in the challenging arena that is college. Veronica herself was a first-generation college student, and she recalls feeling underprepared for the quirks and technicalities of academia that aren’t surprising for legacy students. Those experiences have inspired her to give back, helping all students have access to the tools to succeed and to recognize their worth.
“With our student employees I’m like ‘if you see something that should be done better tell us and take the lead on it. I want to empower you to make that change because the reason it’s like this is because none of us have that insight or skill to change it. So if you do let’s do it!’”
Veronica has countless stories of how she’s positively impacted students. One student, a mother of four, took on a leadership role and worked on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and credited Veronica directly as the person who welcomed and included her in the community. Or take her passion object, for instance. Veronica shared a rainbow Mickey Mouse plushie gifted to her by a student. The Mouse represented her love of Disney, which she was able to share with students on a leadership trip, and also her pride as a member of the LGBTQ community, a community she feels especially called to serve on her campus.
There’s a clear and beautiful theme to Veronica’s career journey:
“Take pride in everything you do.”
To hear more of Veronica’s story and the value of teamwork and passion, download my podcast interview with Veronica here on iTunes!