“It was a powerful experience for our Ramblers and recent graduates,” says Vice President for Alumni and Network Engagement Marty Jennings ’98, who spearheads the LA Tank Program along with Executive Vice President Dennis R. Stonequist ’90, Executive Assistant to the President Ashley K. Sanks ’10, and Social Studies Teacher Nicole Roman. “At Loyola we are blessed to have an alumni network that is active, engaged, and generous with their time and talent. Connecting current students to alumni across all industries and forging valuable connections is one of the many benefits of our LA Tank student entrepreneurship program.”
The trip began with a tour of Georgetown University, that nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning, led by current Hoya Maeve C. Silk ’19, who is studying English, history and art history. The group visited WeWork, Georgetown’s Venture Lab, where they were joined by the program’s director, Jeff Reid. The meeting was facilitated by current parent Karen Beil, and together they discussed everything from developing an entrepreneurship mindset to interning at startups, problem solving to strategy, impact investing and more.
“Our students asked great questions and demonstrated a high level of maturity and interest that shows they are already thinking like young entrepreneurs and business leaders,” notes Executive Vice President Dennis R. Stonequist ’90. “I’m proud that Loyola is able to offer a dynamic program like LA Tank to introduce students to the world of innovation and entrepreneurship and provide them with competitive advantages and experiences like this one-of-a-kind power internship.”
That evening, the group attended a networking dinner at Mr. Smith’s Georgetown and had great conversations with a number of young alumni including Caroline M. “CJ” Jaros ’16, partner and head of people and communications at Sterling Strategies, Luke R. Lynch ’16, associate at ACG Advocacy, and Joseph W. Hancuch ’14, financial economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“Young alumni play such an important role in mentoring our students,” says Executive Assistant Ashley K. Sanks ’10. “Students look to alumni in their twenties and see what’s possible for themselves. The relationships they form encourage them to aim high and also create a network they can tap for advice and resources along the way.”
The next morning, Ramblers met for breakfast at Tridentis Advanced Marine Vehicles, a subsidiary company of Tridentis
, a professional engineering and logistics firm that is focused on providing services to the Department of Defense, United States Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command and a variety of other Federal Agencies and commercial customers. They were hosted by David Jochum ’97
, Tridentis CEO and founder, and Mike Moran ’97
, forensic accountant at the U.S. Department of Justice.
After breakfast the group split up for career specific shadow opportunities. Mia Swanson ’24, Jose Sango ’22 and Annie Leinenweber ’22 joined Brian Hopman '94, vice president and general manager, and Brian Scanlon '86, global director, vertical products, at the Associated Press; Avery Miller ’22, Helena Kavanagh ’23 and Connor Garrigus ’22 shadowed Joe Hanchuch ’14, financial economist, at the US Department of the Treasury; and Julia Swanson ’22, Grace LaFramboise ’22 and Emmy Panagakis '23 worked with Jean Flemming ’06, economist, division of reserve bank operations and payment systems, at the Federal Reserve Board.
“What LA tank became for me was something I never expected,” reflects Helena Kavanagh ’23, who joined the LA Tank program to help her think about what she wanted to study in college and possible career paths. Kavanagh was a part of the first-place winning team MicroHeart, a filter cartridge that attaches to your washing machines to help catch micropolastics before they enter the water supply. “LA Tank has made my list for colleges change so much … LA Tank as a whole has introduced me to a whole new world of business and entrepreneurship. And you can’t forget the countless opportunities I have had since joining, one of them being the 24-hour power internship in Washington, DC. Speaking with alumni and hearing their stories showed me that we really can accomplish anything and changed my perspective and mindset about future plans. I have grown incredibly because of LA Tank and I will forever be thankful for these experiences.”
Congratulations to all participating students: Julia Swanson ’22, who is heading to Indiana University in the fall; Mia Swanson '24, Helena Kavanagh '23, Grace LaFramboise '22, heading to the University of Miami Ohio, Annie Leienweber '22, off to Wisconsin next year, Emmy Panagakis '23, Avery Miller ’22, heading to the University of Miami, Connor Garrigus '22, who will study at Wake Forest in the fall, and Jose Sango '22, who is off to St. Olaf.
And many thanks to our chaperones Ms. Nicole Roman
, social studies teacher; Ms. Ashley Sanks ’10
, executive assistant; Mr. Marty Jennings ’98
, vice president of alumni and network engagement; and Mr. Dennis Stonequist ’90
, executive vice president.