Lebanese student perseveres as an undergrad, secures job after graduation

Senior Vick Arslanian immigrated from Achrafieh in Beirut, Lebanon to the United States in the summer of 2002. Having learned to read and write English at an early age, one would think the move was fairly easy. It wasn't. Arslanian remembers how difficult it was to adjust to his new life.

"When I first started school here I had to adjust to the way of life and learn a whole new set of rules to engage with classmates. I met people from different dialects and backgrounds who shared minimal to no common interests with me."

Arslanian persevered. He not only adjusted to life in the States (West Chester, Pa. to be exact), he flourished. Arslanian is set to graduate with a bachelor's degree in business at Penn State Brandywine on May 5. Even better, he already has a job lined up for post-graduation. "I have a position with the DuPont Company, and I will be working in the DuPont Integrated Business Management (DIBM) department," he said. "It is a three-year program, where candidates learn about all the aspects of the business."

Arslanian knows how lucky he is to have a job waiting for him as a new graduate and is looking forward to the challenges his new position will present. "The position in the DIBM department will require me to conduct internal business analysis of DuPont's 13 businesses and external analysis of its customers," he said, adding that he hopes he will be able to pinpoint weaknesses within the businesses and suggest new alternatives to explore to help the company grow.

As a business major with a focus on marketing, Arslanian maintained a high grade-point average throughout his time at Brandywine. He also has managed to work a full-time job without neglecting his studies. His hard work certainly paid off.

Arslanian also credits his current job at Citizen's Bank with preparing him for the future. "Without this job I never would have gained the sales and finance experience that I have today, and without it, I may not have been able to secure my present position with the DuPont Company." But it wasn't without hardship.

"One of the biggest obstacles to overcome was finding a way to delegate enough time for school while working 40 to 45 hours per week," he explained. Arslanian will be proof that hard work perseveres when he walks the stage to receive his diploma.

"I chose Penn State Brandywine because of its small campus and location. It was very important for me to stay close to my family so I could help out when I needed to," he said. "I also loved the idea of smaller classes. It reminded me a lot of my elementary school years in Lebanon. This would allow me to know each student by name and have a good relationship with the professor instead of a teacher's assistant."

Since Arslanian has thrived in his roles as immigrant, student and employee, there is nothing to suggest that he will do anything but excel in the business world. Speaking multiple languages fluently will also help Arslanian get ahead. "In Lebanon, I was taught at a very young age how to speak, read and write Armenian, Arabic and English," he said. "As a student of business, I know how important it is to be multi-lingual because it opens doors to a lot more opportunities."