If You Believe, You Shall Achieve
The successful journey of a kid with a dream, to a DeSales graduate fulfilling that dream.
Not every kid with a dream gets to grow up and live it. Julien Guiteau’s journey started out just like any other 10-year-old boy from Queens—watching cartoons and comedy shows on Nickelodeon. Whenever Julien would see a commercial casting the next kid star for a new TV show, he would jump up and put pen to paper, writing down the casting phone number for his parents to call.
“Although my parents never gave in to my persistent begging, I would go to bed every night praying and dreaming of the day when I could finally get to work at Nickelodeon.”
When Julien was entering fifth grade, his growing family moved from New York to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The next few years were filled with being the class clown, joking around with his friends, and generally trying to entertain anybody who he could get as an audience. In seventh grade, he put his entertaining skills to work by joining the middle school dance team.
“Being on the dance team kept me out of trouble,” Julien explains, “while also giving me a creative outlet to express myself.”
High school saw even more progression in Guiteau’s demeanor. While dancing and entertaining his fellow peers were still at the top of his list, he branched out into organized sports, volunteering at a local community center, and kept his academic nose to the grindstone. Julien graduated with honors, and received a silver cord for completing 160 hours of community service.
When he started his career at DeSales, Julien was an accounting major. After struggling through the first year, he realized it was the wrong field for him, so he discussed his options with several professors. After analyzing strengths and weaknesses, he realized marketing was the path that most closely matched his skill sets.
“After an uneasy transition into the new major, I finally got into my groove, excelling at giving presentations and marketing projects,” he says.
In addition to academics, Julien ventured out into several leadership activities, including hosting a comedy show with the Campus Activity Board, showing prospective students around as a bulldog ambassador, running social media for the Global Education Club, and competing at the collegiate level as a sprinter for the track and field team.
While current students may best remember him as the two-time host of the Bulldog Bash, the opportunity that really accelerated his future was when the Career Development Center (CDC) hired him as a career ambassador.
“Julien first came to us because one of his classes required him to do a mock interview,” says Kristin Eicholtz, executive director of career development. “He had a vibrant personality, and was warm and welcoming—it’s exactly what we look for in our career ambassadors. When he came onboard, he brought so much energy to the group, he was always asking, ‘What can I do? How can I help?’”
Guiteau turned out to be an extreme asset to the CDC. The number of student contacts made by the CDC annually has been steadily increasing every year. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the center interacted with 4,524 students, ranging from undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and ACCESS students. Almost 800 students walked into the office for a drop-in appointment, many of which can be attributed to Guiteau.
“He brought in students that we would have never seen. His welcoming personality and charisma were a huge draw to bring in new students, even the freshmen. He had an ability to connect with his faculty, who allowed him to make announcements and presentations in their class on behalf of the CDC.”
One benefit of becoming a career ambassador is that every semester, with the help of DeSales alumni, the CDC takes them on a trip to a local business to expose them to different potential work environments. In January 2018, the CDC staff decided that they wanted to take the team out of the Lehigh Valley. They contacted Larry Lowry ’12, who works for Viacom in New York City. Lowry just so happens to be a producer for Nickelodeon, one of Viacom’s television brands. Julien was floored.
“You do realize that this is my dream job, right?” Guiteau said to Eicholtz, after hearing the news that he would get to tour the company of his childhood dreams.
Fifteen career ambassadors, along with CDC staff, took a bus trip into Times Square, where Guiteau spent as much time with his jaw on the floor as he did shaking hands and introducing himself. That night he put a note under his mattress that read, “I will work at Viacom.”
After graduating from DeSales, Guiteau reached out to his newfound network of contacts through social media, where eventually he found out about a mentoring event being held at Viacom by NAMIC, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications.
Two weeks later, he received an interview opportunity from Viacom, due to his chance meeting of a member of their human resources department while attending the mentoring event. He interviewed. He got the job. On July 9, 2018, he officially started working as a client services representative for Viacom.
“We’re really proud of Julien, it’s because of his go-getter attitude and shining personality that he is where he is now.”
Guiteau stays modest, however. “This never would have been possible if it wasn’t for the ladies at the Career Development Center. They provided me the opportunity to get my foot in the door, gave me the interviewing skills I needed to stand out, and stayed in my corner at all times.”
Guiteau also credits his growing faith, and the sacrifices his parents made for him, for getting him to a position where he could chase his dreams.
Julien Guiteau is living proof that if you want something badly enough, you need to put in the hard work to achieve your goals. If you believe, you shall achieve.