Meet the Mentor

James Asmussen

Name: James Asmussen ‘85

Position: Equity Partner (Polsinelli PC)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“Living on 2nd floor Corr Hall, two persons to a closet, that VU called a dorm room back then. Also, 1985 National Basketball Championship in Rupp Arena against Georgetown.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Business-career wise, being an Equity Partner at Polsinelli. Getting my first law job at Sidley; Austin back in 1991 was also a very big accomplishment at that time”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Providing perspective that only age and experience can offer."

Garrett

Name: Erin Garrett ’07, ’15

Position: Portfolio Manager (SEI)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“When Villanova won the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship and I was in Houston to experience it!!”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Professionally, overseeing over $40 billion assets across US fixed income strategies on behalf of SEI’s clients and in my tenure seeing assets grow by over 50%. Personally serving as the President of SEI’s Women’s Network and watching the network grow both within SEI and the outside community.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Nurturing the student community’s understanding of the financial services industry in the Greater Philadelphia community.”

Tony Chien

Name: James Carney ‘11

Position: Senior Consultant (Deloitte)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“Living off campus senior year with my 4 closest friends.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Finding success in a job that is not perfectly aligned with my background.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Being able to help a fellow Villanova student find their perfect post-grad opportunity.”

Kloeben

Name: Kaitlyn Kloeben ‘12

Position: Watson Marketing & eCommerce Sales Leader (IBM)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“It’s hard to name just one of my favorite memories, but I’ll never forget the VillaSNOWva (snow storm) of 2010 during my sophomore year. We had a few days off from school and we were all hanging out in the snow in the Quad and sledding down the steps of Bartley. We had some of the best times of our lives in that room!”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Leading a global event for IBM called the Digital Marketing University. This gave me the opportunity to travel and meet so many different businesses in so many different countries. The experience I gained and continue to gain through international business travel is invaluable.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Empowering Villanovans to explore the technology industry. The tech world presents such a wide variety of opportunities for those studying business and I am excited to help VSB students uncover those opportunities.”

Celano

Name: Gregory Celano ‘12

Position: IT Audit and Assurance Senior Associate (KPMG)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“Sophomore year there was a huge snowstorm and I had been living in the quad. The night it snowed, everyone from the quad went outside and had a massive snowball fight between Sheehan and Sullivan. It is honestly one of the funniest and best memories I have of Villanova.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Graduating from Villanova would be my greatest accomplishment. After years of going through schooling from elementary to college, I had finally accomplished the ultimate goal of receiving my college degree.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Being able to give back to Villanova after everything it has helped me accomplish in my short time since graduation. The ability to help guide a student through any issues or decisions is exciting and challenging. I know it can be difficult and stressful to decide what choices are right for deciding your future, having a mentor along the way will hopefully reduce that worry and help to make the choices that are right for that mentee.”

Niezgoda

Name: Justyna Niezgoda ‘09

Position: Associate Manager, Regulatory Systems (Prudential)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“It’s hard to pick one, but winning the Business Ethics competition at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA was a great achievement for our team.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Graduating from Villanova Cum Laude with 2 degrees (BA in German, BS in International Business & Marketing).”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Having an opportunity to share my experiences, professional and personal with future leaders, giving back to Villanova, which has given so much to me.”

Tony Chien

Name: Tony Chien ‘02

Position: Head of Marketing (Atari)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“Making great, lifelong friends.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Finishing the New York City Marathon in 2009.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Providing guidance and support that will help my mentee succeed in the real world.”

Niezgoda

Name: Heather Tarrant ‘85

Position: Managing Director (Jefferies)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“My best memory was being in Lexington KY when Villanova won the NCAA Basketball championship.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“My greatest accomplishment has been my ability to maintain a successful fulltime career on Wall Street for the better part of 30 years and at the same time raise two amazing children. Finding the right balance is very challenging.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“I think it is very challenging for students to position themselves to be competitive in the workforce. Expectations are very different than college, whether it is writing a cover letter or resume, networking, interviewing, or performing in the job. I feel that I can impart a lot of guidance and coaching to help Villanova students compete against their peers.”

Connoly

Name: David Connoly ‘77

Position: Owner-Partner (TH Connolly & Sons Inc)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“All the ways to get involved…clubs, fraternity, etc. I was totally engaged in VU.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“Adopting 3 Children and raising them.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“Just being involved with fellow Villanovans and sharing ideas on how to succeed personally and professionally.”

Peter Gabriel

Name: Peter Gabriel ‘94

Position: Leadership Consultant (Key Leadership)

What was your best memory at Villanova?

“I struggled academically my first few semesters at Villanova. My greatest memory was being able to turn around my grades to set me up to go on to success in graduate school. Villanova set the foundation for my success.”

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

“My greatest accomplishment will be completing a doctorate of education in leadership from Creighton University.”

What excites you most about being a mentor?

“I am proud to be a graduate of Villanova and mentoring is a way for me to give back. I spent 20 years at Vanguard in corporate life and have vast experiences to share. I am passionate about helping others and get excitement watching people develop, learn, and grow."