Study abroad student makes shoe business connection in Italy

The persistence of Ruben Ramirez ’17 has paid off; opportunities through the Barowsky Business School and the study abroad program have led to potentially promising jobs.

The Business Administration major is interning with a software company in San Francisco while doing market research for a shoe company in Italy nine time zones away.

Ruben credits the BSB for putting him on the path to pursue his passion.

Drawn to Dominican by its sense of community, Ruben’s persona was shaped the day he arrived.

“I’m exploring the business world and have learned at Dominican how to present myself. I thank Dr. Denise Lucy and Dr. Françoise Lepage for that,” he says.

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That was the case when Dominican organized a Rapid Innovation 3-D Printing Challenge on campus. Ruben participated in the three-day team-building event held in partnership with You3Dit, Inc.

Ruben soon after became a business development intern for You3Dit and months later took on another project during his study abroad trip through the Global Education Office. Ruben sought the advice of an alum working for LinkedIn, Cody Bernstein ‘16, who made his study abroad trip to Milan in 2015.

In Milan’s Universita Catolica Del Sacro Cuore, Ruben attended a class led by two guest lecturers who were co-owners of Velasca, a start-up luxury shoe business. After class, Ruben – equipped with business cards provided in his Exploring the World of Business course at Dominican -- approached the co-owners. He was able to convince them that he could help their business expand to the US. Ruben was working at Velasca’s headquarters 20 hours a week, where he was lining up meetings and negotiating deals with American logistics providers while also doing marketing research.

“These guys are growing like crazy,” says Ruben, who is keeping the relationship open to potentially work in Italy.  “It’s more of a start-up environment, just like here in the U.S. I wasn’t expecting that. They tell me what they want and need.”

In the meantime, Ruben serves as sales and marketing intern for Badger Maps, Inc., an Internet/web services start-up.  He is learning how to manage a SaaS company under the wing of the CEO.

Either way, Ruben has achieved a goal he set for himself last spring.

“I wanted to say that during my last year of college before graduating, I was doing something with meaning,” Ruben says.


February 24, 2017