SHU alum: from Pirate mascot to marketing
Upon graduating SHU in 1994 with a degree in marketing, Robert Hooper quickly learned that a career is not handed with your diploma.
He began working as a management trainee at Foot Locker. He later worked for a beer distribution company and slowly worked his way up, gaining sales and marketing skills.
“I wanted to take that job, get my feet under me and figure things out,” Hooper said.
Working for Teva Pharmaceuticals as an associate director with its over-the-counter private label business today, it seems those skills have been put to good use.
Hooper has always been someone who’s enjoyed engaging with people, both in work and during his years at Seton Hall.
His freshman year, he tried out for the Seton Hall Pirate mascot, fulfilling something he had always wanted to do.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since high school,” Hooper said. “The Pirate was awesome when I watched him. I was like, I’ve got to go for that, I want to do it.”
He tried out for the role and got it, performing at the men’s and women’s basketball games and school related functions.
The camp the cheerleaders went to also had a division for mascots where Hooper learned how to behave with people in different scenarios and communicate without using words.
Hooper reminisced on how much fun it was being the Pirates’ mascot and acknowledged how much Seton Hall played a part in his career.
“The teachers prepare you well. It gave me the basics and fundamentals of what I wanted to do,” Hooper said.
He also said how much marketing is something that changes and evolves, and how the program must be a lot different from when he was in school.
Stephen Pirog, chair of the Department of Marketing, stated on the SHU website that the curriculum takes a “concepts to practice” approach, giving students hands-on experience with business professionals.
For senior and marketing and finance double major Vina Tailor, the program helps her interact outside of Seton Hall.
“Through the program, I have met many passionate professors and advisers to constantly tap into their network,” she said.
Hooper expressed his gratitude for Seton Hall and for how his time as a student ultimately shaped his life.
“I credit it for everything I’ve got,” he said.
Megan Beauchamp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.