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Rising Stars

“Rising Stars” is a regular feature in Reflections. It profiles Siena Heights alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and who excel in their careers, occupations or community service accomplishments. To be considered for “Rising Stars” in an upcoming issue of Reflections, fill out the online form at Those who are selected to be included in an upcoming issue of the magazine will be contacted by the Reflections staff.

Rob Hemmig

Graduation year: 2007, 2009/MA.

Current title/position: Corporate Partnerships Executive, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

What Rob is Doing: He works at Michigan International Speedway alongside many other SHU alums. His role is to find ways for companies to utilize MIS’s assets when it comes to entertainment, marketing and activation. He started as a ticketing intern in 2007 and has worked his way up to his current position.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: “I think my favorite memory outside of baseball would have to be seeing the students I recruited while coaching complete their degrees from Siena Heights University.”

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: “There are so many to pick from, but Joni LeMay and Melissa Growden were always there to make sure that things were going in the right direction.”

My ultimate goal in life is: “Be successful and happy.”

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: “Create your own experiences at SHU, don’t just follow the group. Each person will and should have a different experience while in college. Get involved in activities that you normally wouldn’t do. You never know, you may find a new passion.”

Kajal Kapoor

Graduation year: 2009.

Current title/position: Associate Recruiting Lead at Google, London, England.

What Kajal is doing: After completing her undergraduate degree she worked for a year and then moved to London to get her master’s. She currently manages a team of 12 coordinators in the recruiting department at Google (think slides, and nap-pods). Her team’s main focuses are decreasing time to hire and increasing candidate experience. She started at Google 2 1/2 years ago as a contractor and was converted into a full-time employee after a year. She was then promoted within role six months later and inherited her team another six months after that. She also has a (famous) “20% project” as the head of the Disability Network in London: Changing the conversation from Disability to Ability.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was:
“Am I allowed to say any story that started at Mandy’s? I’m kidding. Every single moment with the International Club.
I met my best friends there!”

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: “Melissa Growden. She’s a rock star! And she helped me get an internship working with the Pistons (free tickets, courtside every week of the internship)!”

My ultimate goal in life: “To travel. Last year, I left the country every single month. I haven’t been everywhere – but it’s on my list!”

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: “Life is about balance. Having a 4.0 GPA won’t help you if you can’t hold a conversation. Meet people and take risks. I only regret the things I don’t do!”

Matt Larson

Graduation year: 2009.

Current title/position: Director of Group Sales, Tulsa Drillers Baseball Club and Tulsa Roughnecks Soccer, Tulsa, Okla.

What Matt is Doing: His current position is director of Group Sales with the Tulsa Drillers Baseball Club (AA Affiliate of the LA Dodgers) and Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL soccer team). He is responsible for overseeing the team’s 1,000-plus annual groups and organizing youth sports initiatives. He started in January 2010 as a Group Sales assistant and has since been Assistant Group Sales manager and Group Sales manager prior to his current title.

My favorite moment/story while a student at Siena Heights was: “Winning the (SHU) name the mascot contest. Randomly entered for a class and ended up winning. The prize helped me pay for a trip to Chicago to see the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. I couldn’t be at the mascot unveiling due to having an interview for an internship.”

My favorite person at Siena Heights was: Rob Hemmig.

My ultimate goal in life: “Work for a professional sports team, and in retirement, play lots of golf!”

My best piece of advice for SHU students is: “Get involved early on! Employers look for experience beyond classes and like to see that you can balance classes with other activities. Plus it goes a long way to building your resume!”

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