Vanessa Dunne is an Ashtabula, Ohio native and a sophomore at Lake Erie College. She chose LEC originally because her mother is an alum of the institution. "[At first] I was not really comfortable with how close to home LEC is,” she says, "but I ended up falling in love with the College and I cannot see myself attending any other institution.”
In terms of academics, Vanessa is one of the many students on campus who begin their studies at LEC as undecided. After a year on campus of trying to figure out which one of the many programs offered here she would like to pursue as a major, she is pretty sure she is ready to declare her business major and Italian minor. She is also involved in the music program and can often be found in one of the practice rooms in Morley Music Building—a routine that led to one of the funniest experiences for her on campus so far. "I went to Morley to practice [on the] piano and I locked myself in the practice room,” she says. "My friends Nick and Emma ended up rescuing me — and they don't let me live it down!”
Vanessa enjoys the campus and everybody she has met here. "My favorite thing about LEC is the AMAZING support system,” she says. "Whether it's simply my friends coming to one of my open mics, or a member of the staff assisting me with a class or with nailing an internship, there is always a shoulder to lean on.” And she is taking full advantage of all of the opportunities presented to her on campus.
She is involved in many aspects of student life on campus—she is a Residential Assistant, a tour guide for admissions, a secretary for the Italian club Il Convivio, recruiting coordinator for the LEC International Club, a Student Ambassador, the founder and president of the Lake Erie Sounds music club, and a volunteer Storm swimming assistant. The best opportunity Vanessa has embraced so far, however, was embarking on an adventure in Los Angeles during the summer after her first year at LEC, which led her to a great internship opportunity.
While in Los Angeles Vanessa met Max Goldberg and Katelyn Benton, co-founders and owners of a social media company called Shmedia LLC (www.shmediamedia.com), a small business that helps integrate businesses into the ever-changing world of social media. "I worked mostly for Katelyn, who is an upcoming artist,” Vanessa said. She assisted in booking venues for Katelyn’s West Coast tour and Album release party, helped with photo shoots, and also got to sit in the recording studio with Katelyn while she worked on vocals for her upcoming album. "I learned a lot while I was in Los Angeles, and I feel that I'll be able to apply my experience to my own music as well as my career in the future,” Vanessa said.
Where does she see herself in five years? " I'll be 24, so in a perfect world, I would be a recording artist doing world tours,” she says. "But realistically, I would like to see myself possibly working on my master’s degree, and doing something that helps inspire individuals. Whether I would be promoting my own music career, promoting someone else's, or simply working as a strong businesswoman, I feel that my possibilities are endless!”