Students named as Forbes Scholars

Courtesy of

Jack Judge

Earlier this year, 28 University students were chosen as Forbes Under 30 Scholars and invited to attend the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, a city that is synonymous with revolution. Those selected were given free access to the publication’s gathering of the world’s top young entrepreneurs and industry innovators. With more than 1,000 students selected from a competitive applicant pool, the summit’s official website notes that the main features of the experience included “six content tracks at iconic locations like Faneuil Hall and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an Under 30 Village larger than a football field, a music festival, a food festival and a bar crawl through the legendary Fenway Park.” From Oct. 1 to 4, University students were able to learn how to become the next generation of innovators.

The Forbes Under 30 Scholars Program is primarily focused on diversity and inclusion. The students chosen were juniors, seniors and graduate students in tech and business from underrepresented backgrounds. In 2016, the program’s inaugural year, Villanova had 12 students selected as Forbes Under 30 Scholars. This year saw an exponential increase in accepted students with 28 students hailing from diverse areas of the University. Villanova School of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Nursing all had students recognized as Forbes Under 30 Scholars.

“Across all of our academic disciplines, Villanova students excel in what the modern economy demands of its participants: critical thinking, creativity and the ability to execute,” said Kevin Grubb, Assistant Vice Provost for Professional Development and Executive Director of the Villanova University Career Center. “This recognition by Forbes is continued, demonstrable proof of our competitiveness on the national stage;—only 1,000 students from the nation’s top higher education institutions were given the distinction of Under 30 Scholar. Forbes was looking for game-changers and they found many at Villanova.”

The summit provided unprecedented access to “investors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, musicians, fashion designers, sport stars, cultural icons, world-renowned chefs, educators, political leaders and business icons who represent the entrepreneurial spirit of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list,” according to an official Forbes statement. Some of the speakers that shared their thoughts about inspiration, tribulation and the path to innovation included artist Kendrick Lamar, actor TJ Miller, model Karlie Kloss, olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, former Apple CEO John Sculley, among many other noteworthy industry pioneers. I was able to sit down with one of the future “game-changers,” Junior Julia Dimmerling, who was one of the 28 selected to represent the University.

Dimmerling received an email that invited her to apply and after encouragement from close friends, she decided to pursue this opportunity further. The application focused on diversity, entrepreneurship, technology and how applicants were passionate about those topics. Dimmerling was able to resonate with these overarching themes yet she had no indication of what her chances of being accepted would be. However, two weeks later, Dimmerling found out that she had been accepted into the summit and was elated. Paired with a love for technology and a desire to be a future entrepreneur, Dimmerling felt as if this selection was an affirmation that the path she is taking is leading her in the right direction for her future. “Being a woman and a math major, [this recognition] is something that I take great pride in,” she said. As she pursues her interest in entrepreneurship, Dimmerling acknowledges that there is tremendous risk that is associated with trying to implement change and innovation. The summit, however, provided transformative encouragement and confidence. “Being around a group of young, passionate and risk-taking individuals was definitely inspiring,” she said. There was a collective sense of drive and ambition to bridge the gap from the current era of innovators to the up and coming generation.” One of Dimmerling’s favorite aspects of the summit was the access she had to the people who are currently in the industry and have experienced tremendous success as well as insight in the prevailing themes. 

According to University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, Ph.D., it is no coincidence that the University students are being chosen for programs such as the Forbes Under 30 Summit. “Organizations are seeking individuals who are able to think critically and solve problems creatively,” Provost Maggitti said. “At Villanova, we seek to nurture these and a host of other highly sought-after skills in our students. The number of Villanova students honored by Forbes highlights the strength of our academic programs and our overall commitment to student success.” 

The Forbes Under 30 Summit offered compelling content, celebrity entertainment, one-on-ones with big-time investors, an impactful day of service, startup competitions and more.