LeBow Freshman: Marissa D’Elia

Story Highlights

  • A stellar freshman in a new class that is already making a stellar name for itself.

It’s Not Always Business As Usual

It can be easy to associate a business degree with ambition, entrepreneurship, or countless keywords in the heap of business jargon we know so well. And the class of 2018 is full of ambitious entrepreneurs — that is for sure. But there are also audiophiles, philanthropists, gender equality advocates and even diehard Gossip Girl fans. Marissa D’Elia, a marketing major from Chalfont, Pa., is no exception. In fact, she’s all of these things.

According to family lore, Marissa D’Elia’s first words were “I want to go to college.” Marissa was a go-getter from birth. She never wanted to sit at the kid’s table. She wanted to talk to the adults. She was competitive. Not so much with others as with herself.

“I spent every year trying to outdo myself,” Marissa says. “I definitely took any chance to show leadership, whether it was in a reading circle or kickball.”

Through grade school and high school, when most parents drive their children to work harder, Marissa’s parents actually tried to convince her to scale back and enjoy the journey just a little bit more. But here’s the thing: Marissa can’t enjoy the journey unless she’s making noise. In fact, she only discovered her passion for entrepreneurship by way of her first love: rock and roll. What began as admiration for local artists — including Balance and Composure, Daylight and The Menzingers — turned into an admirable business for a budding entrepreneur.

By her junior year, Marissa ran her own record label, Follow and Feel Records, out of her childhood bedroom. The label pressed a total of five digital and CD releases before Marissa put the operation to rest to focus on her new found extracurricular occupation as a booking agent. She even booked a three-day charity event at Siren Records, a famed Landsdale, Pa., alternative music hot spot, to support the Doylestown Soup Kitchen, Guitars for Vets and Hurricane Sandy Relief.

This all happened before high school graduation.

“Music used to be just something that was for myself but when I realized all the ways I could get involved I really took every opportunity I had and ran with it,” she says. “I also have a lot of confidence that I can be successful with enough elbow grease and that has really been the key in all of my experiences. All of these qualities together have led me to be an entrepreneur.”

Making Noise at Drexel

Now acclimated to college life, Marissa hasn’t wasted any time getting involved and making a difference. She was recently asked to co-found a Drexel chapter for Vision 2020, a national coalition devoted to promoting women’s economic and social equality. True to character, Marissa is already working to plan documentary screenings, workshops to teach pay negotiation tactics and self defense classes.

“I put a lot of emphasis on creating a great environment so I tend to commit to things that work towards the goal of making a better community,” Marissa says. “As competitive as I am, I’m also hopelessly caring and aim to make some aspect of someone’s life better by whatever I do.”

Marissa is also completing a work-study assignment as a research assistant for LeBow’s management department — a job that is helping to hone her study skills and add some experiential learning outside the classroom. So far, the experience has been so positive that Marissa is considering adding a co-major in business analytics — not to mention a minor in entrepreneurship.

Marissa hasn’t even been here for a full term and she’s already proven that there’s no such thing as business as usual here at Drexel LeBow.

Just think where she’ll be by graduation day.

Marissa’s Balance Sheet

Favorite Band: Iron Chic
Favorite Album: Not Like This — Iron Chic
Favorite Song: “Every Town Has an Elm Street” — Iron Chic
(OK, we’re seeing a pattern here)
Guilty Pleasures: Gossip Girl and Taylor Swift (Says Marissa: “Tayor Swift is mostly my little sister’s fault, but we all have a teenage heartbreak waiting to burst out in bad love songs”).
Favorite Film: The Devil Wears Prada (“Because Meryl Streep is perfect”).