Elise Gasbarrino (BBA ‘07) is an account executive at Burberry, a fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur, and the founder and executive director of the Pink Pearl Foundation, which supports young women with cancer. Alma Matters recently sat down with Elise to catch up.
Q: What have you been doing since graduation?
A: During my final year at Laurier, I attended exchange in the UK. I had always loved to travel, but the experience ignited a new desire to live in other countries, not just visit different places. Since then, I have worked in Australia, completed my Masters in Italy and for the past 7 years, I have lived in NYC. My career took me down the fashion route – I’m currently working at Burberry where I oversee the wholesale footwear business for the Americas and manage parts of our wholesale Canada business. With an entrepreneurial drive that I first developed at Laurier, I started an accessories line, GEMM, and recently launched a blog, STYLE.CA. My passion project for the past three years has been my charity, the Pink Pearl Foundation.
Q: What was the most memorable part of your BBA experience?
A: The extracurricular activities were by far my most memorable times at Laurier. I was a part of WLUSU, Alpha Phi and ACE Laurier (now known as Enactus). With ACE, I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil and Mexico to consult with local businesses. Our projects were quite successful and we were chosen to represent Canada in the world competition. The people I meet in these groups are still close friends today.
Q: How has your BBA helped you in your career?
A: My BBA has had a huge impact on my development. It's a combination of what you learn in the classroom and the opportunities that exist outside of the classroom, such as ICE Week, that really set a Laurier BBA apart from all the rest. Laurier BBA taught me how to be a leader and a team player at the same time.
Q: What's next on the horizon?
A: I would love to see my own projects take off and be profitable businesses that make a positive impact on the community. I look back on the time that has passed since graduating and I honestly don't think I could have imagined all that being packed into almost 10 years. Needless to say, I'm excited for what the next 10 years hold.
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