Business Management Alumna Emily Bezak Launches LLC, Wins PRSA's Entrepreneur of the Year Award Alumni Profile
Meet Emily Bezak '10
- Job Title & Employer
- Founder, Emily Bezak Writes
- Business Management
- College Activities
- The Globe, The Cavalcade Literary Magazine
- Community Service, Academic Achievement and Departmental
- Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.
- High School
- State College Area High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Writing, reading, baking and spending time with my two English bulldogs, Henry and Phoebe
"I learned through doing at Point Park, and from faculty and staff with work experience in their chosen fields. When I went to business school and climbed the corporate ladder afterward, I quickly realized my leg up on the other students and my colleagues. I worked in groups on real-world problems for years already, thanks to the experience I had at Point Park."
What have you been up to since graduating from Point Park?
I worked for a few years in marketing and communications before going back to school to earn my MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. I've worked for a few companies and had many clients of all sizes and industries. I've also served on a few boards, including Ellevate Pittsburgh, Quantum Theatre and now the Point Park University Alumni Association. I chair a committee that is deciding on awarding up to three scholarships for current Point Park students.
How does it feel to be named Entrepreneur of the Year by PRSA Pittsburgh?
It feels amazing. Even though we were unable to have the Renaissance Awards at the actual Renaissance Hotel, I can't express how honored I am to be recognized by peers in this way. This was a tough year for us all. I decided to plunge head-first into my work only months before lockdown, but I kept going out of necessity. It's really nice to be recognized for that extra hard work.
In a social media post about your award, you mentioned that you chose 2020 as the year you made your business "real." Talk about that journey, what motivated you and what you've learned.
It was quite the year to pick. I decided to follow the advice of so many before me to start an LLC for my freelance gigs and treat my freelance life as a business. In addition, I also took my own advice and marketed it through social media and a blog. This mindset shift has allowed me to hire four more contractors to join my team, including another Point Park student, and an operations manager. I started launching and creating products to sell on my e-commerce store. Over this past year, I've also learned to treat my business as an investment in the life I want to lead for myself and my family. If 2020 taught me anything, it is the lesson to be grateful for where you are and keep dishing out the good work, vibes and helping hands. It will come back around. It always does.
Why did you choose Point Park?
I attended the Summer Journalism Workshop in the summer of 2005. For one week, a group of high school students that dreamed of writing for a newspaper or magazine lived on Point Park's campus. We attended classes and seminars with guest speakers from the Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. At the end of the week, we sent our newspaper to print. I loved everything about that experience: the city, class sizes and professors. I really loved that real reporters worked at my school. Eventually I switched my major to business management, but I stayed at Point Park because it was the right school for me. Also, I never would've been able to afford college without Point Park.
In what ways did the Rowland School of Business faculty and classes impact you?
I learned through doing at Point Park, and from faculty and staff with work experience in their chosen fields. When I went to business school and climbed the corporate ladder afterward, I quickly realized my leg up on the other students and my colleagues. I worked in groups on real-world problems for years already, thanks to the experience I had at Point Park.
Aside from the education you received within the classroom, what other aspects of the Point Park experience prepared you for your career?
I had exposure to real corporate environments and executives working a side gig firsthand. It was so common that while I was working multiple jobs and in school, my professors understood and could relate. I was able to arrange my schedule the last two years of my classes to be able to only be on campus on my two days off from my full-time job. Sure, it wasn't nearly as fun as I'd imagined college to be, but I learned a lot and appreciated the camaraderie that came with so many other students and the professors working multiple gigs.
What career advice do you have for current students?
Don't underestimate a single opportunity, whether it's a class, a volunteer opportunity or a chance to do a little bit extra on an assignment. Teaching yourself to go the extra mile becomes a habit your future self will thank you for.