Some college students check into their dorms, go to their classes, do their assignments, take their tests and, four years later, collect their sheepskins. That’s it. Not Aurora Brennan ’13.
She was a different kind of student.
Which made her a different kind of alumna. Currently a resident of Hoboken, N.J., Aurora came to Wagner College from Long Island to play tennis and earn her degree.
“But after joining Alpha Delta Pi in the spring semester of my freshman year,” Aurora says, “I became much more involved in campus life: student government, Greek Senate, Panhellenic, Project Sunshine, the Marketing Club.”
Studies abroad also shaped Aurora’s future. Time studying in Rome during her sophomore year led her to change the focus of her undergraduate career to marketing and international business. Later, graduate school in Galway, Ireland gave her a master’s degree in strategic marketing.
Today, Aurora works in media strategy with Horizon Media in Manhattan — “one of the most innovative marketing and advertising firms,” she proudly says — as an associate director.
Outside the office, Aurora puts her time to the benefit of others, fostering kittens, volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (rmhc.org) — and supporting Wagner women, both students and alumnae, in the Women’s Professional Network.
“Our mission with WPN is to empower Wagner’s female community across all professional disciplines, at every stage of their careers,” Aurora says, “providing everyone with tools for a variety of situations: interviewing, negotiating salary, changing careers and more.”
The Women’s Professional Network of the college’s Alumni Association was founded in 2014, gaining focus in 2017 as a professional development initiative where students would attend “lunch and learn” seminars hosted by successful alumnae.
It was in 2017 that Aurora Brennan joined the WPN, hosting her first lunch-and-learn in 2018.
“It was wonderful to hear from so many current students,” she says. “The highlight for me was discovering that one of the students, Rina Baynes, was on the tennis team, and we have kept in touch ever since.”
In 2019, Aurora stepped up to serve as WPN’s co-chair.
“When we went remote in 2020, Aurora contacted us to see how she could continue helping our students through those troubling times,” says Nicolina Astorina, Wagner’s director of alumni relations.
Aurora came up with “Adulting 101,” a virtual WPN program to help graduating seniors chart their transition out of college and into adult life. You can watch the complete program on the Wagner College YouTube channel.
At last count, the WPN served 192 members — 112 alumnae and 80 students.
For Aurora, the Women’s Professional Network is exactly what she wishes she had when she was a Wagner student.
“I always think back to my days on campus and how I wish WPN was around so I could attend a lunch-and-learn with Lisa Bennett or Mary Caracappa,” two alumnae and members of our board of trustees, “who have always been incredible advisers and advocates for Wagner and WPN,” Aurora says.
Thank you, Aurora Brennan ’13, for helping to create the tools today’s Wagner women need to succeed!