A Leap of Faith
Choosing to finish my degree at John Cabot University was a huge leap of faith – and it was the best decision of my life! My name is Ray Bartolomucci, and I am an Italian-American from Pleasanton, California. I started my college career by accepting a scholarship to play Division One baseball in Indiana. However, after two years, I concluded that I simply wasn’t happy, and began searching for something else. I felt burned out, and realized that I could do more with my life than just play baseball. After spending some time looking at schools online, John Cabot University popped up on Google. I clicked the link, took a leap of faith, and before I knew it I was packing my bags and on my way to Rome. Luckily, JCU accepted most of my credits, which was a huge relief during my transfer process.
As an Italian-American, I knew that attending JCU would be the perfect opportunity to get in touch with my Italian roots. During my three years in Rome, I was reunited with my cousins and re-connected with my family’s culture. I cannot express how rewarding it was to live, work, and study in a country that I felt so connected to. My most vivid memory of my Rome experience was just walking the streets every day and thinking to myself in awe, “How did I get here?” Every single day I woke up grateful for this amazing experience, and for the memories I was making along the way.
From JCU to CEO
Along with an excellent cultural experience, the academic atmosphere at John Cabot ignited my fire for entrepreneurship. If you want to own your own business someday, I would strongly encourage you to reach out to Professor Silvia Pulino. She instilled in me a passion for entrepreneurship. More specifically, I would advise you to reach out to the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship and start brainstorming ideas that can realistically become a business one day. Choose your own future; don’t let others dictate what you are capable of! Although my main academic focus was business-oriented, I also enjoyed many other courses, and one of my favorites was actually Counter Culture in America with Professor Lanzone.
Life after graduation has been different but refreshing. Upon graduating, I felt ready to enter the real world. I saw this as my opportunity to start working to make money, but also to begin my own business ventures. After returning to California, I began managing my dad’s Italian restaurants. At the same time, I became cofounder and CEO of Roopairs LLC in August of 2017. I have been managing all facets of the business, which means I have a great deal of responsibility.
Working two jobs was tough, but I needed money to fund my own business projects, and I was happy to return to the restaurant industry; I had helped in my father’s restaurants from a young age. However, as of three months ago, I took a leave of absence and moved to San Luis Obispo to begin the Cal Poly Summer Accelerator program. Cal Poly chose eight businesses to join their Summer Accelerator Program, and I am so grateful that our company made the cut. They provided us with a free office space, connected us with leading mentors, and even wrote us a check for $10,000. I can honestly say that my degree in Business Administration truly prepared me to start my own business after graduation. It’s thanks to my JCU education that I am where I am today.
In an era of tough competition in the business world, I’ve learned that an entrepreneur must have resilience. Starting a company is a real roller coaster. There are so many obstacles that continue to present themselves, but it’s how you overcome these obstacles that makes you a successful entrepreneur. My advice to any fellow Business Administration majors out there would be this: follow your heart. Do things in life that make you happy. Work hard. Don’t wait for someone else to make your dream a reality.
Class of 2017
Business Administration Major
Hometown: Pleasanton, California, USA