PCSB and Beyond: An Interview with Dominic DeMilo ’22

PCSB and Beyond seeks to engage members of the Providence College School of Business community in meaningful dialogue about the importance of an education that combines studies in business with the Liberal Arts and other areas. The podcast is hosted by Madison Palmieri ’22, Editor for the 2021-2022 Benjamin Family Social Media Fellows. A Rhode Island native, Madison is also a Head Writing Tutor at PC’s Writing Center and an editor at The Cowl and Veritas.

MP: Hello and welcome to PCSB and Beyond, where we talk with Providence College students whose studies take place both inside and outside the Ryan Center for Business Studies and discuss how this has impacted them both inside and outside the classroom. We’re here today with current student Dominic DeMilo. Thanks for joining us today, Dominic. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

DD: Yeah. So as you said, my name is Dominic DeMilo, and I am a senior here at Providence College. I am originally from New Haven, Connecticut. I am a political science major and I have minors in business innovation and public administration. 

MP: Awesome. So, how did your combination of minors and majors come about? What made you decide on it?

DD: So I came into Providence interested in policy. I wanted to go into federal government, specifically, federal law enforcement, so I decided to come in as a political science major. That’s kind of gone to the back of my mind, though. After taking some classes, doing different clubs, and talking to certain people within the industry, I realized that it’s not for me at this time. I definitely do want to have a career in government later on in life, but I started finding different paths within the business field, hence the business minor. I would say that my decision to work towards a career in real estate at a young age was ultimately what made me decide to add business as a minor as well as public administration. 

MP: Awesome. So I know you just touched upon your interest in real estate, but are there any other particular reasons why you really like this combination?

DD: I think in any industry you need the best of both worlds. If you’re going into finance, whether it’s accounting or financial wealth management, you need a variety of different people working within the firms. I remember talking to Dean Godin once and she said that in the business world, the business people are the ones who work in the firms, and the ones with Liberal Arts and humanities backgrounds are often the ones that run the firms. That has stuck with me.

MP: Yeah, definitely. So, kind of going off of that, what has studying both inside and outside the business school taught you? Have you found that your business classes help you with your non business classes and vice versa?

DD: Absolutely. I think the internal linkage between both of them goes beyond words. For example, one of the best classes I’ve taken at PC is Public Administration with Professor Joseph Cammarano. This class has had a tremendous impact on me, especially being in business and in finance. It helped me learn how to connect with people, talk to people, and to do research before talking to people. If I’m working in real estate as a mortgage banker, I need to know how to talk to people. I need to know how to connect with realtors and attorneys. So, again, classes like Public Administration have really shown me how to improve my communication skills. And it’s pretty ironic that that was the course I took for my communication requirement here at Providence College—I kind of killed three birds with one stone, because I took it to fulfill a major requirement, a minor requirement, and a core requirement. Now, thinking about how business studies have helped me outside the business school, I would say they’ve definitely helped me become more analytical. In my real estate work, I’ve needed to look at tax returns and financial statements. As a business innovation minor, I’ve had to take financial accounting, more specifically, Intro to Accounting, which taught me how to look at PNL’s—profit and loss statements—how to look at bank statements, and how to measure someone’s net income and gross profit appreciation—really, so many different things. So, my studies inside and outside of the business school have come together as kind of a hybrid mixture and really created the perfect storm for me: a business background and a Liberal Arts background.

MP: Definitely. And I know you’ve already spoken to this a bit, but would you like to elaborate any more on how this combination of majors and minors has helped you outside the classroom? Has your program of study has led you to any unique experiences?

DD: Absolutely. Having the Liberal arts and the business background has crafted me into a great salesperson. Being in real estate, which is a predominantly older industry with many people that have been in this line of work for 10-20 years, I have to show how young and hungry I am, but also that I know my stuff. A large part of this is being able to show that I can think on my feet, think critically, and communicate with different people from different walks of life every day. That’s how being a Liberal Arts major has helped me. Also, many people sell it short, but Development of Western Civilization has helped me get to where I am now because I’ve had to put on presentations in that class. I’ve also been cold-called in DWC and had to come up with an answer on the spot. In any industry, you need to know how to think on your feet and be able to think critically because that split second is going to show whether you know what you’re talking about or not. So again, that’s how my Liberal Arts background has helped me.

MP: Would you like to speak any more to how you think this program of study will help you in your future? I know you’ve already talked a lot about it with regard to the real estate field. 

DD: Absolutely. So, I have two big goals in life. One is to open a bank, hopefully within the next 20 years. Then, after that, I really would love to be the mayor of a pretty close-knit community and develop a great school system as well as an overall great quality of living, like those of the towns that I’ve grown up in. I’ve really admired the leaders there and I want to follow in their footsteps. Having a public administration background where I’m taking classes in which I look at case studies from the past and then look at where the stakeholders involved in these cases are today has really helped me kind of get that background. Having an entrepreneurship background with the business innovation minor has also helped because I’ve worked on projects where they literally give us a piece of styrofoam and say, “okay, create something for Providence College out of this.” So, just working on various projects over a cumulative period has done wonders for me with regard to building an entrepreneurial mindset and also looking at innovation for a community as well.

MP: Awesome. So, last question for today. What do you think are the benefits of combining business and non business studies?

DD: Going back to what I briefly alluded to as what Dean Godin said, the business majors are the ones who are going to work in the firms. The Liberal Arts majors are the ones who are often going to manage the firms. I think having a wide variety of backgrounds definitely shows that you’re a diverse person. You know how to be analytical but also how to talk to people. Times are changing and industries are changing: people are remote, in the office, and hybrid. So, knowing how to balance that and talk to people from a variety of backgrounds and people from different parts of the world, and learn to talk to them in a variety of ways, is how people will become successful in the business field. Having a background where you can think critically and communicate with others while also being analytical sets people apart from others. We’re coming from a school that has a top 25 business school and top-tier academics all-around. However, we’re not Harvard, Yale, or UPenn. We have to find ways to set ourselves apart from them because their students are the ones who the JP Morgans and the Merill Lynches are going after. That being said, however, recently, these companies have been putting Providence College on their radar because of our strong alumni network and a growing recognition of the excellence of both the programs that are offered through the Ryan Center for Business Studies and the College itself.

MP: Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you so much for joining us today.

DD: Thank you for having me.