University College alumna Francesca Torini applies skills learned at OHIO in her career

Published: July 28, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Being a first-generation college student did not stop Francesca Torini from getting involved as a student leader at Ohio University. After graduating in 2019, she is now leveraging the interpersonal and leadership skills she gained at OHIO as a senior managing consultant for Beacon Hill Technologies, a national IT consulting company.

Torini found her job through an OHIO career fair. She started as an account executive and was soon promoted to her current position. Beacon Hill Technologies — a specialty division of Beacon Hill Staffing Group — operates across industries providing contracts and consultation. In her current role, Torini travels around Columbus and meets with company managers and leaders to sell Beacon Hill’s staffing services.

Although Torini started her college career as an exercise physiology major, she wanted to take a more expansive approach to health and wellness. So, through OHIO’s University College, she put together her own specialized studies major focusing on lifespan fitness and wellness, which allowed her to study different aspects of wellness while earning minors in biological sciences and diabetic studies.

“I decided to make my own degree and get a holistic view of all aspects that contribute to wellness,” Torini said.

Like many Ohio University students and alumni, Torini fell for OHIO during a visit to campus. Her band director in Steubenville was a former Marching 110 Bobcat and brought her to campus for Homecoming during her sophomore year of high school. For Torini, OHIO’s academic programs and the Marching 110 had a strong appeal, but it was the beautiful campus that sealed the deal.

At OHIO Torini took advantage of many experiential learning opportunities. She served as an orientation leader for Bobcat Student Orientation and worked as a personal trainer and risk reduction team leader at WellWorks. She was part of a music fraternity and business fraternity, in addition to playing trumpet in the Marching 110. Not only did Torini get to travel to the Bahamas with the Marching 110, but she also met her fiancé, Jacob Austrino, in the band. Torini said all her experiences at OHIO, from supporting new students as an orientation leader to helping WellWorks members achieve their wellness goals — and even being part of the Marching 110 — helped her learn interpersonal skills that she continues to use daily.

As a first-generation college student, Torini had to chart her course through college without much parental guidance.

“My parents were extremely supportive of me going to college to pursue a degree, but they didn't exactly know how to guide me through different challenging obstacles that most college students encounter, or where I should go to find career resources,” she said. “They really didn't know what to say or how to help me since neither of them had gone to college.”

Once she learned about the career services provided at OHIO, Torini started meeting with career coaches for resume review and attending career fairs.  

For Torini, time management was one of the challenges she had to overcome.  

“When you're in all those extracurricular activities and you have a job on top of classes, learning time management skills is so important,” she said.

The most memorable course Torini took as a student at OHIO was titled Death, Dying and Bereavement, in which students explore the meaning of death, dying and bereavement from a variety of contemporary perspectives.

“It was such a profound class. Every day we learned about the process of grief and how people deal with death and their emotions differently,” Torini said. “I think it was so impactful because the process of death and dying are taboo topics at times and everyone handles their emotions differently during that process. That class helped me in the workforce by teaching me how to handle sensitive situations with empathy and allowing me to connect with all types of people, no matter what the situation may be.”

Torini appreciated the support and mentorship of professors like Jennifer Yoder-Clevidence, assistant professor of instruction in Food and Nutrition Sciences, and Josh Christen, wellness program coordinator at WellWorks.

Torini encourages current students to get involved on campus and make the most of their time in college.

“You think it's going to be a long time, but it goes by so fast,” she said. “You kind of forget to take a step back and appreciate where you are in life and what's around you and your friends. Try as many things as you can and don’t forget to have fun.”

She also urges students to start working on their resumes early, even if they don’t know what they want to do after college.

“If you have a good resume and you can talk to people and sell yourself, I think that goes a long way,” she said.

Torini said the best part of her job is getting to meet and interact with new people every day.

“I love talking to people,” she said. “I’ve always liked discovering what makes people tick and what they like and don't like. It’s like finding the missing piece to a puzzle!”

As a new manager, Torini says she has put empathy into practice and enjoys getting to know her team members and making sure they are happy in their jobs.  

“In terms of management, I’ve found out this all ties back to the skills I learned in school,” Torini said. “So many people are different in so many ways and there's no one right or wrong way to lead people. It’s more about figuring out what's important to each individual person and running with it to help them be successful.”

Since graduating, Torini has stayed connected with her alma mater and has participated in several alumni events in central Ohio. She encourages recent graduates and current students to get involved and stay connected as alumni. She said she can’t wait to make her annual trip back to Athens this fall for Homecoming.