Class of 2017 Outcomes: Ben Lonza Explores Entrepreneurship, Opens his Restaurant


Name: Ben Lonza

Hometown: Brielle, New Jersey

Major: Lonza will graduate with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship on May 6.

Post-graduation plans: Lonza will enter the workforce as the owner and manager of his own restaurant, 1st Ave Pizza, in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. As the owner and manager of 1st Ave Pizza, his responsibilities will include making the food, ordering supplies, opening and closing the restaurant, etc. In addition, he will be handling business development, managing employees and working diligently to make certain the restaurant is maintained to code. 

How HPU helped you get there: “From the very beginning, I knew that HPU would prepare me with the education necessary to become successful. So far, I am on track to accomplishing the goals that I set for myself, and I know I wouldn’t be on this path if not for the experiences I gained at HPU. 

The Career and Professional Development Team  inspired me to explore a career path and opportunities that interest me. They helped me build a resume that reflected the type of work I wished to pursue. In addition, they were always available to answer any question that arose. Career and Professional Development Services is tirelessly committed to seeing that every student who comes to them gets the help they need to end up where they want to be after graduation.” 

Most impactful mentor at HPU: “While every professor at HPU has been incredible to learn under, the one who stands above the rest is Kathryn Elliott. Professor Elliott was one of my biggest inspirations to pursue a career as a business owner. With an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience, Professor Elliott guided me through the process of purchasing 1st Ave Pizza. I can say with confidence that I would not be in the position I am in today if not for the never-ending aid and support I received from her.

Most impactful moment at HPU: “Some of the most impactful moments at HPU occurred while attending Dr. Qubein’s freshman seminar classes. Learning about the hard work Dr. Qubein put into his own business career was truly inspiring. I still think about how Dr. Qubein taught himself new vocabulary words every day in an effort to master the English language. It is no wonder that he has become such a gifted and inspirational speaker. He’s taught us that with a willingness to learn, one is able to achieve any dream imaginable.”

Advice for underclassmen: “While the idea of a great post-graduation job often includes wearing a suit and tie and working in an open platform, new age design office. I will be in a hot kitchen wearing a t-shirt and an apron every day. And, I honestly could not be happier. My advice for underclassmen on how they can be successful after graduation is to never overlook the non-traditional route. Success will come if you follow your own path, no matter where that takes you.”


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It may be early in the semester, but Commencement will be here before we know it. Many High Point University seniors are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. View more extraordinary seniors from the Class of 2017 here.

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