Forbes fifth annual “30 under 30” list was recently published, featuring 600 leaders from 20 different business sectors. From game developer Tommaso Checchi, to artist Demi Lovato, to Facebook advisor Dipayan Ghosh, the list is filled with young, successful individuals who are innovators in their respective industries. This year, two DePaul alumnae were listed on Forbes’ prestigious list.
Jordan Pierson, 29, named under Marketing and Advertising, graduated from the Driehaus College of Business in 2008 with an e-business degree. After DePaul, Pierson went on to study at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Following this, she became the manager of eCommerce at Hilton Worldwide. Currently she is a product marketing manager at Google. In Forbes’ article, it is listed that in 2014 Pierson won two Google Marketing Platinum Awards, along with a Google Marketing Gold Award in 2015.
Ashley Ruhl, 28, named under Games, graduated from DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) in 2010 with a degree in animation. Ruhl is now a cinematic designer at Telltale Games and has contributed to games such as “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones: A Telltale Gamer Series.” While at DePaul, Ruhl was active in DePaul Fundamental Research in Academic Gaming (DeFRAG) and credits the club for “opening her eyes to the blind spots in her education” when introducing her to Game Developer’s Conference (GDC). Ruhl was also a contributor to the CDM’s award winning game, “Tuning Fork.”
Ruhl emphasized the importance of finishing projects and creating a reel that is made of more than just classwork in order to show one’s ‘personal investment’ as advice for current CDM students.
“Be flexible with your perception of your skills and job description. Don’t get your heart set on the moon and then get disappointed when you don’t get there right away,” Ruhl said. “Every new experience can be a stepping-stone to your dream job.”
Since Forbes’ “30 under 30” article was published, several students said the news pushed them to continue their hard work.
“This makes me feel so much more inspired and motivated, knowing that I could be where they are in 10 years. It makes me want to work even harder,” Emma Wallace, a freshman in DePaul’s College of Business said.
“It’s not a secret that DePaul, and specifically CDM, have incredible programs. The facilities, the faculty, and the resources we have available even as undergraduates set us up for success in many ways. This just proves that, but (Ruhl’s) success specifically goes a step further,” said senior in the College of Computing and Digital Media, Tori Meschino.
“Speaking as a woman in CDM, this is huge and amazing news. We make up roughly 25 percent of the population in CDM. It’s hard to retain girls in these programs when we’re so isolated and industry standards reflect that,” Meschino said. “That’s what makes (Ruhl’s) accomplishment that much more special: she is a woman in STEM kicking major butt out there in a male-dominated field and helping pave the way for women like her to follow their dreams.”