Alumni Center for Entrepreneurship Frank G. Zarb School of Business Marketing

Climbing the Ivy Tower

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Shortly after he graduated with a BBA in marketing, Frank G. Zarb School of Business alum Alec Polsley ’16 landed a job at Ivy.com, a social, cultural, educational and professional networking group.

“The mission of the company really stuck out to me: creating the first ‘social university.’ A mission and community of lifelong learning, unique experiences, and social impact — incredible,” Polsley said.

Ivy.com is a membership organization that is designed to connect young professionals from a wide range of fields, with a curriculum that focuses on arts, entrepreneurship, policy, well-being and social impact. Every month, Ivy members are invited to gatherings such as salon discussions with distinguished speakers, art nights, cocktail and dinner parties, film screenings, theater and symphony performances, fitness and wellness activities, and getaways.

As a business development associate at Ivy, Polsley works with world-class brands and partners to help elevate Ivy’s events.

“We work with partners such as Cadillac, Ted Baker, Johnnie Walker, Samsung, and many more,” Polsley said. “I also coordinate with hundreds of partners to give special benefits and deals to our membership community. I’m currently building the digital sponsorship arm.”

During his first week on the job, Polsley met Mike Dubin, founder of Dollar Shave Club. “It was incredible to hear from an entrepreneur who took such a simple concept, applied a little innovation, and then sold it for over $1 billion,” he said. Polsley has also attended speaker nights with Iron Chef Morimoto and the founder of FEED, Lauren Bush.

While he was at Hofstra, Polsley was president of Hofstra University Start-ups, lead ambassador for the Zarb Student Development Program, vice president of Pi Kappa Alpha, a finalist in the Hofstra CPXi Venture Challenge, and the first student assistant at the Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Alec personified entrepreneurship when he was a student at Hofstra,” said Mark Lesko, vice president for economic development who oversees the Center for Entrepreneurship. “Perhaps more importantly, Alec mentored and advised dozens of students at Hofstra about entrepreneurship and startup companies.” And as an alum, he continues to do so. Last fall, he came back to the Frank G. Zarb School of Business to speak to current students.

“I enjoy coming back and helping students in any way I can,” said Polsley. “If they can learn from my, and other alumni’s, mistakes, they can excel at their careers much faster.”

Advice for current students?

“Gain as much real world experience as possible,” he said. “Class is great for foundations, but 90 percent of your knowledge will come from experience.”

And, at the risk of sounding cliché, Polsley advises students to “do what you love. You spend most of your life at work, so make sure every day has a purpose.”

About the author

Marilou Giammona

Marilou R. Giammona | Content Producer, University Relations | Hofstra University | marilou.r.giammona@hofstra.edu | (516) 463-6907

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