2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Rene Vorilas, Binghamton University

Rene Vorilas

Binghamton University School of Management

“I am extremely passionate, light-hearted, and true to myself. Hardworking, but not always too serious!”

Fun fact about yourself: I started my first company when I was just eight years old, where I hand-made duct tape flower pens and raised $2500 for St. Jude’s Children’s research hospital! My second company came into existence when I was twelve, where I made dip-dyed shorts and called my company Swag Shorts!

Hometown: West Islip, NY

High School: West Islip High School

Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership & Consulting

Favorite Business Course:

LEAD 353, Strategic Leadership. This was the most challenging course I have taken as a student  at Binghamton, but easily my favorite. Our group of five students worked as consultants for a local  non-profit organization, the Endicott Performing Arts Center. We had strategic coaches to guide us along the way, but watching a small business benefit from the fresh ideas of the brightest students really opened my eyes into non-profit work, and made me fall in love with consulting!

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  1. Founder and President of Binghamton Business Fashion Society: After noticing a lack of resources for students wanting to pursue careers in the fashion industry and finding an internship at Brooks Brothers on my own, I founded the Business Fashion Society with a friend. Today, we have over 100 members, and help so many students connect with resources for internship applications, data in the fashion industry, virtual speakers, and more.
  1. President of the Binghamton University Hellenic Cultural Society: This is my second year as President for this amazing cultural organization that spreads the love for Greek culture among the student body at Binghamton. I have grown the club from 52 members in my first term to over 200. I am fueled with passion behind this club, which makes it so much easier to lead.
  1. Vice President / Consultant of the National Hellenic Student Association: As if being the President of two organizations was not enough, I took the role of Vice President in 2020 for this organization that covers all of North America’s Hellenic societies. I got to meet people from over 50 member-orgs and planned and executed virtual events during COVID-19. I currently serve as a Consultant for the organization, as my upcoming graduation date allows me to better assist in such a position.
  1. Women of West Islip: I am the youngest member of an all-women’s group in my hometown, where we hold fundraisers and provide assistance to families and individuals in our local communities whenever needed. I have helped them organize meetings with my knowledge of technology and have streamlined many of their actions with the knowledge learned throughout my college career.
  1. Dean’s List Fall 2018-2020, Spring 2018-2020: I have maintained a 4.0 GPA in the School of Management for the past 4 semesters.
  2. CEO/Founder of Dio Alpha Co.: I founded a high scale hand-painted denim jacket business where I have successfully placed stock in multiple boutiques across Long Island, balancing this among my 4.0 GPA, and roles in leadership.

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Protiviti, New York City, Consulting Intern
  • Brooks Brothers, New York City, Digital Marketing Intern
  • Lighthouse Financial Network, New York City, Compliance Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? I have accepted a position as a foundations consultant at Protiviti after my graduation.

What company do you admire most? I strongly admire Tesla. The reason being is for its forward-thinking leadership that is really initiating and pushing for the widespread use of electric vehicles. I have a strong passion for the environment and always had, as one of the companies I ran from 2015-2019 donated profits to endangered species. I think that Elon Musk is truly pushing for much needed advancements in society, and I am excited to be on this earth during such an amazing time of inventions.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business was that if you do not have passion, you will not succeed as well as someone with passion. As a leader for organizations that have to do with Greek culture and fashion, I have the utmost passion for those two things. This passion has allowed me to spearhead into any challenges that I face, get excited each time something succeeds, and lead in ways that rub off on my fellow members. When doing a 360 review, I asked people who I had worked with what my best quality was. Each individual, ranging from a leader, peer, and subordinate, mentioned that my passion shines through in my work and spreads to others. Knowing this now allows me to realize that I must work in a field that I am passionate about, so that I can be the best leader possible.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would tell this student that if they work hard and genuinely want to be successful, they will succeed. Many people think that business is “easy,” or that it’s a second/third/fourth choice.  What I have learned is that if you make connections with your professors, come to class prepared, and take time out of your day to go that extra mile, you will succeed and everything else will fall into place.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I came into the University as a Pre-Law major, thinking that I would end up a lawyer. After just one year, I realized that my passion truly lied within all of the things I had been doing my entire life (running companies, fundraising, etc.). What has surprised me the most about this major is how many amazing people there are out there, with goals that surpass the ones that I marked as crazy for myself.

I remember meeting my executive coach for LEAD 353, who told me that his goal was to retire by 25 or be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company… He graduated in 3 years from BU with 5 majors! I was so taken aback, because prior to majoring in business, I had never met such determined and passionate individuals that are truly motivational. And in addition to this, they are all willing to help! I still keep in contact with this coach, and he has become one of my close networking contacts.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? The one thing I would have done differently is truly to have applied to SOM right out of high school. I was not sure where my life would lead me, and I missed out on many opportunities not being in the freshman class of SOM. I would have loved to have the opportunity to be in Scholars, or to have gone to classes with individuals my age during S-Core and J-Core. However, I know that I am where I am supposed to be now, and that is all that matters to me!

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I think the academic achievement that I am most proud of is maintaining a 3.98 GPA throughout my entire career in SOM. I have successfully perfected the skill of time management, allowing myself to be President of two organizations, VP of another, CEO of a company, while still making time to focus on school.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is Zachary Rigano. Zach recently graduated with his MBA with an amazing GPA, as well as his undergrad degree. The reason I admire him is because he had to go through the tragic loss of his father in 2019, and shortly after, his best friend took his own life in 2020. These two events are most people’s biggest fears, yet Zach continued to be resilient, hard-working, and never complained a day about it. It truly amazes me to see how he has gone through his time as a student with these tragic life events, yet he continued to push through and ultimately receive a full time offer at an amazing company.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my father most for my success. My dad raised me to be a strong Spartan woman, one who never gave up and understood what success meant. I remember him repeatedly talking about success to me, and one quote stands out: “Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” My dad had this engrained in my brain since I was able to talk, and it truly created a mindset for me. Coming from an immigrant family, my dad worked his way up from nothing to a successful businessman. This led to him raising his children with a similar mentality, always making us aware that we needed to work, and that life was not about handouts. Regardless of my family’s economic status, I have been working on the books since I was 15 years old… A pizzeria, a diner, a pre-school, a hair salon…always understanding the true value of hard work. I truly am grateful for each of my grandparents for moving to America in order to provide for a better life for my family.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Ultimately work for myself.
  1. Take time for my family and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

What are your hobbies?

  1. I sew! Over quarantine I hand sewed over 200 masks for free and donated them to nurses, the marines, essential workers, and more.
  1. I play the ukulele! And sing. I used to be very involved in musical theater as a kid and, to this day, I am self-taught on the ukulele and continue to sing for close friends and mostly, myself!
  1. I sell my clothes! I have had a Poshmark account since 2012 and have over 10,000 followers. I resell my clothing and accessories and it truly brings me joy!

What made Rene such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Vorilas on her desired career goals throughout her time at Binghamton.In addition, I have collaborated with the Business Fashion Society, a student-run organization founded by Ms. Vorilas with the goal of creating internship and job opportunities for students interested in working in the fashion space. Ms. Vorilas demonstrates true leadership as evidenced by the many organizations that she founded (including a fashion clothing brand, and self-designed clothing and accessories line) and serving as President of Hellenic Cultural Society (focused on increasing awareness of Hellenism and Eastern Orthodox religion on campus). Ms. Vorilas is great at pulling people together and identifying resources to achieve her goals. She has passion and puts 110% into her work, and is able to juggle a full-time course load while maintaining an impressive GPA. Ms. Vorilas is extremely driven and philanthropic, as most of the proceeds from the organizations she is involved in go toward communities in need. Ms. Vorilas is compassionate toward her peers and enjoys collaborating with others. She has a real entrepreneurial mindset! I am proud of everything Ms. Vorilas has accomplished during her academic career. She will most definitely continue to shine as she starts her professional journey!”

Carolyn Schapiro
Director of Internal Operations, School of Management Career Services


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