When Jake Spallina of Mt. Greenwood graduated from high school, he went from the gridiron at St. Rita to playing for the Robert Morris University Eagles. A football scholarship enabled him to attend the downtown Chicago campus and live independently nearby, but still within a comfortable distance from the family home. “I love the city,” Jake said of Chicago. “I took advantage of everything. RMU promotes the city as its campus and I really made use of every opportunity.”
The business major so obviously enjoyed his experience as an undergrad athlete, that younger brother Nick also decided to choose RMU for college. A volleyball player, Nick is within a quarter of completing his bachelor’s degree while Jake is about to finish his MBA from RMU’s Morris Graduate School of Management. In fact, Jake’s college internship led to a full-time job offer and he now works as an underwriter in Willis Tower.
The brothers share an apartment near campus as well as their enjoyment of the cosmopolitan experiences Chicago provides. They also found that the academic program at RMU combined the real world connections with the foundations and concepts learned in the classroom. “It’s a great set up,” said Nick. “You never know who you might meet or how relationships can develop. Classes are smaller, teachers and advisors are always available and because you get to know them well, they can give you recommendations that help in the job search.”
Last year, younger sister Kaci Spallina decided that the success of her older brothers was all the example for selecting a school that she needed. A cheerleader at Marist High School, Kaci made the Eagles cheer team and is currently pursuing a double major: business and culinary. “I really enjoy being involved in activities outside the classroom,” she said. “Cheer advisor Angie Caldwell was so helpful. The program includes doing volunteer work with other team members, another great experience.” Kaci also lives the same building as her brothers, but has her own apartment.
Jake, Nick, Kaci and their parents have found that Robert Morris offers the best of both worlds when it comes to college. They are close to home yet out on their own, enjoying the environment where they hope to start their careers. “A smaller school works great for all of us,” added Nick. “We’ve found that what you put into college is what you get out of it.”
And it looks like the Spallinas aren’t leaving too many stones unturned.