For Kyle DeRiemer '09, going to college was an uncomplicated prospect. It was simply what was expected as the next step in his life.
He was attracted to Chestnut Hill College for a variety of reasons – its small size, good financial aid package and its status as a Division III school, for which he would end up playing tennis for three years. He was part of the second class to admit men, and CHC's male-to-female ratio of 1 to 5 was a fact that didn't hurt his considerations.
He laughs as he remembers his decision-making process. "My high school was all boys, and the ratio at Chestnut Hill was a big factor."
And then he learned what attending CHC is really all about:
"I had no idea what was coming," DeRiemer says. "CHC opened a lot of doors for me academically and socially. I'll always be close with the friends I met there, and the things I learned there put me on the right track, career-wise.
"You have no idea when you're a freshman that any of this is on the horizon. Looking back you say, 'I'm really glad I did that!'"
DeRiemer's position as an RA at Chestnut Hill helped him get his first job after graduation – at his old high school, Church Farm School; a boarding school in Exton, Pa. For three years, he was in charge of one of the dormitories, substitute taught and coached tennis.
His current position, as an account executive at the University of Arkansas, was acquired thanks to the internship he did for two years for the Philadelphia Soul, an arena football team.
"They liked me so much there they promised me a job after graduation," he says. However, the league took a year off from play in 2009, and the Soul took a second year to reorganize, so the job wasn't ready when he was. Then, the Soul called him in 2012. He resigned from Church Farm School and ended up working for the Soul for another two years.
Today he works with the University of Arkansas athletic department to get people out to the games, thanks to that experience with the Soul. He works on behalf of all the sports that play ticketed games – football, basketball, baseball and more. As he says, he has to be flexible in order to adapt to cover all these sports and the different fan bases for each.
"I always consider how I would want to be dealt with if I were a fan," he says. "I just offer the best customer service possible and treat everyone the way I would want to be treated."
The communications and technology major still holds his original dream of getting into some form of sports journalism. As the president of the TV Club at CHC, he helped produce a weekly 20-minute news program, covering events around campus and around town, a position he loved and hopes to replicate somehow.
As he talks, it becomes evident how important CHC was, and still is, to him.
"I wanted to go somewhere where the teachers would know me, and even though I knew the classes at CHC would be small, I was still surprised by how small they are," he says, adding that sometimes he was one of only 10 or 15 in a class.
"That was mind-blowing, but small classes allowed for the type of help you can't get in a large class," he adds.
And he remembers one professor, especially. Kim Leahy, Ph.D., joined CHC as the director of the communications department before his senor year, and made a lasting impact on him. "She was so hard, but I learned so much. She made you better in the classroom," he says. "You'd think you couldn't pass a test, but there was no way you couldn't pass it when she was done with you.
"Still, today, I remember specific things I learned in her class. She helped in so many ways."