Working toward your degree while building up your career may seem rather ambitious to the average undergrad, but at Drexel University, it’s the norm – and at Goodwin College of Professional Studies, the rule rather than the exception. John “Jack” Rome ’16 is a great example.
Not only did the Goodwin alum recently graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies, he also took his stage experience to a new level. Performing at Drexel’s Spring Jam Saturday, May 21, 2016, Rome, a rap artist and songwriter, was billed alongside Grammy®-nominated DJ Steve Aoki – a feat that he credits to the connections he’s forged at Drexel.
“I've had a good relationship with Drexel's Campus Activities Board (CAB) since my first year at Drexel, having been a student performer at several different events, from contests to concerts,” Rome explains. “This year I could show them that I was not just a student performer, but a professional performer and artist in my own right. Building that relationship with a really supportive organization like CAB helped me get to where I am now,” Rome says. “I think that if you (an artist) can show others that you are sincere and dedicated, it goes a long way.”
The interplay between academia and career is not lost on Rome, who goes by the stage name “Jahn Rome.” His choice to major in General Studies was freeing and rewarding, he says, because it allowed him to focus on excelling in what he’s passionate about. “The actual content of my music is fueled by so much of what I learn in school,” he attests. Rome frequently revolves his rap lyrics around issues in philosophy and gender that he encountered through his studies, providing him with a foundation for articulating his ideas through his songwriting. “My education is so important because it gives me the tools and practice to work with these difficult and challenging ideas,” he notes.
Rome also embraced the flexible and customizable nature of the General Studies curriculum, which gives students the opportunity to earn undergraduate credits from several different departments across Drexel. “It doesn’t box you in and it doesn’t tell you what to do. For a lot of us, that can be a scary idea,” he says. “But I wouldn't give that up for anything. Coming to this major was one of the best decisions I've made.”