Spotlight on new faculty — an interview with Domenick Celentano

Interview by Kaidi Ilves

Fairleigh Dickinson University welcomes Domenick Celentano as a lecturer in entrepreneurship in the Silberman College of Business. Celentano holds an MBA in marketing from Saint Joseph’s University and a B.S. in business administration from Montclair State University.

dom celentano

FDU: Tell us more about your new position…

Domenick Celentano: My position is mostly teaching-oriented, and it involves a great deal of staying active in the business community and keeping up with marketing trends.

I teach a variety of courses in entrepreneurship, out of which the most challenging, and, of course, most interesting, are about innovation and creativity.

FDU: Why did you choose Fairleigh Dickinson University?

DC: Back in the day, a friend of mine was teaching at my alma mater, Montclair State University. They needed help setting up audio-video for doing live PowerPoint presentations for their classroom. I stayed to ensure everything went well — mind you, this was my first time back in a classroom since graduation — and the classroom dynamics ignited a passion in me. I had been teaching people for years, just not in a classroom setting — I trained most employees that came to work for my family’s business. Seeing a classroom in action, however, set the plan in motion for me. I was going to become a teacher.

One of my colleagues introduced me to Ethné Swartz, who was then the chair of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the Silberman College of Business. Silberman has a great collegiate atmosphere, and the faculty is very welcoming. The school has a feel of one big family. That, along with the small class sizes, creates a very personalized education, which is what made me choose FDU in the first place. I’ve been an adjunct for quite a number of years here, and becoming a full-time faculty member was simply a natural progression.

FDU: How did you become interested in this field?

DC: It all started with my family’s business, Celentano Bros, Inc. It’s a typical story of coming up in a company. I started as a kid, sweeping the floor, and was given more responsibilities as time went on. Eventually I became the vice president of sales. As is true with most small businesses, I learned a lot of different disciplines. I was most enthralled with marketing and public relations — my parents never liked being in touch with the media, but I found being the spokesperson of the company to be really fun.

FDU: What is something you hope your students will take away from your classes?

DC: The most important thing is to learn to teach yourself. The fields of marketing and entrepreneurship, and the world in general, are changing at a very fast pace. To keep up, be valuable, and succeed, it’s imperative to be a life-long learner. Secondly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s one of the best ways to learn.

FDU: What is one piece of advice you would like to give your new students?

DC: Network, network, network. Put yourself out there early on, practice talking to people, and take each chance you get to network with more people. The connections you make can lead to opportunities later on in life.