Alumni Spotlight – Jennifer Caruso '97
By Alexis Kessler ’14
Jennifer Caruso ’97 found a job at DreamWorks Animation eight years after graduating from Bradley with a degree in Sociology. As much as she enjoys her time in sunny Los Angeles, her Bradley experience seems far superior than most as it was and still is very close to her heart.
Caruso was in love at first sight when she arrived on Bradley’s campus with her high school best friend. “[Bradley had a] charming campus. Nice people, perfect size and only two hours from home…not too close, not too far.”
As Caruso looks back on her experience, she recalls it as being “wonderful” and explains that she not only received a great education, but was involved with awesome social organizations as well such as, Campus Crusade for Christ and The Molenarmy (men’s basketball fan club). Her most memorable moments were anywhere on Williams 2, Williams cafeteria, second floor of the library, SAE or The Lucky Lady on weekends. She made lifelong friends that she still keeps in close contact with. In fact, Jennifer and eight of her closest friends recently visited Bradley during Homecoming 2013.
After graduating from Bradley, Caruso moved to Atlanta with one of her best friends (and Bradley roommate) and began looking for a job. “I thought I was going to use my sociology degree to counsel children, but my career took an entirely different path. I started nannying for a lovely family, which turned out to be a major blessing in more ways than one! Coincidentally, both parents worked for Turner Broadcasting – which led to my now 15 year career in the entertainment industry.”
In 2005, Caruso made her transition to DreamWorks Animation where she’s been for almost nine years. She got her start in Consumer Products working as an assistant and worked her way up to Interactive Manager where she now manages their ever-growing video game and mobile game business. For example, their Turbo Racing League app recently hit 41 million downloads and has won two major mobile marketing awards. “We are very proud,” says Caruso with excitement.
As a typical Bradley alum, she still embodies one of Bradley’s core values – service to her community. Caruso occasionally coordinates employee volunteer projects for the studio. In recent years, she has worked with the Motion Picture Television Fund, The Junior Blind Olympics, Reading to Kids, Operation Gratitude and many other wonderful local non-profits in the Los Angeles area.
Caruso valued her time at Bradley so much that she continues to stay involved as an alumna by donating to Bradley’s fundraising campaigns and by attending alumni events in LA.
As Caruso looks backs on her time as a Bradley student, she explains that in addition to building lifelong friendships, she learned a lot about people (and herself), all while receiving a great education which empowered her to set big goals and achieve them.
Currently, Caruso resides in Burbank, California with her boyfriend of almost eight years, Rob (their celebrity name is Robifer). When they’re not teasing each other about which city is better; Chicago (where Jen is from) or New York (where Rob is from), they can be usually found in search of a new adventure – sometimes in their own backyard at a local concert, a used bookstore, or even an amusement park…and sometimes on a road trip to explore some of California’s most interesting locales.