Jonah Salita '19
I went to HWS with an interest to learn more about advertising but I was most moved by the less traditional courses that I took such as “Puzzles and Paradoxes” with Associate Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes; “Vampires—From Vlad to Buffy” with Associate Professor of Russian Area Studies David Galloway; and “Music at the Movies” with Associate Professor of Music Charity Lofthouse. I ended up majoring in media and society and minoring in economics.
After studying abroad in Hong Kong, I spent six months applying to a little more than 1,000 international positions. I received a tier 2 Visa and moved to London to work as the creative director for a massive financial company with more than 300,000 delegates in the UK, Philippines, Australia and South Africa. When COVID-19 hit, I took an enormous risk by quitting my job, moving back to my parents’ house in Minnesota and starting my own specialized ad agency called Vasco Creative. A few months later, my Hobart classmate Marcel Johnson '19 and I co-founded a startup focused on being an approachable front door to mental health care called Diall.
The HWS study abroad program has had a prolific impact on my life. I can confidently say that without the opportunity to live and study in Hong Kong, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I am also exceptionally grateful for my time on the varsity tennis team and the transformational mentorship Coach Tim Riskie provided.
I wholeheartedly believe that Diall is going to change the way we access mental health care and my immediate goal is for every American to have Diall on their phone. I also plan to start an incubator/accelerator investing in pre-seed startups focused on the climate crisis, mental health and blockchain technology.