Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning


Austin Tolentino

Austin Tolentino
Economics and Marketing

Last year, I came to Loyola with a long shot idea about improving the public art space but no expectation to tie that endeavor into my academic experience. However, Dr. Neier’s encouragement for me to explore the venture through research was the thread I needed to seamlessly interweave my learning goals and long-term aspirations together. So I still cannot be more thankful enough for the opportunities to work with her as my mentor and to receive the Social Innovation/Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship. From that, I got the chance this past summer to present a poster of my research proposal at the Macromarketing Conference and receive invaluable feedback from researchers around the world. Alongside the service learning experience from Dr. Neier’s marketing research class this fall semester, I am learning how to conduct a netnography. More importantly, in designing my own netnographic study, I have realized how crucial curiosity is to engage this research meaningfully. Knowing how to ask burning questions will not only allow me to thoroughly understand a community but also to make sense of my own experiences as I collect and analyze the data. My hope is that my curiosity, developed through this research, can go far enough to make a positive, social impact. In general, the experience so far has definitely inspired me to pursue a career in research.