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Name: Andrew Townson

Class Year: 2014

Hometown: Andover, MA

Major: English

Minor: Film & Media Studies

Current Job Title: Manager/Entrepreneur

Current Employer: PekoPeko Ramen

Editor’s Note: PekoPeko Ramen is located on 7 E 33rd St, a 30-second walk away from the Homewood campus! Learn more here

Tell us a little about the path from graduation to your current job/career: 

After graduation, I moved to LA to work in the film industry. I worked for about two years at a creative advertising agency that made movie trailers. The work was a ton of fun and really challenging, and I loved the experience of working in the industry and living in LA. I had always wanted to backpack across Europe, so after two years, I decided to hit the road. When I got back to the states, I wasn’t ready to jump back into the 9-5 lifestyle immediately, and somewhat serendipitously, my friend and college roommate was looking for help opening his restaurant at that time, and, having always loved food, I decided to jump on board. My original role in the opening was more marketing focused, but I soon discovered that I wanted to participate in other aspects of the shop as well, so I came on full-time as the general manager.

Any internships/pre-professional experiences at JHU?

I worked in the Admissions office for four years while I was a student, doing everything from giving tours, interviews, and information sessions to answering phone calls and helping organize and run open houses. I also interned for Universal Pictures the summer before my senior year in the Creative Advertising department where I helped design the marketing campaigns for their films (movie trailers, posters, etc.).

In what ways did your Hopkins education prepare you for your career?

The Hopkins education extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom, and I think some of the most important lessons anyone learns while at college are those one stumbles upon unexpectedly some idle Thursday afternoon. And while the critical thinking, analyzing, researching, and writing skills I practiced in the classroom have proven to be inexplicably important, the most valuable lessons I take away from my Hopkins experience are those about broader themes of adult life that can only be learned in unstructured environments, which is, I think, the best part about college life: you’re able to live and experience and grow freely in a cultivating environment with people who care about you and your well-being.

Any classes, faculty members, or involvements at JHU that helped to shape your career interest? How did they do so?

I was fortunate in that most of my professors were brilliant educators as well as overall awesome people. Being smaller departments, both the English and Film programs are overflowing with passion, and just getting to spend fifteen hours a week with the faculty and other students who share your interests establishes a level of comfort that allows you to grow and develop as a student and a person. I still keep in touch with many of my professors — and still ask their for their advice (and reading recs!)

Favorite Hopkins memory:

Spring time at Hopkins.

What about being a Hopkins student do you miss the most?

Living near all your best friends and the advantages that endow for sporadic adventures.

How did going to school in Baltimore affect your college experience and opportunities for pre-professional experiences?

Baltimore has a strong emerging food scene that I got to experience while a student here. I’ve always been interested in food, but Baltimore is unique in that you can enjoy some of the city’s best restaurants on a college budget. This was important because it introduced me to the scene I would come to be a part of and helped me see the excitement in opening up a restaurant in such a booming food city.

Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your pre-college self?

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” – Dr. Seuss