Ross Staszak, 33
BS electrical engineering ’10
Director of customer solutions at Helm, a Comcast company
Staszak is former head of product, now director of customer solutions at Helm, a unit of Comcast, where he worked since 2013. Helm is a platform at the center of every Comcast customer interaction. Billions of touchpoints pass through Helm daily and are shared with team members to a complete picture of every customer’s experience. Because of Helm, Comcast employees can better empathize with each customer and in the near future, systems will proactively resolve customer issues before they’re noticed. During his time at Comcast, Staszak also served from 2014 to 2016 as the lead of the Young Professionals Network at Comcast, a volunteer organization that strives to impact innovation, collaboration and exceptional business results by developing future leaders and serving the community. Staszak previously co-founded CoupedOut, an online, self-managed, merchant promotions company. He was on Philadelphia Business Journal‘s list, “Keepers: Young People We Need to Keep in Philadelphia,” in 2019. As a Drexel student, he established the first student-run business on campus, drexeldrinks.com (sold in 2010), then converted it into an experiential learning class as part of LeBow College of Business’ entrepreneurial studies curriculum. The class led to the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship’s “Launch It” course, in which students are afforded the opportunity to earn seed money and to incubate their business for a term in hopes of becoming the next great Drexel startup. Drexel’s Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship was a beacon, he says: “The leadership, energy and support to build any idea into reality was seldom matched, and the residual of this was that it set the foundation, helping me to say ‘yes’ to possibility more and more in life.”
In his own words…
My Greatest Accomplishment: Having the courage to observe myself and determine that I needed to make a change in order to grow into the person I think I want to be. Introspection, deep self reflection and seeking therapy to better understand myself, my patterns, and what contributes to my mindset — this has deeply impacted all of my relationships and how I approach the world around me. Eliminating the stigma of asking for perspective and help as a weakness and instead turning it into a strength. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
How Drexel Helped Me: Drexel traded my summers away at an early age for experience and a real paycheck, thus launching me into a semi-adult-like-reality. Achieving this vantage point at an early age helped to provide perspective and gain experiences earlier than I otherwise may have elsewhere — pointing me in directions of what I want and do not want, more quickly.
What Success Looks Like to Me: My health and of those around me is paramount…. Building and following healthy habits that provide me feelings of fulfillment and happiness… Having the flexibility to explore life more fully and nurture important relationships to be a present and supportive friend, brother, cousin and son.
How the Past Year Has Influenced Me: This was a forcing function for greater change in my life — as (expletive)ing awful 2020 was — it has helped me appreciate the beautifully simple gestures and subtleties of life by slowing down. The littlest things, “Oh, there are more birds out today!,” recognizing a smile in someone’s eyes only and the power of “hi, how are you?,” to name a few…and I truly hope these are lessons I can draw from for life. Also, I am now hooked on delivery for everything, and don’t think I will be able to break this habit.
My Top Post-Pandemic Plan: Seeing and hugging all of my family without quarantining for weeks…and then…when we are really, really, really out of the woods — a big party! Send me an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Pandemic Party Invite” if you want to come…I’m serious.