Mauricio “Moe” Palli ’07 – Coming Full Circle

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Mauricio “Moe” Palli ’07 has shaped his career on building relationships with others, inspired by his personal experiences with professors and mentors while a student at The University of Olivet. He currently serves as a senior trainer for Grubhub, a mobile food-ordering company that connects diners with local restaurants. While Moe’s career path has contained some unexpected twists and turns, he couldn’t be happier with what he’s accomplished and credits his OC support system with helping him get there.

Becoming a Comet

Growing up on the north side of Chicago, nearly 200 miles from the college, Moe wasn’t familiar with OC as a student. He did, however, serve in the guidance and counseling office of his high school and often encountered information about colleges sent by institutions from around the country. Despite only being a junior, Moe felt a special connection to The University of Olivet the second he laid eyes on a pamphlet mailed to his school – something that stuck with him for the next year.

“I fell in love with The University of Olivet’s campus,” Moe explained. “From the time I sent that little information card back to the college to the first time I visited and after my graduation, the faculty and staff made it a point to stay connected with me. Coming from my hometown of Chicago where three million people live, it was so nice to experience the true small town U.S.A. feeling. At first, I actually felt awkward when people said hello on campus, but I thought it was so nice and so different from Chicago.

“The college left a great impression on me after that initial visit, but my dad and I knew it would be best to keep my options open. I considered several other big, big schools that had great programs and proven success rates for graduates, but they were just too big. I ended up realizing that for the amount of investment that goes into education, a small school with an individualized approach was the better value, and The University of Olivet was the place for me.”

Discovering Passion

Moe focused on social studies and biology with a concentration on secondary education during his undergrad studies. Upon completing his degree, he explored opportunities in the education field, including teaching, leading a tutoring center, working in college admissions and finally academic advising. It was during this time Moe also returned to Chicago and earned a Master’s of Arts in training and development, shaping the path that led him to discover his true passion.

As Moe explored teaching-related opportunities, he realized that he especially enjoyed connecting with others, much like the way he had been able to build personal relationships with his cross country and track coaches and professors as a Comet. In 2016, Moe began a position with Grubhub after spending four years refining his skills as a development and recruitment manager with H&M. Today, he serves as a senior trainer for Grubhub, developing and revising training models, working one-on-one to certify and provide feedback to trainers, and traveling to work with partner trainers in offices across the country.

Lifelong Relationships, Lifelong Impact
Moe has also had many opportunities to give back to the community at Grubhub. He was able to help pack school lunches for under served children through a a recent partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

“One of the most beneficial things I learned at The University of Olivet was the importance of presenting content in a way that works for all different types of learners – visual, kinesthetic, auditory,” Moe said. “But I also learned the importance of individualized attention, making sure students, or trainees, don’t feel like a number, and incorporating personal experiences to make learning more relatable. I had the pleasure of taking classes from professors like Cynthia Noyes, J.D., Maria Davis, Ph.D., Don Walker, Ph.D., Joel Epstein, Ph.D., Craig Korpela, Ph.D., and especially Leah Knapp, D.V.M., many of whom still teach at the college today. Dr. Knapp made learning so much fun and especially affected me. Even though I’m teaching something much different – I remember taking one particularly interesting class with her studying parasites – her teaching style was very effective and I still use it as my inspiration today.”

Additionally, Moe was a member of the cross country team as a student. He enjoyed building relationships with his teammates and coaches so much that he joined the track and field team as well, even though he says running in circles isn’t as enjoyable as taking in the scenery on a trail. Further, he was active in Greek life, pledging to the Pi Alpha Pi fraternity and serving in the organization’s leadership.

“I lived in Blair Hall my freshman year on campus, and my window just happened to face the Phi Alpha Pi house,” Moe explained. “I had a cousin who was part of Greek life back home in Illinois, and he inspired me to explore it. I felt strongly connected with the house’s ideas of family, union and brotherhood, but also, being part of Phi Alpha taught me a lot of skills that I directly applied to my career. For example, paying dues and caring for the house was a lot like running a business, and as an active member, there were opportunities for leadership development, planning events, and living and working with different people from all walks of life.”

Connect. Engage. Ignite.

It was a combination of building lifelong relationships and developing the necessary tools and resources to create a successful future that contributed to the significant impact Moe’s time at The University of Olivet had on him. In fact, Moe recently joined the Alumni Council in December 2017 to continue his engagement with the college. He strongly enjoys opportunities to connect with today’s students, including interviewing Alumni Council Scholarship applicants.

“Joining the Alumni Council has been a great experience, and I’m glad to be playing an active role on campus with Samantha Pearl, director of alumni engagement, and the other members of the council,” Moe emphasized. “As a student, I actually received a scholarship from the Alumni Council and remember being extremely nervous to interview for it because I had never done something like that before. It was really cool to be on the other side of the table and interact with students who are going through the same type of growth experience.”

Moe reflects that he is pleased to see many things have remained constant on The University of Olivet’s diverse and inclusive campus, like service learning, the abundance of experiences offered to students, acceptance of all types of people, its homey feeling and simply a culture of kindness. He is excited to be a part of propelling the institution into the future, and is looking forward to upcoming events on campus, including Homecoming. Moe is also striving to connect with more of today’s student body and hopes to help a Comet (or many!) land an internship at Grubhub.

Learn more about The University of Olivet and earning an individualized, relationship-based education, like Moe, by scheduling a campus visit or attending an upcoming admissions event. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu for questions.


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