Business administration major Josiah Gennell believes in the old adage, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
“I don’t want to have a job. There are too many things that I love doing to be tied down to a job,” says Gennell, whose biggest passions are music and gaming. “My plan is to work as hard as I can to make money, and then pursue these projects and make them my main thing.”
Since learning to play guitar at age 9, Gennell has picked up piano, drums and bass — and estimates he’s written close to 100 songs. When he had to self-quarantine for two weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gennell produced and released his first song online, “Must Have Been the Way,” an acoustic pop track in the vein of his inspiration, Ed Sheeran.
Gennell and some friends also launched their own indie gaming company during the pandemic, Eclipse Entertainment. Their first game, “Favor,” is a tabletop role-playing game similar to “Dungeons & Dragons.”
“I’ve always loved playing strategy and adventure games with friends,” says Gennell, who is the business and marketing lead for Eclipse. Starting the company is “a really cool combination of doing something you love with people you know,” he says.
An honors student with concentrations in finance and management information systems (MIS), Gennell plans to support his passion projects by working as an information technology consultant. As a sophomore, he and fellow business student Greg Montemurro started a student organization called the Manning Consulting Group.
“Consulting is cool because students from any field of expertise can do it,” says Gennell, who notes that the club has drawn students from diverse majors — including electrical engineering, biochemistry and pharmaceutical sciences — “which is exactly what you want in an organization.”
He became interested in information technology after interning for a year (and then staying on an additional year as an associate) at Savior Labs, an IT security services provider in Beverly, Massachusetts.
“It was a great experience working on networks, firewalls and access points, and it led me to add a concentration in MIS,” says Gennell, who landed a remote internship at RSM, an audit, tax and consulting firm, the summer before his senior year.
Gennell grew up in a River Hawk family in Methuen, Massachusetts. His mom, Lisa Gennell ’88, is a criminal justice alumna and his brother, John Gennell ’16, was also a business major.
“I’d gone to UML hockey games and I felt like I already knew the school,” he says. “Growing up in the area, UMass Lowell always struck me as a school that was really involved with the community, which I liked.”
Gennell appreciates all the “amazing” support he’s received from Manning School of Business faculty and staff, especially Dean Sandra Richtermeyer, whom he still remembers meeting for the first time at an honors event as a freshman.
“She was so nice and so welcoming, encouraging me to get involved,” says Gennell, who went on to become president of the Real Estate Network Association and participate in the DifferenceMaker Program.
“I really took that advice to heart, and it made a massive impact on my college experience.”