David Arquilla ’13, is a 24-year-old actor, model, and entrepreneur living in New York City. Arquilla is the Chief Operating Officer for BERWA LLC, a company that manufactures ties with unique textures and patterns. The team at BERWA have built a men’s fashion brand for those ready to take their life to the next level. Two other Wright State alumni, Matt Herman and Nicholas Barrington, make up the marketing department for BERWA.
During Arquilla’s time at Wright State, he studied abroad at the University of Westminster in London, England, and spent some time in Paris and Amsterdam. “Studying abroad has added much perspective and value to my life, and I encourage other students to do the same. The experience is simply invaluable.”
Arquilla credits his family for instilling him with good values and setting examples for how hard work can lead to success.
You're very passionate about your work. Why does it mean so much to you?
BERWA is a way my business partners and I express our values and aspirations in life. We are driven and passionate about obtaining the goals we set, and we channel that in our work. We don’t take on any venture half-heartedly. We believe it is imperative to pour ourselves into whatever venture we pursue. We sell ties so we can help others achieve as well. We want to create a culture for success and self-betterment.
What (career-wise) are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of how we’ve taken a dream, and made it into a reality. It’s taken some time, but we are a well-oiled machine and have expectations for huge growth.
What did you study when you were at Wright State? Any classes you particularly enjoyed?
I studied finance at the Raj Soin College of Business. I particularly enjoyed the portfolio management class taught by Adjunct Professor Thomas Mangan. It provided hands-on experience into the real world of investing and portfolio management. Professor Mangan is a top-notch manager, and I am grateful to have had him teach me. I also enjoyed Marketing 303 with Professor James Munch. He gave me my foundation for the ways companies and brands operate. I wanted to double major or minor in marketing, but it was not advantageous for me at the time. His class drew me in. His teaching method, the concepts, everything was relevant to real life. I know this even more now as I apply his concepts today.
Any professors that were influential to either your work or your life?
I enjoyed chatting with Professor Gressis outside the classroom. He is a very wise man and knowledgeable about life. We would talk finance, politics, culture, and life in general. My yoga teacher Matt McCormick was influential. He taught me how important it is to have the body, mind, and spirit working in harmony. Finally, the former dean, Berkwood Farmer, influenced me quite a bit. His story as a businessman is admirable. I was very grateful to be a member of his Student Advisory Board. I also enjoyed chatting with him about golf.
What would you say to current Wright State students who are interested in a similar profession?
My advice would be to start a business while in college. See what the market needs or what product or service you can get behind and sell. I find the classes in college are quite valuable and I am grateful to have learned the scope of knowledge I did, however, applying what we learn in class to life is the goal. There is nothing like testing the concepts from the classroom in a real company to see what works and what doesn’t.
Finally, I say build relationships, because the people you meet will be the ones who help take you where you want to go. Put pride aside and don’t hesitate to seek out advice from others. We can’t achieve what we want in life by ourselves. We have to know when to ask for help.
Tell us about your next project. What does the future hold for BERWA?
BERWA is undergoing exciting changes right now. We just received the shipment for our summer collection of ties. We will be doing photoshoots to showcase them before they go on sale. Also, come this fall our CEO, Francis Berwa, is moving to New York City. He and I will be able to elevate the brand much further by living in the same place. Austin Sprouse, CFO of BERWA, will be moving to Frankfurt, Germany to continue to pursue his finance career. He will be able to spread our brand in Europe and, when the time comes, expand to the Middle East through our contacts there. As for myself, I will continue to build the brand in New York City and continue to pursue my careers as an actor and model. My intention is as I get more exposure for my acting and modeling work, I can showcase BERWA more and the brand will expand. We will take BERWA to the red carpet in the future