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Appreciate the Things You’re Forced to Do

Advice from Thomas A. Jingoli, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration Alumnus of the Year

Campus News  |  May 10, 2016  |  By UNLV News Center
Thomas A. Jingoli

Thomas A. Jingoli, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration Alumnus of the Year (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Thomas A. Jingoli, ’96 MS Hotel Administration, is the chief administration officer for Konami Gaming Inc. Before moving to the gaming supplier side, he served as an investigative agent for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.


The advice I’d give myself as a new graduate … Remember that some of life’s best opportunities may result from what seemed like a negative experience at first. While in college, every summer my friends and I would ditch the mainland for New Jersey’s best-kept local secret: Long Beach Island, or LBI as we called it, a tiny strip of land right off the coast. It was as much a part of the year as fall and spring semesters were.

One year, however, my parents let me know that my beloved summer at LBI wouldn’t be happening. I was to get an internship instead. To appease them, I managed to secure an internship with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

That was 28 years ago and it completely changed my life. I’m now the chief administration officer at Konami Gaming Inc. I went into that internship just shy of kicking and screaming, and came out with a career path that has defined my life. That internship helped shape my work ethic and instilled in me a drive to succeed. It reminds me of something my father used to say, something that I never quite understood until the summer of that dreaded internship: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

The Alumni Advice series is part of our special 2016 commencement week celebrations, which include the annual Alumni Association Awards Program May 12, and the spring graduation ceremonies on May 13 and 14. Join us in congratulating our newest alumni on social media with #UNLVGrad.