Student Spotlights

Sam Pratico

‘The best of both worlds’

MS in Project Management, College of Professional Studies

Sam Pratico comes from a family of entrepreneurs. His mother descends from a long line of Aroostook County potato farmers. His paternal grandfather owned an Italian deli, his dad a financial advisory business. “The small-business spirit was instilled in me from a young age,” he says.

At Colby College, Pratico competed in business competitions, including Greenlight Maine, the state’s version of Shark Tank, with a high-end fermented cold brew. Now he and a friend are working on an accessory to help people learn to play the guitar, one of Pratico’s consuming passions.

A lifelong Mainer, Pratico has worked around the state, including at a Portland startup called Forager, and as far away as Australia. He has often wrestled with whether to leave Maine to work in a big city, but Maine always wins the “location over vocation” argument, as he puts it. He’s betting that the Roux Institute’s graduate programs in tech-forward fields will lead a lot of young people to make that same decision.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” Pratico says: He can widen his career options in Maine while coupling courses with assignments at Portland-area companies.

Pratico chose the Master of Science in Project Management to learn to manage technical projects. As someone whose interests range widely, he believes his new skills will open doors to a variety of industries. In the fast-paced digital economy, adapting to changing trends and consumer demands will be crucial, he says.

“I love the idea of being able to move between different projects, companies, or products throughout my career,” he says.