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my pace


Career Preparation

Running Cross Country and a Business

Brianna Cano '13
Lubin School of Business
Westchester Campus

Just recently, Fox 5 Good Day New York featured Twist and Smash'd, a restaurant co-founded by Brianna Cano ’13 and her father. Not only is Cano the Executive Director of the establishment, but she is also a recent Pace University graduate and former student-athlete.

"I chose Pace because they had an outstanding reputation and the Lubin School of Business had so much to offer incoming undecided freshmen. I also loved the idea that I could take classes at the Manhattan campus. Another major factor that led me to Pace University was that I could continue my passion to run cross country and track and field competitively at a Division II university."

Cano was a member of the women's cross country team from 2009-2012. She set her best time on September 15, 2012 during the LIU-Post Invitational 20:21.98 and placed 7th out of 81 runners during the Ramapo Invitational on September 21, 2012.

"Running cross country and track and field at Pace helped keep me focused and organized," Cano said. "Running kept me motivated to do well in the classroom while becoming a leader and role model for my teammates."

Outside of competitions, two faculty members Cano recalls making an impact were Professor Paul Kurnit and Zach Dayton. Kurnit currently serves as a Clinical Professor of Marketing, while Dayton is an Assistant Athletics Director of External Operations.

"Paul Kurnit and Zach Dayton were very influential my senior year. They were always challenging me to try new things and think outside the box. This is something I carried away with me leaving Pace and led me to open a new business with my father."

Cano was also involved in the Advertising Team at Pace University. Ad Team is an intensive, hands-on learning experience where all students in the class function as part of an advertising agency.

"One of my fondest memories studying at Pace was being a part of Ad Team my senior year," Cano commented. "Some of my most vivid memories were the late nights working on the campaign and preparing for competition. That experience prepared me and taught me the real meaning of teamwork and dedication. Ad Team operated like its own corporation and exposed me to a whole new world as a senior in college."

After earning a marketing degree in advertising and promotions, Cano and her father went on to open Twist and Smash'd in November 2013. The quick serve restaurant that features innovative french fries is located in Forest Hills, New York. They are expanding the business quickly as they plan for a Twist and Smash'd Sports to open in Long Island City, New York during the summer of 2014. Cano enjoys the various components working in an ongoing changing environment.

"The career I choose is very complex and has a lot of moving parts so I have had the pleasure learning and creating in many different areas like menu development, menu testing, interior design, graphic design advertising and much more. I love the fact that there are no limits or routine to this business. Every day is something different, there is always some way to make improvements and new innovations to implement. The best part of my job is going into Twist and Smash'd and working at the counter and serving the guests. I love seeing my work come to life."

So what would she tell today's student-athletes on transferring a prosperous collegiate career into that of a successful entrepreneur? "Remember you are a student first and then an athlete. Take advantage of all the resources and facilities that are available at Pace."

Alumni Profile


“I chose Pace because they had an outstanding reputation and the Lubin School of Business had so much to offer incoming undecided freshmen.”