Amrita Mainthia ’12 is the “Five Under Five” featured alumna in the Spring 2016 issue of the Whitman magazine. This regular column shares five questions and answers with a Whitman alum who graduated from the School within the last five years. Mainthia, a native of California earned a dual degree in marketing management from Whitman and journalism from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She currently lives in Stamford, Connecticut, and works for GE Capital as a communications manager.
Q 1. WHAT WAS A KEY FACTOR IN YOUR DECISION TO PURSUE A WHITMAN DEGREE?
I initially selected Syracuse to pursue journalism at the Newhouse School, but I quickly opted for the dual degree. I credit my father for his foresight in recognizing the benefits of developing business acumen, no matter how my career plans would take shape. Building a fluency in the language of business is critical to understanding not only the external market but also the internal dynamics within a firm. Whitman provided me that foundation.
Q 2. WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WHITMAN?
It’s the rite of passage to the Whitman degree—completing “Triple E” (EEE 457) alongside the entire senior class. Placed in groups of five, we were tasked with creating a company that we would ultimately pitch to investors at the end of semester. Teams that made it through a couple elimination rounds would present to the rest of the senior class. We spent days and weekends pining over the best ideas, refining them late into every evening…all of it leading up to that moment. I will never forget the day hundreds of us piled into the auditorium to hear our peers pitch the top ideas. It was this incredible culmination of everything we’d internalized over the past four years—promoting collaboration and teamwork, relentlessly chasing the best outcomes and learning to achieve our own versions of success.
Q 3. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WHITMAN’S MAY GRADUATES?
Seniors will get so much advice, but mine is to live in the moment and complete your bucket list. Don’t say goodbye. You will graduate with thousands of others bonded by this shared, yet unique, undergraduate experience. Close this chapter by thanking your professors, advisors, parents and friends who supported you along the way. After May, cultivate those connections. Join the local alumni club in the city in which you live. Get involved, incite change and bond over fond memories of Syracuse basketball and/or Flip Night at Faegan’s.
Q 4. HOW ABOUT ADVICE TO FRESHMEN/UNDERGRADS?
If you can, take a class that will give you a new skill. Join a club that is completely unrelated to your field of study. Camp out at the Carrier Dome (at least) once for a game. Cultivate a mentor in a professor or advisor. Do something productive every summer. Study abroad, if time and finances allow. And, head to the gym, it’s freeand that is a luxury!
Q 5. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A WHITMAN ALUM?
There’s something so wonderful about being Orange. We are part of this powerful network that stems from generations of camaraderie, tradition and excellence built on a beautiful campus. I have found Syracuse alumni everywhere, from a grocery store in California to senior executives walking the halls of GE. I can directly tie my Syracuse and Whitman affiliations to my employment today, which, in turn, has prepared me for my next transition, as I begin pursing my MBA in the coming months.