Alumni of the Week: Dani Alderman ’15

DaniAldermanWhen I transferred to Whitman in the first semester of my sophomore year, I had no idea what I wanted to major in or what I wanted to do in terms of a career path. Surprisingly, I enjoyed my introductory accounting and finance courses, but I couldn’t envision myself sitting at a desk all day. However, I wasn’t particularly interested in my marketing or supply chain courses, either, so I felt unsure of where I wanted my focus to be as it came time to declare my major.

In the fall of my junior year, I went abroad to London. One of the classes I took was Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. I became intrigued by the way EEE made me think about things in a different way and apply the various concepts I enjoyed in other classes in a more comprehensive way. My professor at the time was in the middle of taking his own business to market so he truly understood the processes and could teach in a relatable, real-world manner. I was excited about the possibility of bringing what I learned into an internship. I was also worried about finding an entrepreneurship-centered internship, as most of my friends were in finance or marketing, which had more clearly defined paths.

Once I returned from London, I started an internship with the local digital marketing firm, Terakeet. I was placed on a startup within the larger organization on a team of three. As the team was small and they needed all hands on deck, I did everything from social media to content writing to helping define the company culture. It was great to take the principles I had learned in my entrepreneurship classes into a real startup. Although I hadn’t enjoyed marketing in a classroom, I learned that working in a field can be very different than what you learn in a semester-long course.

The experience at Whitman that truly solidified my decision to work for a startup in the marketing arena was EEE 457. Although the class is thought of with dread by some Whitman students, I loved it. My professor, Peter Scott, challenged me in so many ways and brought me to the next level in terms of seeing the holistic view of a product/service that I created. I refined my skills in giving elevator pitches, writing my ideas into a business plan, and leading a team with different ideas, goals and strengths. I learned so much from Professor Scott and this class that I use everyday in my work at EverTrue.

Being a Syracuse alum is incredibly valuable in building connections. I would love to help any current students with internships, jobs, etc., especially because I know I wouldn’t be working for an amazing company without the help of professors and other Syracuse alumni.

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Dani Alderman
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