I can’t believe that, at one time, Syracuse was not my dream school. Prior to college, I had my sights set on attending another big Division I school. Quite honestly, I did not know much about Syracuse when I applied regular decision to be in the Whitman/Newhouse Dual Program. I wanted to go to a school with strong academic and athletic programs, a quad and lots of school spirit. I was waitlisted by my dream school and Syracuse. I matriculated to a school that did not fit my personal requirements and was devastated.
When I received a call in the middle of May during my senior year of high school from Carol Heil, director of Undergraduate Recruitment for Whitman, extending me an offer to Syracuse, I had to give it a chance. I am so happy I did. I never looked back.
The introductory and business class SOM 122 shaped my college career. The semester-long group project and my SOM 122 professor, Ray Wimer, were the cornerstones of my time at Whitman. I ended up majoring in marketing and management and minored in public communications in Newhouse. The minor allowed me to have the ability to take communications classes without taking two different core class loads.
While at Syracuse, I was involved with Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity, through which I made some of the best friends of my life. I also served as a Whitman ambassador and a SOM 122 peer advisor, as well as a member of U100. When I returned from studying abroad in London, I took a position as a global ambassador.
As the summer between junior and senior year approached, I was conflicted between a business or communications internship. I ended up interning with IBM’s Consulting internship program, Consulting by Degrees. The rest is history. I was extended a fulltime offer before I even started my senior year– not because I loved implementing technology solutions, but because I loved the people I worked with and aligned myself with IBM’s culture and values. When choosing an internship or job, it is important to align with the people and values of the company. When work can seem overwhelming, it is important to have a strong support system in place.
As a consultant, my role changes every few months. I love that I am always meeting new people, traveling, developing new skills and learning random miscellaneous fun facts about companies and cultures. I learned more about myself as I worked on different projects–things I like to do and those that I prefer not to do.
Regardless, my perspective on the importance of having a strong network to support you stands true. It gets you through the good times and the bad. The group projects, internship and global initiative requirements at Whitman helped better prepare me for the challenges of working for a global corporation. I encourage all students to learn from their Whitman professors and embrace the ambiguity that awaits them in the real world. Absorb as much as you can and be flexible as you navigate your career path post college. Best of luck!