Chad Bender graduated from SU in 2005 with a dual degree in finance (Whitman) and television, radio and film (Newhouse). Ten years later, he is the director of digital revenue planning at ABC Family. He credits his SU connections to almost every job he has had along the way.
His senior year, a Syracuse alumnus sold Bender on the General Electric Financial Management Program (FMP). He completed four different rotations within the company while visiting campus every six months to recruit for the program. Another fellow alumnus led him to a position at NBC Universal where he worked for three years. And, with the help of a fellow alumnus and FMP graduate, Bender joined Deloitte Consulting.
His love for media took Bender to the position at Disney where he determines robust pricing strategies and packaging to entice advertisers to spend across all of ABC Family’s digital and social platforms. “It is a dynamic and growing industry that constantly provides new and interesting challenges,” said Bender.
Bender readily professes the value of his SU connections, and it is important to him that the benefits are mutual. “I am grateful for the doors Syracuse has opened for me. I have had mentors from SU provide invaluable career guidance to me, and I strive to do the same for our younger alumni and current students.”
Bender continues his connections in many ways. “I find mentoring especially gratifying. One of my mentees started a social media company, and others have joined me at Disney through internships and full-time positions.”
He is a founding member of the rebirth of the Whitman NYC Alumni Club and former treasurer. “It is rewarding to see how the club has grown into a conduit for alumni to meet and engage socially and professionally.”
Bender’s continued connections go beyond alumni and students. “Associate Professor Emeritus Ted Wallin was one of my favorites at Whitman. He was passionate about teaching and took a personal interest in students’ success. We are still in touch 10 years later.”
For current students, Bender emphasizes the importance of diverse experiences, experiential opportunities and forging their own connections. “Get to know the faculty, staff and your classmates, and, by all means, network,” he urged. “Reach out to alumni for informational interviews, job shadowing or even a cup of coffee. You never know when your SU connections might change your life.”