Mitchell Gordon ’22 left his tight-knit family in Santa Clarita, California to join a second one at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. He recalls one of his most memorable days yet as a student; “The biggest memory that comes back to me is my accounting 252 class on the first day of sophomore year. Professor Ginger Wagner, said that we are all extensions of her family, like one of her children, and she said she would do anything to help us succeed.”
Gordon speaks to the inclusive environment that professor have forged at the School; “All of the professors at the Whitman School care and want to see you succeed. Professor Wagner happened to also be the one who convinced me to be an accounting major. She encourages us to support and love one another however we can. She is the best example of what the Syracuse University community means and I strive to treat my peers with the same respect. There’s a huge family aspect that we all strive for here.”
Gordon is an accounting major with minors in psychology and communication studies. He describes why he chose his major, “I’m a huge numbers guy, I’ve always been, even in high school. I really enjoyed math and physics. Accounting spoke to me. In business, it’s one aspect that feels like there is always one right answer. I thought that I could have more of a concrete structure and potentially build my own business later in my career. Accounting is a great introduction to the business world.”
Gordon shares that he was raised by a single mother, so choosing to cross the country for his education was not easy. “My mom raised me to be the best that I can be. She was the mother and father and achieved both parental roles perfectly,” he explains.
He continues, “I decided to come to Syracuse so I can go back to California when I graduate and help my mom. She has motivated me a lot. It’s been very difficult being away from her. She didn’t want me to go to Syracuse because it’s so far but, I had to remind myself of the opportunities that are here.”
Gordon has always been fascinated with the East coast. Gordon explains, “I’ve never been out of Southern California for more than two weeks at a time. After looking at different business schools, the Whitman School caught my eye.” He reminisces, “I’m a really big Harry Potter fan and the Goodman IMPRESS Program reminded me of that when I visited. It stood out to me and seemed fun and like a different take on school in general.”
Before the Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprise career exploration trip in January, Gordon had never been to New York City. It was his first experience in the Big Apple and traveling on a train. This is just one experiential learning opportunity he has been involved in during his time at Whitman.
On-campus, Gordon stays busy as a member of Delta Sigma Pi and as a resident advisor. Delta Sigma Pi is a professional business fraternity where members work towards bettering their professional skills and networking with other business majors.
“I’m going to be a returning RA this year and I was just recently elected president of Delta Sigma Pi. Those two activities were the best decisions I made since beginning at Syracuse University. I made best friends and most importantly connections through those,” he says.
Gordon joined Delta Sigma Pi spring of his first-year. The fraternity helped him enhance his professional skills. He recalls, “I didn’t even have a LinkedIn before DSP. I have been able to learn soft skills that are not taught in the classroom.”
The organization has also enabled Gordon to get involved in the Syracuse community. One event that he enjoyed was volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.
As a resident advisor last year, Gordon lived and worked in the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship living and learning community (CIE). He planned events and learned about different perspectives by having half a floor of international student residents. Having a diverse population of residents allowed Gordon to appreciate other cultures and empathize with a variety of unique needs that students may have. This coming fall, you can find Gordon working as a resident advisor in Ernie Davis Hall.
Gordon’s short-term plan while being a student at the Whitman School is to secure an internship with Disney. He explains his other aspirations, “I’ve always been very passionate about the entertainment industry. Long-term, I’d like to be a CFO or on the finance team for a production company. The industry is always changing and innovative.”
When asked about his decisions to come to Syracuse University and the Whitman School, Gordon shares, “I didn’t know what I was getting into going to Syracuse University. It was a huge leap of faith, but like I said, knowing my end goal of helping my family and keeping that mindset helped me through the first two years. I adapted to a completely different life, which I knew I wanted, but I didn’t know if I was prepared for.”
Learn more about other Whitman students and their experiences.