Student Spotlight: Salvatore Pepe ’22
Hometown: Yorktown Heights, New York
Major: Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises and Supply Chain Management (WHIT); Information Management & Technology (iSchool)
Minor: Environment & Society (A&S)
Salvatore Pepe’s ’22 (WHIT/iSchool) initial introduction to Syracuse University was a sweatshirt that he received in middle school. Syracuse University was the first school that Pepe toured during the college process. As a young high school sophomore, he had plenty of time to make decisions, but he says, “I fell in love with the campus.”
His mother told him to keep an open mind for the next year and a half, but the deal was sealed once he received his acceptance letter and revisited campus as a high school senior. “I talked to the faculty and staff. It was such an open environment and community-oriented space,” says Pepe.
Pepe was inspired by entrepreneurs from a young age, as well as technology and “the limitless potential of computers,” which sparked his interest in earning a business degree.
During the summer between his first and sophomore years at the Whitman School, Pepe combined two of his majors as an intern at Flod, an Italian marketing agency, during his Syracuse Abroad Florence program.
“My role at Flod was primarily managing client websites, social media pages and generating content. It gave me a background in managing social media on a global scale,” he says.
Nonprofit work is another area of interest for Pepe. This summer, Pepe volunteered with a nonprofit organization, Tech-CARES, based in San Jose, California. Pepe says, “We worked to help small businesses that had been closed due to the pandemic. I worked on social media and online sales strategies for businesses to implement.” One of his clients was a grocery store owner, who wanted to shift her business toward an online model.
Pepe enjoyed his nonprofit work and plans to continue. He was excited to begin the fall semester so that he could join the South Side Innovation Center and give back to the Syracuse community by helping local entrepreneurs and businesses.
Pepe’s experiences at Syracuse University have led to many opportunities, but he admits, “The double-edged sword of being at the Whitman School and Syracuse is that there are so many things to do that it’s a little overwhelming.”
He proudly states, “The Whitman School drives home that community element, and it’s so easy to get immersed. There are overlapping circles of friends and organizations. It’s amazing meeting people and finding those connections.”