#WhitmanWatch: Gizelle Jayne Ortiz Vidal ’22

Gizelle Jayne Ortiz Vidal ’22 (WHIT/iSchool) is an individual who works with a ‘pay it forward’ attitude, which they demonstrate in their involvement at Syracuse University and the greater Syracuse area.

Vidal, from Yonkers, New York, is a dual major studying finance at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and information management & technology at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.

Vidal recalls the first time they visited the Whitman School, “It reminded me of the corporate buildings in New York City. The School felt professional and genuine. I thought I could make it my home. In choosing Whitman, I not only chose the opportunity to grow professionally, but also the ability to meet and get to know amazing people that being part of the community gives you access to.”

As a first-generation college student, Filipino-American and ally to the LGBTQ+ community, Vidal has a strong interest in global philanthropy and diversity. They share, “I have always believed that business can make the world a better place and the allocation of money can change people’s lives. It’s important to join an organization or coalition where people are working towards a common goal.”

While in Syracuse, Vidal works with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG).

NYPIRG is a statewide student-directed organization that works on a variety of socioeconomic issues such as college affordability, voter rights, and alleviating hunger and homelessness “I joined this organization because it’s important to understand how politics and regulators work since they impact business. Through my service, I have learned a lot about state legislature, budgets and the influence they have on Wall Street and global business,” explains Vidal.

This past summer, Vidal worked as a compliance analyst intern with PIMCO, a global investment management firm focusing on active fixed income management. The role allowed them to apply their early passion for law with finance. Vidal learned about the opportunity from a Brother in Alpha Kappa Psi.

Alpha Kappa Psi is the oldest and largest professional fraternity in the world and it is open to any major on-campus. Vidal says, “It’s a great fraternity because by being open to any major, you are exposed to a variety of perspectives on business. I believe that if you have more experiences to draw from, then you will reach better decisions in both life and business. There is also a lot of diversity in the fraternity in terms of race, gender and LGBTQ+ community members. The organization reflects what I want to look for in the business I will work at one day.” 

They add, “AKPsi taught me how to market my skills, as well as believe and act with confidence that I have the ability to succeed.”

Please note, this image was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and does not reflect current public health guidelines.

Although Vidal is working towards degrees in finance and information studies, they constantly seek to diversify their skills and knowledge. One of Vidal’s favorite Whitman memories is attending the EEE New York City trip. “Even though I’m not an EEE major, I have an appreciation for the type of minds that are in entrepreneurship. I wanted to expose myself to that culture and world. Being able to speak with alumna who have started their own business on this trip broadened my horizons and showed me more opportunities,” says Vidal.

On-campus, Vidal also serves as a financial accounting tutor. They explain what influenced their decision to become a tutor; “In high school, there was this notion that if you’re smart you don’t have to reach out and ask for help. I kind of just floated by until I got to an accounting class. I realized that I was struggling and needed help.” They continue, “My tutor was prepared, kind and understanding, which inspired me to be like that for someone else. I believe you should ask help if you need it and pass it on.”

Vidal’s advice to all new students; “Take advantage of the opportunities that you have as a college student. Get involved. It’s easy to just study and make friends. That is important, but also break out of your comfort zone and find things you’re passionate about.”

Vidal’s future goals include working for an organization that reflects their values and finding a role that they are passionate about, possibly in financial services or data analytics. “A less job-focused goal is to stay intellectually curious and be a life-long learner.”

Learn more about other Whitman students and their experiences.

Maya Bingaman
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