2020 Whitman Scholars

Whitman Scholar Headshots

2020 Whitman Scholars

Each year, Whitman Scholars are chosen from the senior class through a competitive selection process. To be considered, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.65 and a demonstrated history of engagement and leadership at the Whitman School and Syracuse University. On the following pages, the 2020 Whitman Scholars share their thoughts on the experiences they have had and the knowledge and skills they have gained during their time at Syracuse University.


Jacey Adler

Hometown: East Northport, New York
Majors: Retail Management/Information Management and Technology
Future Plans: Business Technology Analyst, Deloitte

The Martin J. Whitman School of Management has become so much more than a place where I attend class. Over these last four years, it’s become a place that I call home. The intellectual curiosity is contagious and truly inspires me every day to learn and grow. I thank Whitman for helping me find my voice, for challenging me to think outside of the box and for supporting me on my journey to reach my full potential. Each day, I am challenged to be better, whether it be by professors, classmates or friends. I am extremely grateful and humbled to be surrounded by so many intelligent, like-minded individuals who push me to be my best.”


Nick Barba

Hometown: Baldwin, New York
Majors: Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises/Finance
Minor: Information Management and Technologies
Future Plans: Program Manager, Blackstone LaunchPad, Syracuse University

Whitman taught me many things, but most important was that making meaningful connections with people is far more valuable than any assignment or lecture in class. I am an amiable man, one who thrives through frequent and genuine interaction with others. Whitman has given me that space to meet new people, learn from them and grow as an individual and professional. And the combinations of majors I pursued taught me a lot about risk, so I’ve learned the impact and necessity of risk in decision-making. Taking calculated risks is part of my DNA; Whitman helped me realize that.”


Ethan Carlson

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
Majors: Finance/Accounting
Future Plans: Investment Banking Analyst, Vista Point Advisors

Whitman’s exceptional extracurriculars have served to help contextualize what I’m learning in the classroom, so not only have I learned the fundamental, textbook definition of concepts and formulas, but I have actually experienced implementing them in the real world. The program that made the biggest impact on me during my time at Whitman was the Orange Value Fund. It not only allowed me to truly discover my passion for finance; it has helped me to develop skills that are integral to be successful in the financial services industry. The real-world experience I gained by assisting in managing its $5.5 million portfolio set me apart when applying for postgraduate opportunities and put me miles ahead of my peers within the industry in terms of preparation and experience.”


Michael DiNardo

Hometown: Thornwood, New York
Major: Supply Chain Management/Psychology
Future Plans: S&OP Department, Danone North America

Whitman introduced me to new opportunities that I never knew existed in the business world, including supply chain management. Through Whitman Core, I fell in love with the concepts, and I immediately knew I wanted to focus on it. I also love that Whitman requires all students to complete at least 50 hours of community engagement because my involvement with the City of Syracuse has been one of my favorite experiences over the past four years. In order to get a well-rounded education, I believe that volunteering time with an organization within our community really helps put things into perspective for students who spend most of their time on our beautiful campus.”


Meilin Feng

Hometown: Changchun, Jilin, China
Major: Accounting/Applied Mathematics/Public Relations
Minor: Data Analytics
Future Plans: Assurance Associate, Ernst & Young

Whitman imparts the most essential values of business in its students — integrity, collaboration and courage. With the interdisciplinary curriculum of my triple majors, Whitman has been the ideal school for me to integrate knowledge sets and skills into the application of solving complex business problems and challenges. Whitman provides immense resources. I personally wanted to take on certain challenges and found the resources to be far more than I could have imagined. When I reflect on the past few years as a Whitman student, I feel proud for raising my hand for opportunities. Ultimately, I am confident that I lived up to the trust of people who believed in me.”


Sarah Ferranti

Hometown: Camillus, New York
Majors: Accounting
Future Plans: Assurance Associate, PwC

Being from just outside this city, I had not originally considered Syracuse University, but I am so happy that I looked further into Whitman. It has been a great experience for me and has allowed me to grow both personally and academically. From my first day here, I had professors and mentors that I know have made a lasting impact on me and have made my time here special. I worked in the Visitor’s Center as a Whitman Ambassador, and this has meant so much to me because I was able to introduce prospective students to a school that has given so much to me. I hope they have the same wonderful journey here that I have had.”


Ian Gordon

Hometown: Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Majors: Finance/Real Estate
Minor: Applied Statistics
Future Plans: Capital Markets Analyst, Chatham Financial

In addition to the great education that I received, Whitman has provided me with networking skills, interview skills and countless opportunities to build a vast alumni network. After attending several major panels, alumni presentations and the Frankel Scholar networking trip to New York City, I was able to gain a much better understanding of what different career paths entail and choose the niche area of finance that I found most interesting. Outside of the classroom, Whitman’s emphasis on community service has allowed me to dedicate over 400 hours as an EMT, driver and emergency dispatcher at the Syracuse University Ambulance.”


Sandhya Iyer

Hometown: San Jose, California
Majors: Marketing/Public Relations
Certification: Fashion and Beauty Communications
Future Plans: Pursuing a Position in Fashion Sustainability

Before my first year, I never considered the possibility that I could be a successful businesswoman, but Delta Sigma Pi made Whitman a home for me, my classes challenged me and my professors encouraged me. Over the last four years, I have not only had the chance to immerse myself in traditional marketing concepts but have also learned more about the art of storytelling and effective troubleshooting, as well as how to best present myself and my ideas in a professional setting. All the fulfillment and growth I’ve achieved from being pushed beyond what’s comfortable has inspired me to continue pursuing things that challenge me and defy personal expectations.”


Mike Kosuth

Hometown: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Majors: Accounting/Finance
Future Plans: Investment Banking Analyst, Deloitte Corporate Finance

Coming into Syracuse University, I knew I wanted to study finance, but I was unsure where I would end up. I had the opportunity to visit New York City twice through the Whitman on Wall Street and Frankel Scholars programs. Being able to meet alumni and visit various companies allowed me to understand my interests and explore different career paths. Being able to go on these trips and experience classroom concepts in a real-world setting helped me determine where I want to be in my career. I am thankful that Whitman has such a tight-knit community with a strong focus on collaboration because it may be the most useful skill after graduation.”


Bridgit O'Donnell

Hometown: White Plains, New York
Majors: Finance
Minor: Information Management and Technology
Future Plans: Technology Risk Advisory Staff, Ernst & Young

I transferred into Whitman after my exploratory first-year, where I took classes in various colleges at Syracuse University. Through this, I discovered that Whitman had the programs in place that would give me the path to my intended career. The faculty and staff at Whitman have acted as a huge support system throughout my time at Syracuse University. I needed a place that would allow for my hard work and dedication to pay off and make a positive impact on the surrounding community. Whitman and Syracuse University have equipped me with the resources and skills to grown intellectually and thrive in every aspect of my life.”


Alyson Weber

Hometown: Glencoe, Illinois
Majors: Supply Chain Management
Minor: Food Studies
Future Plans: Sourcing Analyst, General Mills

Whitman has the oldest collegiate supply chain program in the country, and the department’s dedication and investment in students’ overall development is evident. The close relationship I have developed with each of my supply chain professors allowed me to take advantage of their expertise and gain a deeper understanding of my strengths and interests within the field. They gave me the confidence to believe in myself even when there were challenges. They taught me that how I respond to those challenges is part of what will define my success as a student and future supply chain professional.”


Jiebin Alex Zhu

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Majors: Finance/Information Management and Technology
Future Plans: Business Analyst, Wayfair

The people at the Career Center at Whitman are truly amazing with what they do in getting students prepared for careers after graduation.I am a very career-driven person, and Whitman provided me with the resources to help attain my goals. In addition, the rigorous courses that I’ve taken have taught me how to think outside of the box constantly. My Financial Modeling class is a great example, as it helped me shape my thinking process, which will be very beneficial for me in the future. Being a part of Beta Alpha Psi since my sophomore year greatly impacted me to become who I am today. I have met some of my closest friends in college within this organization, and they are the ones who motivated me to become a more successful version of myself.”