Trailblazing Students Take on Newly Established NYC Abroad Program
JULIA DANAN '21 originally planned to study abroad in a more traditional sense this spring by going somewhere in Europe, but when she heard that the Whitman School was starting NYC Abroad, a program allowing students to work and study in New York City, she jumped at the chance to be a part of the experience.
After being accepted into the program, she began working at France-Amérique, a French bilingual publication. There she was tasked with selling advertising for the company’s semi-annual directory of bilingual schools and immersion programs. Born in France but raised in New York City, Danan had the advantage of speaking French, making the internship a great fit for her.
The internship is only one piece of the program. She also takes three other courses—two online and another in the city through the NYC Abroad program—to keep her on track as a junior majoring in supply chain management at the Whitman School. It was the internship and the opportunity to be in the Big Apple, however, that really drew her to apply to the program.
I LOVE THE CITY. I KNOW I WANT TO COME BACK HERE AFTER GRADUATION, AND THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD MY NETWORK.” —Julia Danan
“I love the city. I know I want to come back here after graduation, and this isa great opportunity to build my network,” she says. “New York is very fast-paced. You’re always running; you’re always busy. It’s just something I love.”
Danan, who is proud to be a first-generation college student, thrives in the atmosphere and is proud to be a trailblazer as one of the first Whitman students to participate in the NYC Abroad program. The excitement does have its challenges, though.
“I admit the work is a lot harder than I expected,” she says. “It’s a full-time job, and there are classes on top of that. But it’s not impossible. You just have to stay really organized to make sure you get everything done.”
Danan has clearly been successful at that, surpassing her goal by selling $27,000 in advertisements for the March 2020 publication. Her supervisors were so impressed that they asked her to extend her stay after the semester ends to work on the August 2020 school guide, too. And, while the internship may not seem like a direct link to her major, she knows she is gaining valuable experience.
“In supply chain, you have to collaborate with your suppliers and create connections all over the globe,” she says. “As an intern here, I am always dealing with new people and advertisers, often in France, and also creating new relationships, which is much the same as creating supply chain collaborations.”
JI-WOO PARK '21 is also participating in the NYC Abroad program this spring, although he has taken advantage of a slightly different path, concentrating on 15 credits of classwork, while also working at a flexible internship at Aflac insurance company. While he spends a great deal of time studying in New Jersey, where he lives with a host family, he still has the excitement of frequent trips to the Aflac office in Manhattan.
Park transferred to Whitman from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to pursue finance and marketing. He wanted an abroad experience that would allow him to complete the credits he needed this spring semester to graduate on schedule in May 2021. Originally, he had plans to study abroad in Hong Kong this spring, but the political strife there gave him and his family second thoughts. So, when he heard about the NYC Abroad opportunity, he changed his plans quickly, appreciative that the University made it easy for him to make the sudden switch.
I AM A BUSINESS STUDENT, SO I WANTED TO BE IN A PLACE WHERE I COULD POTENTIALLY BE WORKING AFTER GRADUATION.” —Ji-Woo Park
Aflac allows him to work around his class schedule. He is, however, required to complete a health insurance course to prepare him for the state licensing exam. He is excited to work in the heart of Wall Street across from the New York Stock Exchange. If all goes well, he will be ahead of his peers at the completion of his internship with a universal internship health and life insurance license from New York State.
“Joining the NYC Abroad program is a decision that I stand behind,” Park says. “I am a business student, so I wanted to be in a place where I could potentially be working after graduation. Being in the mindset of New York and learning how to balance life and be an adult has also been tremendously helpful. And I know I’ll have the opportunity to network with others from Whitman and all of Syracuse University when I’m here now and in the future.”
SARAH BOULOS '21 grew up in Fayetteville, New York, just minutes from the Syracuse University campus, but she never expected to attend the Whitman School. However, after spending time on campus with her older sister, Boulos decided to apply. After receiving the Whitman Leadership Scholarship, this local girl knew that Whitman was an affordable and realistic option for her to pursue a double major in finance and economics.
Little did she know that just a few years later, she wouldn’t be studying so close to home. Today she’s in New York City working at a very busy internship at Goldman Sachs.
“I knew my internship was going to be a great experience and that I’d be thrown into the fire,” she says. “I’m doing equity research at Goldman, where I follow a group of 22 stocks in the retail industry—places like Macy’s and T.J. Maxx.”
Boulos joined Goldman Sachs in the middle of the earnings season, so she immediately began working “crazy long days” of 12 to 15 hours. “As the intern, I like to get there before everybody and leave after everybody,” she says, intent on making a good impression. “It’s very exciting and interesting, and there’s always something to learn.”
Right away, Boulos also got involved in a huge project for a major retailer, where she’s working on a stock pitch, building a whole model and forecasting and creating an investment thesis, which, at the end of her internship, she will present to senior analysts at Goldman Sachs. This type of project, if successful, may come with an offer of employment after graduation, so Boulos is keeping her fingers crossed.
I KNEW MY INTERNSHIP WAS GOING TO BE A GREAT EXPERIENCE AND THAT I’D BE THROWN INTO THE FIRE.” —Sarah Boulos
Another perk is the opportunity to interact with Whitman alumni. Steven Kron ’95, managing director of Americas Equity Research at Goldman Sachs who is also responsible for recruiting students out of the Whitman School for the internship experience, has been extremely helpful to her.
“I credit everything to him; he’s a great resource,” she says. “He really pushed me to apply for this internship. He’s a super busy guy, but the first day I was here, he sat down with me for 20 minutes and assured me that it was going to be a great experience.”
Boulos encourages other Whitman students to apply to the NYC Abroad program, and she has some words of advice, too.
“Be selective with your internship,” she says. “You want to make sure it is challenging and pushes you. Make sure it will teach you something. I love my internship and am learning something new every day. It absolutely warrants spending an entire semester away from campus. It’s a great experience that will help propel your career.”
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