#WhitmanWatch: Katherine Desy

Class of 2015
Majors: Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: South Windsor, Connecticut
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kdesy

For Katherine Desy, the opportunity to take classes in almost every major Whitman offers has been hugely beneficial to her experience at Syracuse. After finishing core and choosing majors in marketing and EEE, Katherine felt prepared and excited to take Whitman’s capstone course. “Even though I did not choose to major in accounting, finance, supply chain or the others, I still feel as though I have a basic understanding of those things,” Katherine said. “This will be especially helpful if I decide to start my own business.”

Katherine has expanded upon her marketing and entrepreneurship experience through numerous internships, including her current role as an entrepreneurial consultant for China Towne Furniture and Mattress in Solvay, which she acquired through the EEE department’s D’Aniello internship program. Katherine is helping the store to implement a customer loyalty program; an experience that she says has been an excellent complement to her EEE degree. “The company is treating me like a real equal rather than just a student,” she said.

Additionally, Katherine spent last summer as a strategic marketing intern for the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in Redlands, California, which she said has been her favorite work experience so far. In this role, Katherine was responsible for writing articles, managing social media and tackling graphic design projects for the technology company. Following graduation, Katherine hopes to either return to Esri or acquire a role in a similarly innovative and fast-thinking tech company.

On campus, Katherine is involved in Enactus as a co-project manager with Taylor Brady for Best Foot Forward, working with local incarcerated women on career development. She is also the director of academic affairs on the presidential cabinet for the Student Association, a position that she acquired at the beginning of this semester. Finally, she graduated from the Student Leadership Institute in 2014 and now serves as the operations intern for this year’s class. She also has worked in the Whitman Graduate Programs Office and as a research assistant for a Ph.D. candidate in entrepreneurship during her time at Syracuse.

Someday, Katherine hopes that she will be able to combine her skills and experience in marketing and entrepreneurship to open her own restaurant, where she can both run the front of the house and also spend some time cooking and testing recipes. “I love to cook, but I know restaurants are tough businesses to own!”

Before Katherine finishes her time at Syracuse this May, she will be competing with her capstone team in the Panasci Business Plan Competition. Her capstone team placed third last semester and hopes to use their innovative ideas to succeed in the competition, held later this month.