One morning during his summer internship at General Motors (GM), Kenneth Mintz was walking toward the elevators when he heard a “ding” from the executive-only elevator shaft. The doors slid open to reveal a smiling Mary Barra, the company’s CEO, who invited Mintz and a few of his colleagues to come join her. In classic elevator small-talk fashion, Mintz told Barra about his internship and how thankful he was to Syracuse University for getting him to this point.
Looking back at his short exchange with one of the country’s most powerful CEOs, Mintz said he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I just get so happy when I have the chance to talk about my school because this place has done so much for me,” Mintz explained.
Although Mintz credits Syracuse University for much of his success, particularly the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications where he dual majors in finance and public pelations, Mintz might just be the perfect example of the adage, “you get out what you put in.” His recognition as both a Whitman and Newhouse Scholar is a reflection of this.
Between the challenging Newhouse/Whitman dual program, leadership positions in multiple on-campus organizations, and an internship every summer, Mintz has kept himself busy during his four years at Syracuse University to say the least. Landing his dream internship at GM last summer was an indication to Mintz that his hard work was starting to pay off.
As a financial communications intern at GM’s headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, Mintz had the “surreal” experience of working during the second-quarter earnings process, which solidified his interest in financial communications as a career path.
“GM challenged me to learn and work harder than I ever had before,” said Mintz.“Whether it be the preparation of earnings materials late into the night or calling a Wall Street Journal reporter to pitch a story, I couldn’t have imagined a better learning experience.”
A highlight of the summer was working on a media pitch alongside fellow intern and Whitman/Newhouse dual Matthew Feldman.
“We positioned GM’s internship program as a leading tech internship, attracting the best of the best from top engineering schools,” explained Mintz. “We pitched it to the Detroit Free Press, one of the most popular city newspapers, and landed a front page story.”
Just as his studies have been a synthesis of finance and public relations, so has Mintz’s involvement on campus.
Mintz started writing for the Daily Orange during his first semester, and has written for the highly-acclaimed student newspaper on and off throughout his college career. Since the fall of his junior year, Mintz has served as VP of finance for the Newhouse School’s William P. Ehling Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
As for his involvement in the Whitman School, Mintz has been Whitman ambassador since the spring of his freshman year, a role he knew eventually wanted to have after his impactful visits to Whitman as a prospective student himself.
“It’s fun telling everyone about how amazing Syracuse University can be for them, but I think the best part is simply helping prospective students make the decision that is right for them, whether that be SU or elsewhere,” said Mintz.
Mintz also works for the marketing department at the Whitman School, where he helps to manage the school’s social channels, writes content for the Voices news website and covers events happening around the school. Despite initial qualms about joining the team over the time commitment, looking back, Mintz couldn’t be happier with his decision.
“I realized there is no better way to have a tangible impact on the school I like so much than to help behind-the-scenes to help make it run smoothly,” said Mintz. “I’ve really enjoyed being able to take what I understand about the student experience and tailor marketing tactics to reflect what students want and need.”
In his spare time, Mintz enjoys spending time with his brothers of Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), Whitman’s professional business fraternity. He says that choosing to join DSP was the best decision he made in his college career.
“DSP has its many perks for business and life, in general, but the friendships I’ve made through the fraternity have given me a base of people that I can go to for anything,” said Mintz. “This is an organization that helps students to grow professionally and personally and I don’t know what level of growth I would have attained without it.”
In addition to his dual majors, Mintz also participated in the Financial and Investor Communication Emphasis (FICE) offered between Whitman and Newhouse, which he thanks for opening his eyes to a new career path. After graduation, Mintz will begin his career at Weber Shandwick as a Financial Communications Junior Associate in New York City.
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