#WhitmanWatch: Melinda Rivera

Class of 2015
Majors: Marketing Management, Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises
Minor: Public Communications
Hometown: Bronx, New York
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melindarivera1

Last summer, Melinda Rivera discovered a passion for the television industry when she had the unique opportunity to intern with ABC Family as a part of the Disney ABC Television Group in the ad sales and integrated marketing department. She obtained the internship with the help of Whitman alumnus Chad Bender, who she met as a sophomore on Whitman’s Marketing Exploration Trip and kept in touch with throughout the following year. When Melinda’s summer with ABC Family was over, she still hadn’t had her fill of the company—so she decided to return over winter break to help out around the office, explore the different departments and establish connections with even more of her colleagues.

With a culture and environment that aligns with her goals for her future workplace, Melinda hopes that her internship experience with ABC Family will lead to a job after graduation working in the digital or sales department. “Since the industry I want to get into is more need-based, I have to wait until my time is up at SU,” Melinda explained. “But the future is looking pretty promising!”

On campus, Melinda serves as the vice president of administration for the inaugural Whitman Student Government, taking initiative with the rest of the leadership team to strengthen the Whitman community. She is also the vice president of media for Enactus, and previously worked on the 3fifteen Project to enhance the experience of the thrift shop’s customers. Additionally, she works with incoming and prospective students as a Whitman ambassador and an orientation leader. “It was been such an enriching experience being able to spread my never-ending energy and positivity to students who are new to campus,” Melinda said.

In fact, since Melinda arrived on campus herself for the first time, she said Syracuse has felt like her second home. “Everyone was so welcoming, happy and filled with energetic orange spirit that it completely won me over,” she said. “I applied as a Whitman student and I didn’t know what to expect, but that warm and positive energy didn’t stray when I came to Whitman’s accepted students event that day. I automatically knew this is where I belonged.”

For incoming Whitman students, Melinda stresses the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing challenges, even if it feels uncomfortable at times. “Life wouldn’t be life without some bumps in the road, so embrace the failures and push yourself a little further every time after that,” she said. “You won’t regret it and will accomplish more than you thought you would!”