#WhitmanWatch: Alex Straus

Name: Alex Straus
Graduation Year: 2019
Major(s): Public Relations, Economics
Minor: Finance
Emphasis: Financial and Investor Communications Emphasis (FICE)
Hometown: Doylestown, PA

For Alex Straus, it was an enjoyable four years being a part of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management family. Ironically though, he wasn’t even a business major.

“My friends for four years would think I was a Whitman student, and while I felt like I was at times, it would always be funny to break that news to them,” Straus said jokingly.

Straus, an economics and public relations dual major, served as a student employee on the Whitman Marketing Team since the fall of his sophomore year, a job that he proudly calls “the best job on campus.”

“I have worked for Elle (Spears) since the fall of my sophomore year, and can say without a doubt that the Whitman Marketing team is the best job on campus,” Straus said. “I’ve had the opportunity to interview brilliant professors about their research, and the freedom to explore topics of personal interests to me and the student body.”

As a sophomore on the team, he first learned the fundamentals of social media content creation and the attention to detail it takes to manage the school’s multiple social channels. More recently, he’s focused more on search engine optimization (SEO), social media analytics and media pitching, all subject areas pertinent to his interest in public relations.

He said he credits the job with bringing his writing ability to new heights. He appreciates the time he spent meeting with professors to understand their research. His talks with professors about their research helped him to turn complicated research topics into easily-digestible, yet interesting and insightful stories, he said. He knows it will serve him well in his pursuit of a career in healthcare PR.

“Managing the social channels for the past few years has opened my eyes to key concepts in social media marketing and analytics, which will serve me well in my job after graduation,” Straus added.

He also had ties to the Whitman School through his finance minor and the brotherhood of professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. He regularly sat in the atrium and covered events in the Whitman School, studied and wrote plentifully in the building.

While he was highly involved in and around Whitman, he also touted his passion for S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications as well. His roles as both a Newhouse peer advisor and a Newhouse ambassador were just some of his activities around campus. He also served as the business columnist for The Daily Orange and had a stint with the Public Relations Student Society of America.

He got involved on campus early with the help of Orange Seeds, a selective first-year leadership program. Looking back, Straus said he was happy that the program allowed him to break out of his comfort zone and discover new leadership abilities that he never knew he had.

In high school, the Doylestown, Pennsylvania native visited Syracuse University “on a whim,” and quickly knew that Syracuse University was the place for him after taking a tour of the campus.

“This school just has a special feel to it,” Straus said. “It’s intangible, but there’s such a positive energy around this campus that’s infectious. I immediately felt welcomed in the Orange community and know that this feeling will continue long after graduation.”

Just like he found his home in Central New York with the Orange family, Straus will join the Orange alumni family in New York City upon graduation.

“Although I’m sad to leave Syracuse, I know that my connection to the school will not end once I get to the city,” he said. “The alumni network in NYC is massive, and I can’t wait to start meeting other alumni, both for the networking opportunities and the chance the share memories about our amazing school.”

In the Big Apple, he will be returning to W2O Group, a public relations and digital marketing firm, as an Investor Relations Associate. He will be focusing on the biotechnology sector, servicing clients in the areas of cell and gene therapy, rare diseases and orphan drugs. He was an intern at the firm as a rising senior in the same practice.

He will be responsible for creating the messaging around financial situations for his client companies such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate earnings, initial public offerings and investor days. Through the Financial and Investor Communications Emphasis (FICE), a joint program between Whitman and Newhouse, he was able to familiarize himself with this line of work.

Straus used his time at Syracuse University to explore all aspects of the world, Central New York and New York City. His seemingly adventurous nature will again come out when he embarks on a month-long backpacking trip through Thailand and Cambodia after graduation. He’ll then rejoin W2O full-time in July.

Kenneth Mintz
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