Matt Feldman ’19 isn’t afraid to take a leap of faith. He’s lived on his own and covered baseball in Cape Cod for a summer, took time off from college for a semester to work in supply chain for a fortune 100 company and spent three months in a new city working for one for the largest auto manufactures in the world. And he isn’t done yet.
Feldman’s first big leap of faith came from choosing to attend Syracuse University over four years ago. He grew up in State College, Pennsylvania, and he’s one of the only kids from his hometown to attend Syracuse University.
“You’ll be a lot better off if you take risks,” he said. “I think the risk actually started in coming to Syracuse.”
Coming out of high school Feldman thought he wanted to be a journalist. After visiting Syracuse University and attending a Whitman School information session on a whim, he saw the immediate benefits of studying both business and communications.
Feldman quickly discovered his passion for supply chain management and public relations. During his sophomore year, he heard about a unique opportunity at Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a fortune 100 pharmaceutical company. If selected, Feldman could take six months off from school to complete a supply chain co-op in one of J&J’s New Jersey locations.
Feldman decided to give it a shot and apply. It was a good decision; after a couple of interviews, J&J offered him the co-op. Then he had to decide whether it worth the risk to withdraw from school and set himself back an entire semester. After weighing the pros and cons, Feldman decided to take a chance and do the co-op.
While at J&J he worked on the ordering team for Kroger, a major grocery store chain, and managed millions of dollars in inventory on a daily basis.
“That’s the kind of experience you don’t get in the classroom,” he added.
For the summer of his junior year, Feldman received an offer to do supply chain at another Fortune 100 company. But, he decided he wanted to try his hand at public relations. He set his sights on General Motors.
He interviewed and got an offer to do public relations with the advanced technology team in the company’s Detroit headquarters. The advanced technology team represents the cutting edge of the auto industry ranging from GM’s autonomous vehicle initiatives to electric and hybrid cars. Once again, he took a chance and accepted the internship.
During his time at GM, Feldman got the opportunity to drive a fully electric vehicle and ride in a self-driving car for the first time.
“The coolest part about the auto industry was getting to have hands-on experiences with these vehicles we were communicating about,” he said.
For one of Feldman’s intern projects, he wrote a press release about Cadillac and the next week he got to drive a Cadillac CT6.
When Feldman got back to campus for his senior year, he knew he wanted to pursue public relations. He applied to dozens of public relations jobs within big companies.
He came across a public relations position at Apple, one of his dream companies, and applied. He thought: why not? What’s the worst that can happen. Turns out, it was another chance worth taking.
A few days later Feldman received an email from a recruiter at Apple. At first, he didn’t think it was real. Once he realized it was, he saw an opportunity that he had always thought of as a “pipe dream” might actually be a realistic possibility.
As he progressed through the interview process with Apple, his dream came closer into focus. For his final round interview, he spoke with the head of communications for the iPhone and iPad product lines.
He received an offer to intern with Apple this summer in public relations while he was in Costa Rica for a spring break. When he moves out to Cupertino, California this summer, it will be his first time west of Texas.
Both of Feldman’s parents are teachers and he always grew up with the importance of education and learning by getting involved.
“You should never find yourself bored and not having anything to do, especially when you’re at such an invigorating place like a college campus,” Feldman said.