Tell me about yourself!
My name is Melanie Moreaux and I’m a senior in the iSchool majoring in Information Management and Technology. I’m originally from New York City and I’m a first generation college student. I will be the first one in my family to graduate from college. That’s something I’m really proud of.
I’m from Washington Heights where there were basically all Dominican immigrants. My parents came to America when they were 14 and 12. For me, it’s been really important to make it. The idea of being successful and getting a degree is important to me because I’ve seen them struggle by not being able to go to college. That has really built my strength to keep going.
When I originally entered Syracuse I was in Falk’s public health program. After I did some research I found that this path was more for me. When I was looking for a new major, I remembered that in high school I actually attended It Girls so I knew what the iSchool was, but I wasn’t really tech savvy.
But I had friends in the iSchool that I met through It Girls and one that was kind of like my mentor. I was talking to her about switching and she made me realize even though I don’t know what I want yet, I can still find the right path for me.
Did the iSchool get you on to the right path?
The concentrations and dual majors made me realize that I can go anywhere with the iSchool. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I got a minor in retail from Whitman because I liked the idea of going into the digital side of retail.
When I was looking at jobs the idea of consulting actually jumped out at me. In my Sophomore year EY was here. I talked to them about their company and ended up applying to their launch program with them. I made it to the last round of interviews but didn’t end up getting the internship.
My junior year I knew I was going abroad in the spring, so in the fall I put my mind to getting an internship. So I ended up applying and interviewing for EY again. I ended up getting an internship for the summer of Junior year.
I was working on a project with managers and senior managers so I really got to learn a lot about the company. At the end of the summer I got a full time offer to work for EY right after graduation in New York City, which I’ve accepted.
What are some skills you’ve acquired in the iSchool?
The iSchool is really good at making you into a well-rounded student. It gives you presentation skills, technical skills, the basis of coding. The iSchool has shown me it is important to be well-rounded. In order to get opportunities you need to make sure you have a well balanced set of skills.
The other thing they encourage you to do is involve yourself. I got involved in BLISTS my sophomore year and junior year I started to look for more opportunities to get involved.
Also: the importance of networking. The iSchool and college have shown me to step out of your comfort zone and network. The network and the contacts are here, they’re just waiting to hear from you.
What moment in the iSchool made you realize this was the right choice for you?
The moment I got a full time offer before the end of my senior year. That was definitely that defining moment that I made the right choice coming to the iSchool.
I remember when I came here thinking, I don’t know what I want to do or what I want to be but by the end of my four years here I want to graduate with a good job. I didn’t come into the iSchool with the skills that the iSchool has taught me.
Also the resources that the iSchool offers I wouldn’t have been able to be in where I am today. EY recruits iSchool students every year, so to have people like Chris Perrello help you with knowing what needs to be on your resume and how to prepare for your interview, it will get you where you need to be.
What would you say were some skills outside of technology that the iSchool taught you?
I took the public speaking class which was really important. Mostly because every iSchool class makes you present. It’s something I got better at but it could always use improvement.
I have definitely seen how far I have progressed though. I used to only read off my flash cards but they taught me the tools to present more confidently and how to be prepared before presenting. That’s one of the skills the iSchool has taught me during my time here.
If you were to give advice to a first year student, what would you say?
Do your research on your major. What your curriculum is like? What the job market is going to look like after you graduate? Is it something you will always have interest in and are you doing it for yourself? It’s super important to know about your major during and after you attend college.
My second piece of advice is to involve yourself as soon as possible. Companies may factor your GPA into hiring you for a job, but if you were heavily active in school organizations, they will pick you over someone else. They want to see how involved and diverse you were during your college career.
They also want to see if you took any leadership positions. Seeing your progress in an organization from maybe a lower position to a high leadership position. It’s also a great opportunity for networking.
Would you do anything differently if you could go back?
I wish I would’ve gotten more involved on campus or attended more events. Or even taking different classes that explore different aspects of college.
Being able to do that allows you to get to know more people. I only started getting involved pretty late into my college career and it’s been great but I wish I did it more.
What would you want to be remembered for during your time at the iSchool?
In my time at the iSchool, BLISTS has been a big part of me. I became a member my sophomore year to try to get more involved. I signed up to be on their e-board and moved my way up from event manager to VP and now I’m President. It’s a lot of work but I love it.
I would like to be remembered for keeping BLISTS an active organization and wanting to get more students involved in it. Building opportunities for minorities is something I want to be remembered for as well. No matter what race you are, BLISTS accepts everyone to connect with our alumni network!