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Emily Simens: Peak2peak

Finding Syracuse University Alumni in the Pacific Northwest

Editor’s note: in this piece, Emily reflects on her experience on Peak2Peak, one of the many Immersion Experiences the iSchool offers. Applications for the spring 2019 trips – EntreTech NYCSpring Break in Silicon Valley, and TechTrek Chicago – are open now!


When milling around Amazon’s new in house rain forest, the last thing I expected to hear was, “Do you all go to Syracuse? I went there!” At Peak2Peak, the group interacted with SU alumni in Seattle and Portland almost everywhere we went! Who knew?

Alumni Coast to Coast

To my pleasant surprise, there is an active and tight-knit group of Syracuse Alumni in the Pacific Northwest. They’re leading teams at Amazon, overseeing planes being built at Boeing, innovating at Intel, and even running microbreweries. What is even more amazing is that they are so happy to connect with current Syracuse University students.

Over the course of the past week, our group met alumni at over 15 organizations ranging from a healthcare startups totaling five employees to mega tech corporations with thousands of employees. These visits inspired us because we could see ourselves in these roles a few years down the line.

Networking Opportunities

In addition to company visits, we had alumni networking events in both Seattle and Portland. In Seattle, the event took place at a trendy Mexican restaurant just down the road from the Amazon headquarters. The event was booming with students and alumni of all ages.

Our Portland event took place at Migration Brewing, which was founded by a Whitman alum! At both events, it was clear that both these cities have an amazing and supportive community.

Syracuse Alumni Wherever You Go!

Before this trip, I was always dead set on staying on the East Coast upon graduation. I never considered moving cross country, knowing no one of the other side.

I also had the stereotype in my mind that the most vibrant Syracuse University communities were in NYC, D.C., and other east coast cities that a lot of students intern and work in. It is reassuring to know that wherever I may end up in the country, I won’t ever be alone, because there are Syracuse Alumni everywhere!

It was truly incredible to see the orange spirit from coast to coast while on the Peak2Peak Immersion trip.

Emily Simens

Emily Simens

I’m a rising junior in the iSchool and I’m from Hewlett, NY. In the past I’ve worked at Girls Who Code and the ITS department at SU. On campus I’m involved in Hillel, Information Security Club, and iSchool Peer Advisors.

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