Tell me about yourself!
I’m from San Francisco, CA and I’m a senior majoring in Information Management and Technology in a concentration in Information Security. I’m involved in the Information Security Club, I’m a Peer Advisor, and I’m on the club cycling team.
How did you find the iSchool?
Being from the West Coast, I was looking for East Coast schools. But actually, Syracuse wasn’t on my original list. But one night I was watching sports center and saw the Syracuse Basketball Team. So I did a little more research and decided to apply.
I called the admissions office and turns out it was actually past the deadline to apply. They told me if I still wanted to apply I would be put on the wait list. My original application was for Whitman … but I didn’t get in. I did get accepted to the iSchool which was a great surprise, I didn’t think I’d get in!
What advice would you give to someone for choosing the right college within Syracuse University?
As a peer advisor I definitely hear this a lot. People will come in and tell me ‘I got accepted into the iSchool but I want to go to Whitman, when’s the soonest I can apply?’. There are a lot of students in the iSchool who think they’re going to transfer to a different school. But after their first semester they don’t even end up applying. I thought I was going to be the same way and try to transfer or dual with Whitman, but I didn’t even end up applying. I love having the flexibility that I have with being an iSchool student.
Do you feel like the iSchool is your home?
Absolutely! How close we are with the faculty here, for starters, is amazing. They’re willing to listen to us and make changes for us, which is really rare. In my sophomore year, they asked me and Zach Wilder what they think they should do for sophomores specifically.
Sophomore year in college is a little tough because all the other years you’re really focused on something. Whether it be Freshman year, when everything is new and you’re learning how to be on your own, or Junior and Senior year when you’re focused on your major and trying to get a job or an internship. So because of this we decided that our sophomore class would like to get a retreat and the iSchool made it happen.
What are your plans after graduation?
I have a job after graduation with EY in New York City with their tech advisor program.
What is your advice to someone trying to get a job before their senior year ends?
For me, it was focusing on your long-term goal early on and making little goals along the way. I knew I wanted a job before I graduated. Freshman year I was really focused on studying and academics. My sophomore year I was going to career fairs and got my first real internship from there and my junior year I interned as well with a different company. And now I’ve reached my goal for having a job after graduation.
What’s your biggest achievement in the iSchool?
I would say volunteering with It Girls. It’s two days a year that I’m running around and moving luggage and trying to be as helpful as I can. It’s the hardest I’ve ever had to work over two days. But I’m always really happy when I see them all together at the end smiling in their group picture. It makes it all worth while.
What’s a skill you’ve acquired in college that you can’t imagine not having now?
Presentation and public skills definitely. Coming into college I was very uncomfortable with public speaking. Once I became a peer advisor I had to get over my fear and speak to a lot of prospective students. It’s one of those things you can’t learn but that you have to practice until you’re comfortable with it.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t like to fail?
I think college can be a very humbling experience, it’s definitely not high school anymore. In my case and my friends cases we come in thinking ‘I’m going to be a straight A student like I was in high school’. That’s just not the case.
There are a lot of rough nights but you have to get through it because there’s a lot more aspects of college that you may not be prepared for. Learning to fail is very important. It’s important to learn how to react to it and what you make of that experience.
My last question: what mark would you like to leave on the iSchool?
I hope that people remember me as a guy who was just trying to make the iSchool a better place. I love everything that it has done for me and I hope whomever comes here gets just as much out of it as I do.