When Jill Stapleton pictured her future, she imaged working in media relations or talent management. She enjoyed writing in high school and felt a degree in public relations from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse would be a good place to start. While applying for Syracuse, Stapleton unintentionally signed up for a dual major with the iSchool. The dual major would allow her to earn a bachelor’s degree in public relations and information science and management.
She didn’t consider herself a technical person, but Stapleton fell in love with the iSchool after attending a few classes. “I was never a techie person in high school,” admits Stapleton. “But when I started to take classes in the iSchool, I fell in love with the professors and the culture. Ultimately I felt like the iSchool was a better fit for me when it came to deciding what I wanted to do for work.”
Once Stapleton felt comfortable in her iSchool classes, it didn’t take long to immerse herself in the rest of iSchool. She started by joining BeIT, an organization focused on helping other student clubs and organizations fund events. She held the Director of Graphic Design position before taking on Director of Marketing and eventually Vice President during the first semester of her last year at Syracuse.
In addition to BeIT, Stapleton also joined the NEXIS Student Technology Lab. NEXIS is a student-run team of undergrads and graduates who explore emerging technologies through innovative and collaborative research projects. Stapleton worked on Team Date Science for two years before becoming the Director of Communications. In her director role, Stapleton spent time utilizing her public relations skills in planning and promoting events.
During her junior year, Stapleton joined her third iSchool organization, iConsult Collaborative. This SU-wide program gives students experience working on real client projects. Stapleton started her work with iConsult as a Digital Marketing Analyst. In this role, she worked on a team of three to four students to develop comprehensive digital marketing strategies and analyze website user experiences. She was then promoted to Digital Content Strategist, where she consulted on a slightly larger team to build and implement a new branding strategy across all digital platforms. Then, in Stapleton’s final year, she was promoted once again to Program Manager. This role allowed Stapleton to step back from project work and experience the management side of consulting with more than 35 students and eight digital marketing projects for clients.
Between two majors and holding three positions with school organizations, it’s incredible how well Stapleton kept herself organized and motivated. “I try to carve out time for my schoolwork,” says Stapleton. “I’m always on the go. If I sit down and relax for too long, I’m not myself, so I try to schedule my day the best I can. I’m one of those people who’s crazy with their planner. I’m always making lists and jotting little things down.”
Her drive, hard work, and project management skills no doubt helped her secure her first post-college job. At the end of the 2021 summer, Stapleton will move to Nashville to start a role as an IT Consultant with Capgemini.
Although Stapleton showcases unmatched self-motivation, she credits part of her success to the culture and people she met through the iSchool. “I don’t want to be cheesy, but I love the community at the iSchool,” says Stapleton. “Syracuse is a pretty mid-sized school, but you kind of get that small school feel in the iSchool. You get to know people in your classes and build relationships with the professors and the alumni. I think that’s something not specific to the iSchool, but that is especially true for the iSchool. There are so many professors who have so much life experience and industry experience. Many of the professors at the iSchool are currently working. You can network with them and they’ll help you find opportunities. They’re awesome.”