Leana '24

Leana '24 photo

Annual Fund, General Scholarship and Syracuse Connects

Major: Public Relations
Minor: Creative Writing

Describe your Syracuse experience in a couple of sentences.
My experience at Syracuse has been the most life-changing journey I have ever embarked on. The friends I’ve made here have truly shaped me into a more confident and self-assured individual, and I feel that many of my friendships will extend far beyond my four years here. I have loved taking a variety of complex and thought-provoking classes, and have seen myself grow as both a student and a person. I have truly fallen in love with every aspect of this school, and miss campus and its liveliness when I am away.

How is your school/college preparing you for your future career?
The Newhouse Career Center is particularly helpful in providing internship opportunities every week during internship application season. They provide well-known company openings in a variety of locations, making it easy to browse and apply for excellent internships. My classes have also taught me real and concrete work that I have already started using in my internships.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to work for a public relations agency focused on entertainment and lifestyle. I also would like to start applying for more writing positions and freelance opportunities. I have always had an interest in pop culture and luxury branding and would love to eventually start my own PR agency.

Tell me about your experience working with Syracuse Connects.
My experience with Syracuse Connects has been a great way to meet new people as well as feel more connected to my school! Everyone is extremely kind and welcoming, and it is rewarding to hear from alumni about their experiences at Syracuse and how they still feel connected to the institution. It is particularly kind when alumni inquire about new developments at the University, and try to learn more about me and my life as a student. 

How did you get involved with Syracuse Connects?
I became involved with Syracuse Connects after hearing about the positive experiences two members of my sorority had while working there. They encouraged me to apply at the beginning of my junior year, and I have been working there for a full academic year. What about their mission made you want to join? Being a student in PR, I felt that Syracuse Connects would provide me with good experience in relating to and forming relationships with others. I was confident that Syracuse Connects would provide me with hands-on experience in communication, while also allowing me to advocate for the support of my fellow students. 

What is most rewarding about working there?
I feel that the most rewarding part about working at Syracuse Connects is having the ability to make a real difference in the lives of students, as well as alumni. It is very heartwarming to hear alumni happily reflect on their experience at Syracuse, and some even provide helpful tips on how to navigate college, as well as the professional world. I enjoy making people feel that they are still connected to Syracuse and fondly remembered.

What lessons have you learned through working there?
I have learned at Syracuse Connects that it is important to embrace the moments you are able to spend at Syracuse and use your time here to create lasting relationships and memories. I am able to learn a lot from alumni every day as they share some of their life experiences, such as how they used Syracuse to jump-start their careers and connect with others.

What do you hope donors know about Syracuse Connects?
I hope that donors know that not only does a gift to the school directly help students, but it also allows them to remain connected to the University in a tangible way that extends to others in the Orange family. Furthermore, I hope donors know that what they give can be put directly into a fund of their choice, such as scholarships for the school they attended during their time here and for different majors. 

Are you the recipient of any scholarships?
I am a recipient of the SU Orange Distinction Award.

Have you performed any internships and how has that impacted you?
I interned at Bond No.9 Perfumery in New York City in the summer of 2022. This experience allowed me to gain my footing within the professional world, as I was often on my own to strategize content for social media, as well as complete competitive sales analysis. It was through this experience that I realized my desire to go into luxury at a smaller and more PR-based company. This summer I will be interning at The Rosen Group, a public relations agency centered around entertainment and influencer marketing.

What has been your favorite Syracuse experience so far?
My favorite experience at Syracuse so far has been joining my sorority and meeting driven women similar to myself. Not only do we have fun experiences together, like football games and meals at Schine, but we also motivate each other academically. Having first been unsure of myself as a freshman, joining my house really helped me find my place at school.

Why do you think giving is important?
I think giving is important because it allows alumni to remain connected to such an important period in their lives, and also opens doors for students who otherwise would not have had financial access to such an amazing experience. Giving truly provides students with the chance to harness their potential and thrive at a place like Syracuse.

What does it mean to you to be Orange?
To me, being Orange means being excited about the future and willing to embrace others. I feel a very strong connection to my fellow students being Orange, as I feel our community really lifts each other up through both actions and words. I am grateful that I will always have an Orange community, as I know being Orange means being there for one another.

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