Jacob '25

Jacob '25 photo

Multicultural Advancement

Major/Minor: Majors in International Relations, Policy Studies, Public Relations

Describe your Syracuse experience in a couple of sentences.
My experience at Syracuse University has been transformative. Syracuse for various reasons is very different from the environment that I experienced growing up in Miami, Florida. As a result, I’ve come across and met and made connections with people from all walks of life. Syracuse has allowed me to grow as a student and a person, and I’m thankful for the positive and challenging experiences it has granted me.

How is your school/college preparing you for your future career?
Syracuse is doing a great job of preparing me for my future career. Although my career ambitions may be subject to change, for the past couple of years I have had my eyes set on obtaining a Pickering, Rangel, or Payne Fellowship to work as a diplomat for the State Department or the USAID. At Syracuse, I’ve had the opportunity to be a triple major in our renowned Maxwell and Newhouse Schools where I study Policy Studies, International Relations, and Public Relations. As a result, my coursework not only aligns greatly with my desired career – but is also taught by professors who have years of incredibly insightful career experiences that I hope to emulate. 

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration or Policy. Ultimately, I hope I have the opportunity to do so through a fellowship program (mainly the Pickering, Payne, or Rangel) where I will have the chance to begin a diplomatic career immediately following the completion of my graduate degree. However, as a rising Junior, there are currently no graduation plans that are set in stone!

Has your involvement with any organizations/extracurriculars impacted you?
I would say so, both in terms of finding a community on campus and receiving career guidance. Career-centered organizations/extracurriculars such as Slice Consulting and Hill Communications granted me real-world experience which helped me evaluate which types of careers I would like to pursue. Meanwhile, other organizations that I am a part of such as Posse and Our Time Has Come have connected me with a diverse and incredibly driven community on campus, and have granted me the opportunity to make connections that I would otherwise have never found. Ultimately, organizations such as the Shaw Center have helped me leave the Syracuse University bubble and connect with the greater city of Syracuse community. I am incredibly grateful for how my extracurriculars have impacted my Syracuse University experience.

Are you the recipient of any scholarships?
I am the recipient of the Posse Foundation Leadership Scholarship. During my freshman year, I was honored to receive the Maria Melendez Hinkley Lift As You Rise Scholarship as an Our Time Has Come Scholar.

Have you performed any internships and how has that impacted you?
I am interning at Deloitte as a Global Public Policy intern this summer and I interned there last summer as a Global Brand intern. I also spent the entirety of my sophomore year interning as a Community Engagement intern at UNICEF USA. These internships have all had profound impacts on my career as they have allowed me to explore both the nonprofit as well as the corporate world. It has been through my internships that I have learned which lines of work I enjoy the most, as well as the least. Furthermore, I’ve been able to make countless connections across various industries thanks to the internships I have obtained during my time here at Syracuse. More importantly, my internships have helped me redefine how I view my professional strengths, meaning, that a strength is not just something you are naturally good at – rather, a strength is a line of work that energizes you and keeps you motivated. Such lessons that I have learned from my internships have helped me greatly as I work to figure out what post-graduate life should look like for me, and for that, I am incredibly grateful!

Have you studied abroad? Tell me about that experience.
I will be going to Strasbourg next spring semester!

What has been your favorite Syracuse experience so far?
My favorite or at least one of my favorite Syracuse experiences thus far would have to be the week of my freshman move-in. Everything felt so new and exciting, and there is a strong sense of community that one experiences in freshman dorms. Syracuse also coordinated a bunch of activities that facilitated the process of meeting new people. I firmly believe that having such a positive start to my college career impacted me in a great way as I prepared to start a life so far from my home and everything I knew.

How has donor generosity impacted your time at Syracuse?
During my first year of college, I was the recipient of the Maria Melendez Hinkley Lift As You Rise Scholarship, as an Our Time Has Come Scholar. This scholarship, which was funded entirely by donor generosity, had a tremendous impact on my time at Syracuse. Before receiving this award, I had an extensive amount of financial stress when it came to financing the rest of my studies. I was unsure of how to pay the remaining costs of an institution like Syracuse even after being a recipient of the Posse Scholarship, despite having a work-study position I did not have enough to pay without taking out additional loans. It was this donor-sponsored scholarship that allowed me to be freed from intense financial stress, enabling me to fully immerse myself in my studies and involvements here at Syracuse. I will forever be so grateful to Maria Melendez Hinkley—an Arents Award winner—for her generosity. It is thanks to her and donors like her that the Syracuse experience has been made accessible to students like me.

Why do you think giving is important?
I think giving is important because it helps expand the range of deserving students that Syracuse can serve and provide a meaningful education to. Giving allows programs, such as Our Time Has Come, to thrive and make meaningful impacts on the students who form a part of their community. The reality is that donor generosity has helped my Syracuse experience tremendously, and I believe that it enables the opening of doors that otherwise feel incredibly unavailable for many students. Any donation (regardless of how big or small) makes all the difference!

What does it mean to you to be Orange?
Being Orange means being a part of a community. It is a community that I’m very thankful to be a part of for it has both given and taught me so much, I can not wait to one day do the same.

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