Combining Business and Technology

Meet Julia Fontana ’19 G’20
Major: Information Management & Technology
Hometown: Nazareth, PA
High School: Nazareth High School
Activities: iSchool Peer Advisor, NEXIS Research and Innovation Lab, University 100 Student Ambassador

I began my career at Syracuse as a dual student in the iSchool and the Whitman School of Management. During my campus visit, I fell in love with the iSchool and the possibility of a curriculum that combined business and technology. I have always been interested in both areas and Syracuse was the only college I was looking at that had a formalized program where I could pursue both majors simultaneously.

Throughout my time at Syracuse, I have taken full advantage of every opportunity available to me. That’s my biggest piece of advice – there are awesome things happening in the iSchool, so make sure you’re making the most of them!

Collaborative, inviting environment for learning and discovery

The iSchool is more than just a building or college where students take classes. It truly is a community, a family of people, coming together to learn, discover, grow, and help each other.

Unlike any academic environment I’ve experienced before, the iSchool is completely collaborative. Students are encouraged to work together to solve problems and develop solutions. You see this spirit of community most clearly in NEXIS, an entirely student-run research lab located in the iSchool.

NEXIS has provided me with a platform to put what I learned in the classroom into action. It has opened the door to incredible opportunities I would not have otherwise considered.

Opportunities to make lasting alumni connections

As a sophomore, I took a fully-funded trip to New York City to visit the New York headquarters of EY and Microsoft. I participated in hands-on profes

sional development exercises and made lasting connections with Syracuse alumni. My team of students even presented our project to partners at EY!

World-class internship and job prospects

My summer before junior year was spent in Washington, DC at the Federal Reserve Board as an Applications Development + User Experience Intern. Right away I got to work on bug fixes, automation, usability expansion, and participated in client meetings. The work I did made it into production across the entire Federal Reserve Board! This incredible internship was made possible thanks to connections I made at the on-campus iSchool Spring Career Fair.

This internship served as a great way to practice the interpersonal skills I learned through the iSchool. Since I was working with both clients and developers, I had to speak both the technical language of my development team, as well as the business language of our clients. The iSchool taught me the importance of “speaking both languages” and putting it into practice further emphasized my classwork.

Immersion experiences in the real-life business world

During the Spring Break of my senior year, I traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area through the iSchool Immersion Experience program. We visited Syracuse alumni and friends at companies across Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area. I made 100 new contacts at huge organizations like Google, Uber, Cisco, and Twitter. We even met with startup companies like Density, which was started by iSchool alumni. It was incredible to learn about the tech-driven business culture of the Valley directly from members of the Orange family.

A background in management and technology has prepared me for a future of possibilities. My experiences have strengthened my interpersonal and communication skills and my technical knowledge. More so, I now understand the necessity of these skills in a business world that is growing more technologically-oriented. The iSchool’s flexible curriculum allowed me to take the courses that interest me most. Plus, the school’s abundance of extracurricular involvements have enriched my educational experience. I’ve even decided to spend another year at the iSchool to earn my Master of Science in Information Management through the Fast Track program!

Why We Applied Early Decision

Lauren Czudak ’19
Psychology, Selected Studies in Education
Livonia, NY

Why did you decide to apply Early Decision at Syracuse?

Syracuse was a top choice for me after visiting my brother on campus. At an Orange Preview, I took a tour of campus and met with staff from the School of Education. I learned about Selected Studies, which is such a unique program that has diverse career options.

I fell so in love with the campus and the school and everything it provides. I felt like I was at home. The school spirit and the fact that the whole community “bleeds orange” truly set it apart. Syracuse offered a significant number of student organizations, strong academics, and it was a good distance from home.

What was it like to receive your notification?

I was ultimately admitted to my second choice program. At first, I was extremely disappointed. But my parents were so proud of me and emphasized how competitive Syracuse is. After 15 minutes it hit me how huge the honor was of being accepted ED. Since I wasn’t admitted to my first choice program, the decision was no longer binding. But I still knew I wanted to attend Syracuse. I even transferred into my first choice once I was a student.

Why should students apply ED?

Make sure that you truly see yourself at Syracuse for those four undergraduate years. It is a large commitment, but if you want to attend this university, it’s worth the pressure. Be sure you have conversations with your parents, counselor, and yourself about the application process. Speak your mind and let your parents understand and support your decision.


Max Josef ’21
Sport Management
San Francisco, CA

Why did you decide to apply Early Decision at Syracuse?

I began formulating my ideas for what I wanted in college while in middle school. I knew I wanted a mid-sized school with a strong sports team. I ended up visiting five colleges, including Syracuse. I ultimately applied Early Decision at Syracuse because I believed it would best prepare me for my future. The Sport Management program is incredibly strong, with .

Mostly, I wanted my decision early. The college application process is incredibly stressful and I just wanted to know where I was going and have a relaxing second semester.

How did you receive your notification?

I thought I would hear during finals week. I set an alarm on my phone for when I received an email from Syracuse. We were taking a practice final in my Pre-calculus class. As I was finishing up my test, the alarm went off. My teacher shook her head and let me go to the bathroom, telling me to “take my stuff and don’t come back if you don’t get the answer you were expecting.”

Why should students apply ED?

I think it’s a lot less stressful. It makes for a more enjoyable second semester of senior year. For me, I thought it was the best course of action because I knew I wanted to be at Syracuse. I think going Early Decision shows your passion in ways that a 1,500 word essay can’t.


Matthew Lyons ’22
Selected Studies in Education
Fair Lawn, NJ

Why did you decide to apply Early Decision at Syracuse?

My cousin graduated from Syracuse, so I heard a lot about the university growing up. It became a true contender in high school, as I was looking for colleges with strong education programs. I visited campus and was struck by how unique the teacher prep programs are in the School of Education. No other school I visited allowed students to have a field placement in the first year.

Syracuse became my first choice. Beyond the impressive academics, I felt at home here. I knew if I got accepted to Syracuse I was going to attend, so why not apply Early Decision? All my application materials were ready to go and it would relieve a lot of stress knowing which college I’d be going to by December of my senior year.

What was the wait like?

The wait was nerve-wracking. You try to put it in the back of your mind, but it’s hard. All my friends who were applying Regular Decision were putting the finishing touches on their applications. But I was dealing with a different type of stress. It was such a relief once I heard back in late December.

Why should students apply Early Decision?

Anyone that is really passionate about Syracuse should apply ED. If the college is your first choice and you can see yourself as part of the Syracuse community, you should apply early. Your application will stand out and it shows your dedication to being Orange.

More blogs like this:

How to Build Genuine Relationships with Alumni


One of the most rewarding parts about Syracuse University is meeting incredible alumni that were once in the exact same position you are.

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with SU alums from all walks of life. From executives at multi-national corporations to entrepreneurs starting businesses from their parent’s houses. I’ve come to notice they all share a similar trait: an immense passion for Syracuse University.

As a student, you can take advantage of that passion by reaching out to alumni. Here’s a secret: SU alumni love talking to SU students.

You can meet alumni everywhere. During homecoming weekend tons of alumni come back to campus for events. You can also reach out to alumni through LinkedIn, an online professional network. Alumni will also come back to campus throughout the year for recruiting and other events.

Here are few simple things you can do to build genuine relationships with SU Alumni:

When you’re reaching out to an alumni for the first time, don’t do it because you want something

The absolute worst thing you can do when trying to build a real relationships with someone is to reach out to them for the first time and ask for something. It indicates that you’re only interested in what they can do for you.

The best way to start a relationship with an alumni is to reach out and ask to learn more about their career. Set up a quick phone call with them to talk about what they do for a living and how they got there.

It’s easy to tell when you’re talking to someone that’s just interested in getting something from you. Before you start reaching out to people, develop a genuine interest in learning about others.

Keep the relationship going

What’s worse than having no network? Reaching out to a bunch of people and not following up.

The best relationships are developed over time. Keep in touch with the alumni you connect with by following up with them every couple of months. Keep a spreadsheet of the people you’ve talked to and what you talked about. It will help you keep track of your professional relationships.

An easy way to initiate follow-up contact with an alumni is by sharing a news article relating to what you talked about last time you spoke, or even better, a piece of SU news they would care about.

Offer your help

This seems trivial, because how could a student possibly help an established alumni? The point of offering help is less about helping someone on the spot and more about letting the person know you want to help them if and when they need it.

You would be surprised how many people could use your help once you start offering it. Relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial. Everyone has some sort of knowledge or skill they can share with others. Figure out what that is and distribute it.

Written by Daniel Strauss ’19, a Finance major in the Whitman School of Management. Daniel is a member of the Daily Orange, the SU Investment Club, Delta Sigma Pi, and Syracuse University Enactus.

More blogs like this:

Keeping Orange in the Family

Emily (left) and Claudia

Three years ago, Emily Lewis accompanied her sister Claudia when she moved into her Syracuse dorm to start her freshman year. At 15, Emily wasn’t seriously thinking about college just yet. Sure, she got to see the campus, which she enjoyed, but a part of her was hesitant to set her sights on ‘Cuse. “At the time, Syracuse was her thing” she laughs and nods at Claudia, who’s smiling, too.

Claudia and Emily grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and were about as close as any average siblings- they fought, then ignored each other for a bit, then got along. Before Claudia brought the Orange pride into the mix, the Lewis household was strictly University of Michigan- everything blue and maize. The girls’ older brother, mother and father are U Michigan alumni, and the Lewis’s make annual trips to Ann Arbor for football games. Basically, they were raised on college pride, so both Claudia and Emily knew that wherever they ended up for college, it would be a school with spirit. Claudia found that at Syracuse, but for most of her own college search, Emily focused on larger state schools like Penn State and Indiana University.

By the end of junior year, Emily was ready to apply to her top schools. In a way, she felt obligated to apply to Syracuse, since it had become a family school like U Michigan. “I felt like if I didn’t apply, I’d regret it for some reason, but I still didn’t think it was where I would end up.”

However, when she was accepted as a dual major in Arts and Sciences and Newhouse, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Now, Claudia is a senior illustration major and Emily is a freshman dual major in arts and sciences and Newhouse, undeclared in both. They did not plan for their paths to both lead to Syracuse, but now they’re thankful. “We don’t hang out every second of every day, but it’s nice to know that if I want to talk about home or just see a familiar face, she’s there.” Claudia and Emily will share some memories at ‘Cuse, but their college experiences will each be their own. On the Hill, there’s room for both Lewis sisters to find their passions. Plus, since Claudia has a car, Emily has the luxury of getting off campus once in awhile! Claudia’s excited to spend her last year at Syracuse with her sister nearby. “I feel like everything is coming full circle- my college experience might be ending soon, but hers is just beginning. And now we’ll always have Syracuse, together.”

Samantha Trombley ’18, is public relations and policy studies major. She is originally from Franklin, CT. Sam is a member of Hill Communications, the on-campus public relations firm. She is also a member of the Girl Code Movement, the women’s club lacrosse team, and the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. In her free time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with friends. More blogs from Samantha Trombley.

Why I Went Orange


When deciding on how to address giving advice on choosing a college, I considered my stylistic options. Should I make a list of considerations? Should I take quotes from friends? Or, should I just reminisce and free associate?

I’ve decided on the last option. Three years ago, I was in your shoes, trying to decide where to go to school. I was down to four schools in April, all around the same price and fairly equal in academic prestige. I didn’t know how to make my decision. I visited each school over April break, and Syracuse was the last one I visited.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the other schools. The accepted students days were nice, and one university had the largest freshman dorms I’d ever seen. But none of them had that “wow” factor, which I couldn’t explain at the time but I think I can now. I was looking for a school that gave me butterflies, that made me so excited to be a part of the community that I wouldn’t feel like I was leaving home, but just going to a new one. I found that at Syracuse.

When I visited Syracuse for the first time, it was five days before I had to make my final decision on where to attend college. It was a beautiful spring day, and I was looking forward to touring Newhouse, seeing the quad- you know, the basics. The Accepted Students seminar in Newhouse was the first thing that made me think, “okay, there is something different about this place.” We heard professors and students speak about the amazing resources in Newhouse and broke up into small group tours. I felt welcomed and eager to start my own education here.

But the real catch for me was just walking around campus and seeing how happy everyone was. I saw students wearing Syracuse sweatshirts, Greek Life T’s, and club hoodies. I saw friends exchange quick hellos on their way to classes, happy to see each other but still keeping their eyes on the prize. It was the perfect blend of social and intellectual life that I did not realize I had been looking for. Not to mention how passionate people were about SU. One kid literally yelled at our tour group, “You’re gonna regret it if you don’t go here!” Okay, so maybe SU isn’t the right fit for everyone, but for me he was right- I’m thankful every day that I decided to attend Syracuse University.

My excitement only grew over the summer. Freshman year was a blur of excitement, new experiences and adjusting to independence. Going into my sophomore year, I was worried the novelty of college would wear off. However, I quickly realized that my love for Syracuse did not shrink- it only grew. Nervous excitement transformed into a comfortable familiarity. When I see student tours on campus, I smile wide because I want them to know that I truly love this place. I only have a year and a half left here, and it doesn’t seem like nearly enough time because I am so, so happy. However, I know that when the time comes, I’ll be ready to face the next chapter head-on, thanks to four years of personal growth and self-discovery here at SU.


Samantha Trombley ’18, is public relations and policy studies major. She is originally from Franklin, CT. Sam is a member of Hill Communications, the on-campus public relations firm. She is also a member of the Girl Code Movement, the women’s club lacrosse team, and the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. In her free time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with friends. More blogs from Samantha Trombley.

More blogs like this: