Alumni Profile: Ghislaine Leon ’10

Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?

My name is Ghislaine Leon and I was born and raised in Harlem. I graduated with the class of 2010 and majored in Marketing and Retail Management at the Whitman School of Management.

What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?

I don’t know where to begin. I grew so much mentally and spiritually during my time at Syracuse University. The academics were a bonus, but it was the relationships that I built, the organizations that I became apart of, and the older class men that I watched and listened to at SU that defined me. Syracuse exposed me to things that I would have never experienced had I stayed in my hometown for college. For someone raised in the concrete jungle of New York City, it was life changing. It was a change of pace, a change of mind, and an enlightening four years of my life.

What did you do post-SU?

Post SU I had all kinds of odd jobs. I graduated at the peak of economic turmoil and I was forced to work temp jobs. I became a spirits ambassador during the evenings, holding wine and liquor tastings across NYC. I even worked at a bar for a few months to pay bills once Sally Mae started knocking on my door. The difficulty that I experienced searching for a job made me realize that I had to become very spiritual in order to keep going. My adversity became my victory and thus in the spring of 2011 birthed My sites mantra became “The Lioness While Hunting Never Roars” and that awakened a part of me that I didn’t even know existed. I founded to motivate myself in my relentless pursuit. Since, my site has grown to become a space that motivates individuals who are fearlessly chasing their dreams.

In March of 2011, I was hand selected to participate in a very competitive summer program by W.E.E.N. (Women In Entertainment Empowerment Network) that prepared the next promising female entertainment executives. That summer I hustled and networked my way into the entertainment industry by volunteering at a plethora of events and landed a job assisting a very well known publicist that December.

I currently work for Radio One, a publicly traded company, under the Interactive One umbrella supporting their new Latino network Zona de Sabor and their Senior Director of Integrated Marketing as Marketing Coordinator.

What’s the best advice you would give to current students?

There’s so much that I would advise SU students. I would start by saying that if you plan to start a business start it while you’re still in school. Even if it fails, the skills that you learn while bringing something to life are incomparable and it brings way for you to have a portfolio to show for during interviews. In addition, people with entrepreneurial spirits stand out as leaders in any market place.

Secondly, before you declare a major, ask yourself “what kind of jobs are available in this academic path”? Too many of my friends majored in subjects that required a masters degree for employment ,but realized that after undergraduate graduation. Do your research and lock in a internship the summer after your freshman year. Your network is your net worth and you truly don’t understand the meaning of network until you’re living back home with your parents.

Lastly, make sure that you have mentors for different things. Whether its for financial advice, or resume and cover letter help, you’ll need experienced people to help you on different things.

What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?

I think the LANSU Scholarship is a way for us to start leaving a mark in the lives of those very teens that we once were. I also think it’s a way to bring SU Latino alumni closer as well as a way to build relationships with current SU students. We’re only as strong as those behind us its time we take more responsibility in helping others climb to higher educational heights. As a community we must lead by example and I am thrilled to support the LANSU Scholarship.

Gracias Ghislaine!

You can follow Ghislaine on Twitter.

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