Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?
My name is Eunice Cuevas; I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. I graduated in May 2010 from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management.
What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?
My years at Syracuse were everything I could have asked for. Although challenging, I would not be the woman I am today without the experiences I had, the friends I made along the way, the courses I took, and the obstacles I had to face personally and academically.
Furthermore, my time at Syracuse allowed me to get involved with various organizations throughout campus. I was an active member of Raíces Dance Troupe for all four years and served as co-chair for two consecutive years. I was also a Dimensions Mentor and a Wellslink Scholar.
Most importantly, Syracuse inspired my passion for traveling and gave me the opportunity to see the world as a resident versus a tourist. I went abroad and attended the SU Madrid program, visited countries such as Morocco, Greece and many others. I consider myself truly fortunate to have had a well-rounded education with travel, on-campus organizations, internships and memories that will last a lifetime.
What did you do post-SU?
The six months following graduation were a test of perseverance. I was unemployed and fighting for a dream that many college graduates assume would be handed to them upon receiving a degree (especially graduating from SU). This was not the case. My days were filled with countless interviews, waking up and uploading my resume to what seemed like a thousand different company portals, redundant thank you notes and a lot of waiting.
In the meantime I free-lanced for a start-up publication company and helped create their marketing materials and media kits to generate ad revenue. Although I was not being compensated for my work, I knew it was a career I wanted to pursue. With very little resources, the publication did not kick-off as hoped.
After some time, I received a phone call from a temp agency offering a job at a luxury real estate company as an administrative assistant. Was it what I wanted? No, but I saw it as an opportunity to start paying off loans and maybe consider another route. I attended the New York Real Estate Institute and received my Salesperson License. After a year with the company, I took a position (in a sense, a promotion) with a broker as a Sales Agent and Operations Associate. I was working with clients, showing multi-million dollar homes, seeing parts of New York City that many people would never see – still it was not enough. I was not passionate about the industry, I felt unfulfilled and I needed a bit of guidance.
Through some research, I found the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program through the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), one of the many professional development programs they have to offer. I was paired with a mentor who is a VP of Marketing in the telecommunications industry. The relationship that was formed served to be highly instrumental to the next stage of my career. She pushed me to set goals, attend networking events and helped me to overcome personal fears and obstacles. One of my goals was to transition out of the real estate industry by the end of the year, it was July. Through NAMIC, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the annual NAMIC conference that fall where I met countless key contacts in the cable and telecommunications industry. I followed up with every person I met and I received responses from only a few, but by December I finally had a job in the industry I wanted.
I am now working for A&E Networks as a Distributions Coordinator with hopes to build a career in network marketing and business development. This is still, however, only the beginning of a long journey.
In addition to NAMIC, I am also actively involved with Women in Cable Television (WICT) and serve on the Latino Bigs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City’s Leadership Committee. I am looking forward to be paired up with a ‘Little’ this fall and hope that I can make a positive influence in her life.
What’s the best advice you would give to current students?
The best advice I have ever been given and did not realize until after I graduated was to network. Syracuse University has insurmountable resources and has the capacity of opening doors that many other institutions cannot; take advantage of it. If I could do it all over again, this is where I would have focused my efforts (in addition to studying harder). Keep in contact with professors, peers and anyone you meet along the way. You never know when you will need a recommendation or where your next job will come from. Go abroad at least once and if you can, twice. Travel and see beyond the world that you know; it will change your life and finally, do not stop fighting for your dream. The only thing stopping you from achieving anything in life is yourself.
What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?
Attending college has become increasingly more difficult for Latino students due to the economy, lack of lending and financial resources. I have met countless students that give up hope of going away to college because of financial burdens. I think the LANSU Scholarship is an excellent resource and a foundation of hope for those students that have worked hard and deserve to attend one of the best universities.