Once again we are very pleased to bring back our alumni profiles! With our panel discussion Networking in the Digital Age 10/17 coming up in a few days we wanted to highlight one of our panelists…
Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?
Rafael T Balbi Jr, SU class of 2011. My major as an undergrad was a BS in Economics with a minor in Spanish. Since graduation, I’ve gone on to start two companies and traveled the world as ‘Director of Operations’ for an up and coming startup. I am also a founder of Values Academy, the very first greek conference of it’s kind held at Syracuse Univeristy now for it’s fourth consecutive year.
What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?
I loved Syracuse and I don’t think that any other school could have come close to replicating the experience that I had. The overwhelming amount of support that I’ve received from places like OMA and FASA has truly made my experience unique. The strength of the undergraduate Latino student body was also a facet that I did not see in many other schools.
What did you do post-SU?
Post SU I’ve been heavily involved within the NY startup scene. I started my 1st company ‘Franklins Lab‘ which was a consultory firm for startups. From there I became Director of Operations for Lean Startup Machine. Overseeing a team of 27 individuals, I traveled the world training large enterprises with the likes of Times Magazine and everyday entrepreneurs with lean methodology. I am now the founder of ‘Motiif‘ – the world’s first wearable tech fashion company.
What’s the best advice you would give to current students?
Take advantage of all the resources on campus to become a leader. Many of the “friends” you have now will fade as you develop your professional life. Focus on what you want out of Syracuse University and be sure that you are always building up to something. Learn the importance of how to work in the 21st century. It is paramount that you become a great emailer and communicator via non-traditional channels (Skype, G+, Twitter). SU is a great place to learn but your real education of the world is ultimately up to you.
What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?
I love the idea. We need to continually feed back into the community. Together we can build, apart we can barely stand.