Millennial on a Mission: Jessica Santana

Happy Friday All!

It’s that time again for another installment of  ‘Millennials on a Mission’! I’ve had the pleasure of knowing this young lady for the past five in a half years, and I must say that I absolutely admire her resilient spirit and undeniable drive to be great. She has accomplished so much in her college career, and I just know that she is going to continue to soar.

I’d like to introduce to you Jessica Santana.

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jessica is a proud alumna of Syracuse University twice over. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 2011 from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and this May, she will be graduating with her Master’s degree in Information Management and Technology. Drive and focus don’t even adequately describe this millennial’s hustle — she has traveled to several countries, held countless internship positions in accounting and information technology and has no plans to slow down.

Jessica has always been obsessed with with beauty and lifestyle magazines and over the years, acquired some handy skills with a makeup brush and loads of do-it-yourself projects. As her passion grew, she wanted to share it with the world to let people know that being a woman on top does not mean you have to be less feminine. In her words, “Why can’t a woman be on top with a bold red lip and six inch heels?” With Girl Talk Maven, she uniquely promotes her tech skills and has created this platform where women can OWN their femininity and still defeat those glass ceilings.

On balancing her future career and her blog, Girl Talk Maven:

After I graduate in May, I am moving back to my motherland (NYC) and a few weeks later I’ll be starting full-time in technology risk consulting with a global professional services firm. Balancing Girl Talk Maven? That’s a really good question! I think that passion over reason often reigns supreme. With that said, I fully intend to make time, even if that means a little less hanging out on the weekends. However, I do recognize that my mental and physical health is important so I don’t plan to compromise that. To be honest, I just have to cross that bridge when I get there. I am just living right now.

With her heavy involvement in numerous campus and pre-professional organizations, Jessica has built a very extensive network during her career at Syracuse University. While she has been very fortunate to not be on the job hunt post grad, she does offer several tips for current students and recent graduates.

On approaching the job hunt before and after graduation: 

First, identify your network and use them! Your network is your net worth. People who know you and your work ethic are more inclined to share opportunities with you, but you have to communicate what you want, why you want it and how you plan to add value. Second, join professional organizations. A lot of the opportunities that I have been given have strictly been through the affiliations I have with certain national and international professional organizations.  Finally, don’t take internships for granted! I know that when we graduate we want the ideal job, but things just don’t work like that now. If this means that six months after you graduate you are interning with a company instead of working for them full-time, just take that as the door for a full-time position. Internships are just a sneak peek of what a company can offer you. Trust me, I know! My internships led me to my full-time post-graduation so hard work and patience does pay off.

With much professional experience and a great deal of credential to support, Jessica is more than prepared to tackle the workforce head on. As she prepares to say farewell to Syracuse University in May, she will always remember where she began in order to help navigate where she knows she is destined to be.

On the future:

I strive to live my dreams everyday by constantly reminding myself that settling for less is never an option. I grew up in a neighborhood where I saw people’s dreams grow deferred every minute of the day and growing up I KNEW that was not what I wanted for myself. Now that I am about to be a double-degree bearing woman, I just know that I have the world in my hands. I just need to work hard so I can see everything come into fruition.

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