Student Spotlight: Emily Pompelia '14
Student Spotlight Series
Emily Pompelia was never an average college kid and she’s certainly not an average college graduate! Hailing from a small town in rural Pennsylvania, Emily, who just graduated from Syracuse University (SU), says attending SU gave her the opportunity to have experiences she never could have imagined. An ambitious student, Emily divided her time between The College of Arts and Sciences, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Because you can never have too many majors, Emily majored in Newspaper and Online Journalism, Policy Studies, and German. Being a triple major isn’t easy but Emily, who was also a *Remembrance Scholar, navigated her heavy course load and extracurricular activities flawlessly, so well in fact, that she was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.
A student reporter for SU News Service and a lover of snow, Emily chose SU because she liked the campus, the environment, the academics, and student life. We are pleased to feature Emily in our special “Student Spotlight” series.
1. Tell us a little bit about life before SU?
I come from a very small, rural area of Pennsylvania where attending college out of state was not the norm. I thought applying to four colleges (3 out of state) was an over achievement, compared to other students in my high school, until I came to SU and learned that many of my peers had applied to over ten colleges and universities. I wouldn’t say I grew up in a sheltered environment, but rather that SU enabled me to explore opportunities I would have never been given in my hometown.
2. What was your favorite thing about attending SU?
I’ve learned since graduating that the “Syracuse Mafia” really does exist. Orange alums are in every corner of the world, and they are, without doubt, the kindest, most helpful, and passionate network of people.
3. Now that you’ve graduated from SU, what do you plan to do next?
I am interning at Brunswick Group in Washington, DC for the summer, and then moving to Germany in September to teach English on a Fulbright scholarship.
4. How has SU helped you achieve your goals and aspirations?
SU not only helped me achieve my goals, but also challenged me to set even higher goals for myself. The Syracuse Abroad office worked very hard to allow me to attend an untraditional abroad semester in Freiburg, Germany. This semester enhanced my language skills by allowing me to matriculate directly into a German university. It also convinced me that I wanted to spend more time aboard after graduation. The skills I gained during this semester abroad equipped me to apply for and win a Fulbright Scholarship in Germany.
5. You already have an impressive resume – what achievement are you most proud of thus far?
I am most proud to represent my university, and global community, as a Remembrance Scholar. The Remembrance Scholarship is perhaps the most unique opportunity Syracuse University offers its students. Being a Remembrance Scholar is a commitment that lasts longer than four years and connects students to a cause that is much greater than the SU community.
6. What’s the best way to spend free time as a SU student?
With other SU students! SU became my home these past four years because I was surrounded by driven, charismatic, orange-bleeding friends. The best way to describe a Syracuse University student is simply: fun, so the best way to spend free time at SU is of course, with other SU students. My friends and I enjoyed walking to Marshall Street, going to basketball games, attending a capella concerts and shoveling our cars out of mounds of snow.
7. In what extracurricular activities did you most enjoy participating?
Some of my greatest memories of Syracuse will be those I made as an Orientation Leader. There is a feeling you get as an OL knowing you’re the first impression of student life an incoming student has that makes four years of studying and hard work worth it.
8. What are some of the activities you like around CNY that aren’t SU affiliated?
CNY has a lot to offer in terms of outdoors adventures. Taking drives to Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, Colgate University, Chittenango Falls, or Green Lakes State Park always made me appreciate the beauty that is Central New York.
9. What is your advice to those students that will begin their senior year in the fall? Any words of wisdom?
My advice is two-fold and may seem contradictory, but first: live your last year to it’s fullest. It will be the craziest and fastest year of your undergrad. Do every thing on your bucket list, and if you don’t have a bucket list, make one. My second piece of advice is: don’t ignore the real world. Yes, enjoy your time, but also go to career fairs and networking events and apply for jobs early. There was no greater feeling during my senior year than the moment I was offered a job.
10. What are you most thankful for as you reflect on your time at SU?
I’d like to thank my professors and my coworkers at SU News Services. I am so glad I spent the time I did taking advice from those wiser than me. The SU faculty and staff have connections way beyond the confines of this campus.
*The Remembrance Scholarship is one of the highest awards a SU student can receive and is awarded to senior undergraduate students on the basis of distinguished academic achievement, citizenship, and service to community. These scholarships honor and remember the 35 students studying abroad who were among the 270 people killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988.