Alex Jorgensen G’16

September 20, 2016

“A strength of the Public Diplomacy program is that you get to dip your toe in Newhouse and Maxwell, and see where on the spectrum between the two your professional aspirations lie.”

Alex Jorgensen G’16 graduated from the public diplomacy program with a master of science in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a master of arts in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He works as an account executive at JM Strategic Communications Group in New York City. 

How did you obtain your current position?

When I was at Newhouse I began meeting with professor Donna Stein, and she recommended that I look into a career in investor relations and financial communications. I spent the summer after my first year in the public diplomacy program in Singapore working with the Stewardship Asia Centre, and once I returned, professor Stein connected me with one of her former colleagues, Jeff Majtyka.

I asked Jeff if he was interested in utilizing me as a remote intern, working from Syracuse while his firm is in New York City. After my remote internship, I was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position. I graciously accepted.

What are your job responsibilities?

I am working at a young agency, so responsibilities span from traditional day-to-day such as tracking news, pulling research reports and drafting press/earning releases; to more entrepreneurial responsibilities like getting to build our company’s website, managing our social media strategy, helping create content for social media and heading digital marketing for the firm.

Alex Jorgensen G'16

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you?

Newhouse prepared me because it exposed me to professors with both an academic and professional background. The mix of theory from professors who have written research is balanced in a thoughtful and strategic way with professors of practice. While some professors have the ability to inform students on where scholarship has been and is going within a discipline, former practitioners have the ability to anecdotally flesh out the lessons we learn in theory and scholarly journals.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

As a person who was raised in Syracuse and left, I knew how special the Syracuse University community is. To speak on Newhouse specifically, I went to an open house, and was convinced that investing in my education at a school with such a prestigious reputation and extensive alumni network would position me for immediate employment along with long-term relationships with fellow students and alumni. Since graduating, I’ve already connected with several alumni who are working in my industry, and it has been remarkable to see the Newhouse network around you even after your initial employment.

What was unique about your graduate program?

It was a very small, diverse cohort, which gave us more personal relationships with our professors, and a variety of perspectives that shaped my worldview. A strength of the public diplomacy program is that you get to dip your toe in Newhouse and Maxwell, and see where on the spectrum between the two your professional aspirations lie.

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

My most valuable experience at Newhouse was forming relationships with faculty and fellow students. I owe this first job opportunity to all of the time professors spent with me outside of class planning what I would do post-SU. The words they spoke were both formational and challenging, which is a credit to the diverse and gifted faculty at Newhouse.

Is there a professor or class that you would recommend?

With the inception of the Financial and Investor Communications Emphasis, I am particularly envious of current students and the opportunity they have to take any of the courses offered through this program. While the program is geared to undergraduates, I would encourage graduate students to take some of these courses as electives or audit some of them.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students?

Being stressed about grades or work does not make doing the work or achieving better grades easier. Fellow students are there to grow with you, and professors want you to be successful. If you need help, ask for it. Stress is simply a distraction that you have freedom to let go of. I also recommend building relationships with your professors because they are an additional tool to complement the CDC for networking with the SU alumni.