For many, attending the Newhouse School is a lifelong dream. For advertising sophomore Destiny Erazo, she didn’t even have college applications on her radar during her senior year of high school. She saw herself graduating, getting a job and leaving it at that. When she finally decided to take the plunge, she found the Newhouse School through a simple Google search. Unaware of the school’s reputation, “I didn’t know what the real hype was about until I got here,” admits Erazo, a Newburgh, New York native.
She thought the admissions process was like that of any other communications school with an advertising major. It only took her arriving on campus—and the congratulations she received for her acceptance—for her to realize she was in one of the top communications schools in the country.
When deciding what to study, Erazo combined her love for creativity, social media and fashion into her major. Not only is advertising the perfect mixture of her interests, but it has allowed her to impact her audience in a meaningful way. Erazo wants to increase inclusivity in the advertising industry and create ads “someone actually wants to see instead of what a company wants you to see,” she says.
Joining Newhouse’s Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone last semester was another opportunity for Erazo to expand on her passions. The milestone course is a collaborative program between Newhouse and the Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts that allows students to apply their communications coursework to another area of interest.
Last semester, Erazo took the Beauty and Diversity in Media class and discovered that she latched onto the conversation surrounding inclusivity. “It was really learning how to be more inclusive, what’s not inclusive, why the society that we live in now is not inclusive and learning why we need to evolve,” she says.
This is the ideal program for Erazo. “I didn’t know I could have done advertising and beauty at the same time, so I’m happy that the milestone was there as an option for me,” she says.
In addition to her classes, Erazo is also a student ambassador. When students come to campus, uncertain of what they want to do in college, Erazo is a source of knowledge and comfort for them. “I can give them the peace of mind that college is about figuring it out,” she says. “That’s exactly how I was feeling in the beginning.”
In her ADV 208 class with Professor Brian Sheehan last fall Erazo was still finding her way, so she frequently used Sheehan’s office hours to pick his brain. “She really understands how to use professors as a positive resource,” Sheehan says. When preparing for a project, Erazo loved that Sheehan was also willing to individually meet with her so she could practice presenting.
“Some students are entirely focused on the grade,” he says. “Destiny is all about learning. If she doesn’t understand something, she will always explore how to understand it better. She is always challenging herself to have the best understanding possible.”
While unsure of her post-graduation plans, Erazo knows she has time to figure it out and understands her experiences have opened up possibilities she would not have had without her Newhouse resume. She wants travel the world, express her creativity and explore outside her bubble.
“Being in Newhouse has made me want to explore new opportunities. Here everyone is everywhere, no one’s heading in the same direction.”
Brooke Borzymowski is a sophomore broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.