Vanessa Salman ’17 is majoring in Political Science with a minor in History in the Maxwell School and the College of Arts & Sciences. She is in Albany, NY this semester as part of the Assembly Intern Program in Albany.
On campus, Vanessa was previously an intern and ambassador for Career Services, a communications and social media assistant in the Maxwell School’s Office of Alumni Relations, communications director for the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and a columnist and staff writer for the Daily Orange. She also participated in the DC Immersion Program and has interned with the U.S. House of Representatives and locally in Rep. John Katko’s district office in Syracuse.
Hi everyone! My name is Vanessa Salman, a senior political science major with a minor in history. My hometown is Stamford, Connecticut, which is about 40 miles north of NYC. I am currently in Albany, NY completing an internship in the New York State Assembly, through the political science department. During my time at SU, I have been involved in many clubs and activities, including Alpha Phi Omega, the Daily Orange and Jerk Magazine, and participated in the Career Services Student Ambassador program. I also work in the Maxwell School’s Alumni Relations department. I can’t wait to share my Syracuse University journey with you all. Stay tuned!
What is your favorite thing about Syracuse?
I love how uniquely strong and united our Orange alumni network is. In addition to my work with Maxwell’s Office of Alumni Relations, I have been in contact with various alumni from different graduation cohorts and degree programs, and despite these differences between them, they’ve been consistently willing to help SU students in any capacity they can. SU provides so many ways for students and alums to connect, such as the immersion programs and the @WorkingOrange initiative through
Career Services, Orange Central events, and winter break coffee chats through the College of Arts and Sciences Career Services office. I’ve learned that this network is unique, as no other school has this deep rooted pride like the Orange do.
What is your favorite Syracuse memory?
My favorite SU memory would have to be visiting the campus for Own the Dome during my senior year of high school. I had already made my decision to attend, since I applied Early Decision, but it made me even more excited to come back in the fall
for classes! As a first generation college student (and almost graduate), it was so surreal for me to walk around the school that I believed (and still do) would give me the tools to succeed in life.
If you could tell a new or incoming student just ONE thing about Syracuse, what it would be?
SU gives students the platform for exploring their interests — take advantage of it as best as you can! From yoga classes, to political organizations, to major-specific clubs, there truly is something for everyone. If you have a passion or hobby, there is
most likely a club filled with other people who enjoy that activity as well.
One of my first SU experiences was when I participated in Own the Dome during my senior year of high school. Own the Dome is an opportunity for accepted students to sleep in the Carrier Dome and meet other accepted students. There are many fun activities planned for the students, such as a hypnotist show and student performances, such as a capella groups and dance troupes. Since I applied Early Decision, I used this opportunity to get to know my future roommate and the campus better. Plus, not many people can say they’ve slept in the Dome! Funny timing, as today was the last day of #OwntheDome2017! If you have the chance to participate in this event, or to attend any one of SU’s admitted students receptions, I strongly encourage it! -VS
I did a lot of community service-based work in high school, and wanted to continue that once I got to college. Lucky for me, Syracuse had many organizations to choose from! I joined Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity, the fall of my sophomore year. APO allowed me to develop leadership skills and do service for the campus and the community around us. One of my favorite projects was baking challah bread for “Challah for Hunger” at @hillelatsu -VS
As I mentioned in my introductory post, I am currently completing an internship in the NY State Assembly Session internship program in Albany. This program is offered in the spring semester through the political science department, in collaboration with the NY State Assembly Intern Committee. Each student is assigned to an Assemblymember’s office, where they work on legislative research and projects, take meetings on behalf of their members, attend committee meetings, and more. My member has ensured that I have had an enriching experience, and I am thankful for that. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the inner workings of New York State government. One of my favorite things to do in my downtime is walk around inside the Capitol building. The architectural details on every floor are astounding!-VS
Good morning everyone! Justice Sonia Sotomayor was in Albany the past two days, and it made me think of that time former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke at Chancellor Syverud’s inauguration during my freshman year. I was in awe by her quick-wit and her way with words. It was definitely a moment to remember! As a freshman at the time, I couldn’t believe that such a distinguished woman in history would take the time to come to campus. However I soon learned that SU brings notable people with different interests and accomplishments. -VS
Being an @artsciencessu and Maxwell student has so many advantages. The Maxwell School is equipped with some of the leading experts in their respective fields. One thing I’ve learned is that professors are always willing to speak with you, regardless of whether they’ve had you in a class. I was interested in the work of a renowned professor in the School, Ralph Ketcham, so I reached out to him. After speaking to him on the subject of the history of democracy, he invited me to take his second year masters seminar. As a junior in college, it was the biggest academic challenge I had faced. It sure was worth it, and Professor Ketcham and I have stayed in touch since. Some of the most memorable classes I’ve taken are Political Conflict with Professor Gavin Duffy, Campaign Analysis with Professor Danielle Thomsen, American Democracy through House of Cards and The Newsroom, and American Culture in the Age of TV, both taught by PhD students. -VS
The Syracuse area has many learning opportunities for students of all majors and disciplines. Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to intern in Congressman John Katko’s district office, which is located in Downtown Syracuse. From this experience, I was able to gain a different, inside perspective on the community. This photo is from our intern appreciation breakfast, which also happened to fall on my birthday. The Congressman even sang me happy birthday! -VS
Today begins my spring break! During my sophomore year, I spent it in Washington, DC with @careersu1 for the D.C. Immersion Program. The program, exclusively offered to sophomores, is a week filled with alumni networking, as you visit the various workplaces of our @sualums in the D.C. area, attend a networking reception at @suindcgh, and more! Through this program, we made visits to Google, the Washington Post, and the FBI in Quantico, VA. The trip allowed us to see how expansive and passionate the SU alumni network is. Since the trip, I have spoken about the program to various forums and cohorts of the program. Definitely a great experience for anyone, regardless of your major or academic interests. -VS
I began writing for the @dailyorange my freshman year. I started out in Pulp, and made my way to becoming a political opinions columnist my junior and senior years. The DO is staffed with so many great writers and editors, and it was an honor to have their guidance. Two of my most memorable DO moments were when @theottoorange posted about an article I did on him (pictured in this post), and watching the first presidential debate with my fellow DO colleagues. When I was in high school, I was editor in chief of our newspaper, @shsroundtable, so it was very important to me to continue writing in college. My former newspaper advisor has even displayed some of my articles on what he calls the “Wall of Fame.” -VS
Although I am in Albany, I have continued to work for the Maxwell School as the social media and communications assistant in the Office of Alumni Relations. In this role, I manage all of the School’s alumni social media channels, edit our alumni blog, and compose profiles on various high profile alums. It has been such a great experience, and has allowed me to get the full Maxwell experience! One of the most memorable moments I’ve had working for Maxwell was when Ambassador Cunningham visited campus for #orangecentral back in October. It was quite an honor to meet him! -VS
This marks the end of my takeover. Thank you for following along! I’ve had a blast reminiscing on my time at SU, and looking ahead at my future as an alumna. It’s so hard to believe that this will soon be a reality! In about a month, I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college. I couldn’t thank Syracuse University enough for giving me this invaluable experience. After graduation, I hope to find an opportunity that allows me to combine my passions for politics and communications. With all this talk about graduation, I dug up this photo of my high school graduation cap. One of our school colors was also orange, so I guess you could say I’ve grown to love the color 🍊 -VS (@vanessasalman)