AEP Alumni Success Stories

Isaac De Los Santos

Isaac De Los Santos (2015)

Location:
Niagara University, N.Y.
Profession:
Branch Management Trainee – M&T Bank
Bio:

While at NU, I was able to receive several opportunities that helped add even more value to my undergrad education at Niagara. For example, I worked for the offices of Residence Life, Campus Activities and Admissions. I also worked for a company where I was able to do digital marketing for companies such as Toshiba, Verizon, Century Link and much more!

I graduated in May 2015 with my bachelors and in December 2016, I graduated with my MBA in strategic marketing at Niagara University. After graduating in 2015, I was granted the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which provided me with a scholarship for graduate school. In July 2016, I began a career in banking by joining the Management Development Program at M&T Bank, which is an accelerated program where young professionals are exposed to leadership training, banking from different departments and sales.

How did AEP help you as a college student? Did AEP prepare you for the major you ultimately declared?

I don't really think I'd be in the position that I am now had it not been for AEP.

When I first enrolled, I wanted to major in several things and I couldn’t make up my mind. Not only did my AEP advisor help me register for classes, but she helped me easily transition to the university. She made me feel confident about my choice of being in this program, while my peers had declared majors.

There’s always some sort of stigma that every college student needs to have their major declared before enrolling, but there's a high chance that a student will change their major anyway. AEP allowed me to avoid having to deal with the issue of changing my major.

I declared as a marketing major during my sophomore year and I never had to switch it. My AEP advisor got me access to meet with professors and professionals in the area of business and because of that, I gained a lot of knowledge that ultimately helped me declare my major.

During my time as a graduate student, I still remembered what the AEP advisors would tell their students about exploring new interests and not being afraid to take on a challenge. I never thought I wanted to be a banker, but I was always interested in finance and helping people, so I decided to leave my old position and try something new. It was a scary thought at first, but then I thought about how I had the same sentiments when trying to decide on a major and then I wasn’t as worried anymore.

How did Niagara prepare you for the “world of work” (i.e. key coursework, internships, clubs, etc.)?

Niagara provided me with several opportunities that had given me experience and skills to become marketable in the job market. Through my courses, I learned a lot about different content/media editing software, such as Photoshop, Final Cut, Silverstripe and much more!

My AEP advisor also recommended that I take a language course and I loved it so much that I have a minor in it. Because of my Niagara education, I can now speak French.

One course that really helped with my career was Sales Communication, which was a course that focused on public speaking, sales and communication. My professor challenged us by making us do several presentations, learn about ourselves and how we communicate and by having us learn about different industries.

Any fun professional tidbits?

  • I am an avid chess player. I traveled around the country solely for chess tournaments. When I was 14, I was listed in the top 100 chess players under the age of 14.
  • I love trivia. I've hosted several trivia events on and off campus and I was in the contestants’ pool for “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” I'd love to be on any trivia show, especially “Jeopardy.”
  • My dream job would be to become a "shark" on the show, “Shark Tank.”