Leo Wong ’14

Leo WongTell us about your career path and where you are today.
I am a recent graduate of Syracuse University with the Class of 2014. I received a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and went a very linear career path. I work as an account executive on the eBay account at DigitasLBi in San Francisco, a global advertising and marketing agency that specializes in digital. Prior to starting my career, I had internships at NBCUniversal (NYC) in the cable branded entertainment department, and at Team Detroit (Dearborn, Michigan) on the Ford truck and Mustang accounts.

When you look back on your life, what has your SU experience meant to you?
My SU experience means everything to me. I truthfully can say that if it weren’t for SU and all the great experiences and opportunities I have had, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. Being in an environment where I was able to truly discover myself, explore my passions, and embrace new relationships and opportunities, was pivotal in shaping the current-day Leo.

Some of the highlights include being a founder of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, being a founding member of the all-male a cappella group Otto Tunes, rising in the ranks in the student-run theater organization First Year Players, becoming a resident advisor, studying abroad in Madrid, being a 2013 Remembrance Scholar, and being the Class of 2014’s University Marshal.

As an alum in the San Francisco Bay Area, how have you enjoyed connecting with other alumni in the region?
I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with other alumni. It was tough to move out here not knowing too many folks, as most of my college friends stayed in the East Coast and my home friends are in Los Angeles, so this was kind of a fresh start for me. It’s funny; the same day I moved out to the Bay Area was the day that I also attended the SUcess in the City event in San Francisco. So I started meeting alumni literally from day one!

Why do you think it's important to help future students get their start at SU by making SU part of your philanthropic priorities?
As a SU graduate from California, I understand what a big decision and commitment it is to attend a university across the country. For me, it was a difficult decision to make in terms of the distance it was from home, especially being an only child, and the finances not only to attend the University but for air travel as well.

I think it is extremely important to give back not only to the University, but to the prospective students as well, by volunteering at local career fairs, conducting in-person interviews, and attending accepted student events and student sendoffs—it really makes a huge difference for all parties involved. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in all these activities and have firsthand come to see what an impact it has on prospective students. Many of these prospective students do not have the opportunity to visit SU prior to submitting their application or even declaring their acceptance, so speaking directly with alumni helps paint them a picture of the culture and experience of the University and what to expect as a student.

How did these gatherings help you decide to come to Syracuse?
The accepted student event and the student sendoff in Los Angeles were pivotal in helping me make my decision to attend SU as I got a true sense of what the University was like through speaking with faculty, professors, alumni, and students. These events really helped answer a lot of outstanding questions and put a lot of fears at ease for both my family and me.

I know everyone has various responsibilities and priorities in their lives. Giving back to Syracuse University may not be at the top of your list, but I hope that it will at least be on your list because however you can give back truly does make a difference. Take it from a clueless California boy who had no idea what to expect at Syracuse University, only to find out it was a life changing experience!