Melanie Jelen (B.S. ’20) has had many successes at New York Tech, including receiving her bachelor’s in business administration and graduating with Summa Cum Laud honors as well as being a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. But one she truly relishes is her role as the president of the School of Management Student Advisory Board. She cites the position as improving her presentation, team building, and time management skills. Jelen, who is pursuing an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing, is the recipient of the 2021 Women Economic Developers of Long Island (WEDLI) Madeline Orsini Scholarship. Jelen’s active engagement in the community earned her this honor. She worked with the Office of Career Services to assist in putting together several career-oriented workshops, including Career Week, career boot camps, and speed networking events. She also played a key role in creating a United Nations student chapter at New York Tech. She sat down with The Box to talk about the award and her hopes for the future.
You are the recipient of the 2021 WEDLI Madeline Orsini Scholarship for excellence in leadership and community service on Long Island. What was it like to receive the award?
To receive this award was very special for me. Dr. [Robert] Koenig and Professor [William] Ninehan reached out to me to complete the application. They were willing to help me by writing recommendation letters and reviewing any documents I needed to submit and were quick to reply to all my emails. Just the feeling of knowing I had such a supportive team behind me, willing to help me in anything and everything I chose to do truly meant more than any award. I am also grateful to all the staff and faculty that joined on Zoom to watch me receive my award. Without their endless support and always pushing me to do better and be better, I couldn’t have received such an amazing award.
Can you talk about your experiences in the classroom?
I have worked with a few professors on projects at New York Tech. One of my favorites was working on a paper with Professor Ellie Schwartz on brand loyalty and choice when people are faced with long-term changes in income. It was a great experience as I was able to apply what I had learned in the classroom. I enjoyed being along for the journey and was very thankful that Professor Schwartz had thought of me. Additionally, it was nice to see how my education could be transferred into real work that is shared worldwide.
What would you hope to accomplish in your career?
I would like to start a social media marketing company that allows me to help different organizations promote their products and services throughout the United States and, eventually, overseas. I love meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, and hope that creating my own platform will allow me to do so. I also want to continue to give back. I hope to return to the Student Advisory Board as an alumna so I can continue to help my community.