Opportunity Scholarship Helps Build a Career

Adrian Santiago ’23 gains vital experience at marketing internship
By Valerie Esposito-Saadat
Adrian Santiago ’23 in 2021 became the first recipient of the Opportunity Scholarship in Marketing/Communications/New Media presented by Hauppauge-based marketing agency Austin Williams.

The mission of the scholarship is to provide assistance to minorities and students of color who are pursuing a career in advertising and marketing.

Adrian Santiago
She received a $2,500 scholarship per year and interned with Austin Williams during her junior and senior years, an experience she said shaped her future career plans.

“I was able to visit the agency’s different departments and shadow the specialists there while I honed in on my skills,” she said. “I had such a great experience and it definitely made an impact on what career I would like to pursue.”

Austin Williams was happy to have Ms. Santiago on board.

“She is eager to learn and reached out to me prior to the start of the internship to see what she could do to make the most of the experience,” said Alex Zieniewicz, Austin Williams’ senior SEO strategist. “She is a very fast learner and picks up things instantly.”

Together with her internship, Ms. Santiago’s experience at St. Joseph’s was greatly influenced by Associate Chair and Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Marketing Lori Thanos, D.B.A.

“Dr. Thanos has been an amazing mentor during my time here,” Ms. Santiago said. “She teaches every class with passion, and I cannot thank her enough.”

Ms. Santiago graduated from the Brooklyn Campus in May with a B.S. in Marketing. She intends to pursue a master’s degree in digital marketing to further her career plans, particularly in the areas of digital marketing, search engine optimization, paid search and social media.

Ms. Santiago said she will miss the Brooklyn Campus in Clinton Hill and the community-minded culture at St. Joseph’s.

“The campus is right in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood, and I loved walking from building to building,” she said. “The school spirit creates a culture of inclusivity and diversity that I will miss.”