Jay Jacob Phillip Arzu

Jay Jacob Phillip Arzu is one of two Marist seniors who had been honored with a Fulbright scholarship this year. Originally from the Bronx, his Fulbright will take him to Milan, Italy. At Marist, Arzu studies Political Science with concentrations in Public Affairs and International Studies.

Arzu is very involved on campus through Student Government, Zeta Psi, and the Black Student Union. Off campus, he has worked at internships in the office of U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano, and Dutchess County Legislator Francena Amparo.  As he pursues his career in this field, and plans for his Fulbright, Arzu discusses big dreams and future goals.

How did you end up at Marist College?

I visited with a community-based organization and Marist was the most desirable school to go to in my program. It just looked really well presented and everything seemed perfect. I applied through the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and I had to interview for that spot. I was lucky and I was able to get into Marist.

How would you advise incoming students to make the most of their time at Marist?

I would tell incoming students that they should be self-motivated and that you have to be able to do independent, diligent work. You have to be motivated and have strong but smart goals. Also, expose yourself to different cultures - that is probably number one for me. People at Marist should try to experience these different things.

Did you always plan to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship? How did you end up doing so?

I actually found out three weeks before the deadline about the specific program, when my mentor from Washington sent it to me. Every day I worked and worked, and met with the Fulbright committee at Marist. By [the deadline] I turned in a really complete and really thorough application. I didn’t necessarily think I was going to get it but it was a hope, it was a dream. Then [in March] I found out that I got it. I am still in shock in a way, but I am very humbled and very blessed by the opportunity.

How did you end up choosing Milan, and what will you be doing there?

It was a specialized Fulbright that would be working with an institution of higher learning through the SDA Bocconi management school. I will be taking classes about city competitiveness and sustainability, and I will also be observing a new innovative urban development called City Life. They are building a sustainable urban development and a business center in the middle of Milan, in a space that used to be a race track. I will be volunteering there, and I expect to do other cultural things as well.

What are your post-Fulbright plans?

I would like to have my own international planning firm - working as a consultant for different cities in the United States and emerging markets in Africa and Latin America. I would very much like to be able to work with cities and consult with them on ways to improve their international business presence.

Written by Sarah Gabrielli '18

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Profile Tags:

Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Political Science
Academic School: Liberal Arts
Campus: New York
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