Samantha Leenas

Samantha Leenas is a senior from Ringwood, New Jersey. She is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Political Science. She is involved in a tremendous amount of extracurricular activities, including the Campus Ministry Advisory Board, Marist Enactus, Ambassadors, Marist Splash, Beta Gamma Sigma and working as a Bloomberg Lab Assistant in the Investment Center.

Tell us about the Marist Splash event. What do you hope to achieve?
Marist Splash is a program for middle and high school students, grades 7-12, who come on to campus to take FUN classes taught by Marist students. Splash was started by honors student Megan Callanan in 2016, and I took over as President for the 2017 school year with a committee of students including Joseph Guida, Sam Greene, and Kate Boylan, among others. Splash was a huge success with over 80 classes offered and 150+ students attending. We really wanted to share our passions with younger students and introduce them to a college setting, and I really think we were successful with that this year!

Tell us about your experience in the honors program.
Through the honors track, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take special topics classes with fewer students in each class. For example, I took an honors Global Engagement course with Professor Caridi, which combined politics and economics. In the class, we read a book called “Why Nations Fail,” which inspired me to conduct research on property rights. I was able to present this research at various conferences including the New York State Political Science Association Conference as well as the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Studying in the honors program has definitely provided me with invaluable opportunities I would not have had otherwise. Dr. Snyder, the director of the program, really cares about students and their individual successes, so working closely with him has been an amazing experience!

How did you decide on your major?
I’m a business administration major with a concentration in finance and a minor in political science. Growing up, I always had a passion for politics, so I always assumed I would major in political science once I got to college. However, in high school, I came to realize that most of the politics I followed revolved around economics and finance. As a result, I chose to study business finance and minor in political science. This has proven to be an awesome combination for me as it combines both my passions. Studying these fields has taught me that every business is affected by government policy and politics and that every political organization runs like a business.

How do you balance being so active with succeeding in school?
I’ve always enjoyed being active on campus in service and extracurricular activities. It’s a great way to meet people while giving back to Marist and the surrounding community. I think that’s what really drives me to get involved. Of course, it can be tough to balance sometimes, but I’ve learned to focus on activities that I’m most passionate about so that I can still make time for studying and academics. I love learning and getting involved, so making time for academics and extracurriculars was well worth it!

Tell us about the internships you've participated in.
My first internship was a business analysis intern at the Vitamin Shoppe in Secaucus, NJ. Then, I worked in the Finance Department of the National Republican Congressional Committee on Capitol Hill when I completed a semester in Washington, D.C. fall of my junior year. This was an awesome experience to combine both my passions and interact with congressmen on the Hill. Finally, I interned as an asset management intern for Chubb Insurance in New York City summer going into senior year. This was an amazing opportunity to learn firsthand about the finance industry.

What are you looking forward to most after graduation?
I’m most looking forward to utilizing what I learned at Marist in the real world. I recently accepted a position as a Market Risk analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase for after graduation. I’m excited to apply everything I learned here at Marist in this new role while still continuing to learn and challenge myself.

What advice do you have for rising seniors?
Marist has so many amazing opportunities to offer – even in your senior year. Seize every one of them or you’ll regret it! Networking with students and professors throughout your four years will prove well worth it. Senior year is tons of fun- but don’t slack off yet – finish strong! Don’t forget to give back to the community – Marist, Poughkeepsie, and the Hudson Valley give us so much, and it’s so important to give back whenever you can. Most importantly, time flies by, so don’t forget to enjoy it and make time to have fun in between schoolwork and activities!

Written by Shannon Donohue '17 and Adriana Belmonte '17

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Profile Tags:

Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Finance
Academic School: Management
Campus: New York
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