Sometimes it’s not one opportunity in college that leads to success but several, as Mauricio Santillan can attest.
Santillan found his calling as a tech entrepreneur by making the most of his time at Lynn. “I played soccer, worked as a student ambassador for the Admission office, majored in entrepreneurship, and studied at General Assembly,” he said. An academic partner of Lynn’s, General Assembly operates a global network of campuses for technology, business and design.
It was Santillan’s admission job that led him to General Assembly. “One day when I was giving a campus tour, a parent who was an executive at Facebook asked me about my interests,” Santillan said. “I told him I wanted to work in tech sales and marketing in South Florida, and he said, “You should learn coding. You already know English and Spanish. Learn Portuguese, too, and you’ll be set.’ ”
To learn Portuguese, Santillan considered study abroad in Portugal or Brazil. He chose Brazil because of the additional community service opportunity of teaching English and soccer. Once back at Lynn, he had ample opportunities to practice the language. “Three of my roommates and lots of my classmates were from Brazil,” he said.
Then, it was on to General Assembly’s campus in New York, where Santillan studied data analytics and digital marketing. At first, it was a bit intimidating. “I was the only college student in my class. All the other students were in their 30s and working professionals,” he said. “But every day, it became easier to catch up.”
It wasn’t long before he landed a job.
“As soon as I posted my General Assembly experience on my LinkedIn profile, I started getting calls and emails from companies for interviews,” Santillan said. One was Miami-based Nearpod, an educational app that combines presentation, collaboration and real-time assessment tools. Santillan knew it well; he had used the app in one of his Lynn classes.
After a Skype interview, the firm flew Santillan to Miami and offered him a job on the spot as a marketing and sales specialist.
“I’m grateful to Lynn for all the opportunities I had there,” Santillan said.