Student Spotlight: Julia Sinatra ‘C22

Julia Sinatra C’22 

What attracted you to Drew? 

Besides Drew’s excellent reputation and gorgeous campus landscape and architecture, what primarily attracted me to Drew was the close relationships professors established with their students. The professors truly care about their students, want them to succeed and take the time to get to know their students. While I was touring Drew, I was fortunate enough to chat with some of the professors within the Political Science department. While talking to them, the professors were recalling former students by name (who graduated years ago) and telling me their success stories. This stood out to me because unlike many other universities, the students at Drew are not just a number.

Why did you choose Political Science and Business as majors?

Before coming to Drew I knew I was going to major in Political Science. My lifelong dream has been to go to law school and become a lawyer and I knew majoring in Political Science would give me an excellent background. While I have always had an interest in Business and Economics, I decided to major in Business after taking an introductory course.

I chose my majors because they are crucial in shaping society. I think they are important for everyone to learn and directly impact everyone’s lives. Also, they can provide the tools to improve communities and better society which has been a passion of mine.

I have always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. I often jokingly tell people that while most eight year-old girls were dreaming of being rock stars, I was dreaming of being a lawyer.

Have you done any internships?

My first internship was Fall of my Sophomore year. After volunteering at the Madison Farmer’s Market fall of my Freshmen year, Madison’s Director of Business Development offered me a paid position for my Sophomore year. I returned to work at the Farmer’s Market and managed the operations of the market. In order to register my internship with Drew and fulfill my requirements I needed to work multiple days of the week. In order to fulfill the requirement, I contacted Borough of Madison’s Chief Financial Officer with hopes of working with him and observing his role. Through this I was able to successfully develop my own internship and I was able to learn and have a hands on experience of working with business and finance practices in the public sector.

Another internship I had was working on a Congressional campaign this fall. I am thankful for the opportunity to see a side of politics that many people do not see. With New Jersey universally voting by mail this year, I had the crucial responsibility of educating constituents on the vote by mail process. I also was able to recruit, train and manage volunteers ranging from teenagers to senior citizens and organize and execute events that met COVID regulations. Working on the Kean for Congress campaign also provided me with an excellent opportunity to network by meeting individuals with various roles in government from across the nation.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

I have been very fortunate to grow a network of mentors at Drew. My first mentors were Amy Sugerman, Assistant Director and Amy Koritz, Director, of the Civic Scholars Program. Their continuous support and encouragement along with their connections have opened doors for me to learn and grow outside of the classroom while providing me with the resources to continue my passion of volunteering in my local communities.

Finance Professor Steve Firestone has been an incredible guide for me ever since I took his BST 304 class last fall. I am in search of an internship for this summer and Professor Firestone has provided me with numerous contacts and resources so I can learn more and have more opportunities in the financial field.

My advisor, Political Science Professor Dr. Jinee Lokaneeta, has helped me get the most out of my experience at Drew. Her support has helped me grow my confidence and exceed the expectations that I set for myself.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short, long or nycTRECS?

I am currently participating in the New York City Semester on Social Entrepreneurship. While it is unfortunate that the program is online this semester, Professor Dr. Maliha Safri is ensuring that we are making the most of it and as a result of being on Zoom, we are able to talk to members of the third sector from all over the world. While I knew Drew’s New York Semesters provided incredible learning experiences outside of the classroom, I am thankful to have many important conversations on topics such as economics, public policy and social change and gain a global perspective.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

Defending the vulnerable and economic justice. Everyone deserves to have the tools and opportunities necessary to reach economic independence and all of the rewards that come with it. In the instance where the system does not protect someone, I hope to be able to do so in my career.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

One of my favorite memories at Drew is my first year Civic Scholar’s project. Throughout the course of my freshmen year, myself along with my four other group members planned a day of activities and healthy snacks at the Neighborhood House of Morristown. We educated children in elementary school on the importance of keeping their minds and bodies active. Through careful budgeting and partnering with community groups, we were able to successfully execute the event and donate supplies for the children to continue what they learned.

Another excellent opportunity that I have received at Drew is through the Baldwin Honors program. Every fall the honors program takes a trip to New York City and sees a Broadway play. I have been fortunate enough to see Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Be true to yourself and prioritize your goals. Coming to college can be very overwhelming because you are faced with many new situations and meet many new people. While I believe college is a crucial time to grow and self-discover, it is also important to stay true to yourself and remember what is important to you.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

In five years I hope to be graduating from law school. While I am still deciding on what type of law I will be practicing, I am looking forward to see what the future holds.

Are there any fun fact (s) you would like to share?

I am very lucky to have seen a lot of music’s great artists in concert. Bruce, Billy Joel, Guns and Roses… but my favorite concert was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.



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