Dear Spiders Family,
We find ourselves at the end of another semester, and the end of four years for three Spiders, including myself. As we graduate, we are very thankful to Jono for giving us the opportunity to learn, grow, and find a close circle of friends within the Spiders and Online Platforms teams. Although we are sad to go, we know that we are joining a strong alumni network and Spiders will continue to do great things.
Last week we held the senior farewell potluck which saw the best of the teams’ home cooking skills on display. Aside from the tasty food, the graduates received their Spiders diplomas and gifted Jono customized M&M’s with his face on them! You can check out the highlights in the gallery below.
We also connect with Dan Hayes ‘14—now working as a software engineer at Condé Nast—who shares his advice for Spiders in Alumni Spotlight. Finally, we chat with Spider and resident fashionista Anna Molinari ‘20 on her major, inspiration, and career plans.
Thank you all for being a part of the Spiders Family! I hope you enjoy this edition of the Spiders Family Newsletter.
Senior Farewell Potluck
Q&A with Spiders Graduates
Congratulations to the graduating Spiders! Check out the senior profiles to learn more about how they became Spiders and their favorite memories in the cubes:
For the May newsletter, we caught up with Dan Hayes ’14 who is now working as a software engineer for Condé Nast in New York City.
Dan Hayes arrived at Syracuse University in 2010 with the goal of transferring into Whitman’s entrepreneurship program. A few semesters into his psychology degree, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to pursue.
By the end of his sophomore year, Dan was teaching himself how to code in his free time. He then joined Spiders spring semester of his junior year. As a web developer, he created WordPress themes and plugins and was also involved in quality assurance—testing cross-browser compatibility and improving user experience of the university’s sites across platforms. Dan later approached Jono and asked if he could make a website and he gave him two weeks to code a parallax scrolling site.
Dan says his experience at Spiders was invaluable as it gave him projects under his belt before he graduated. “If I hadn’t worked at Spiders, I would have been really intimidated at my first job in New York,” Dan says. “It gave me a helpful start and confidence in my field for sure.” He landed his first job as a web developer at MCD Partners, a digital customer experience agency, before moving to Condé Nast.
At Condé Nast, Dan migrates data from across the publisher’s diverse portfolio, including The New Yorker, GQ, Vogue, and Wired. Working for a magazine publisher was not what he envisioned when he first graduated, but he enjoys working on a specific product. Looking to the future, he might branch out from publications to a new industry that also peaks his interest—whether that is tech, software, or other media.
Dan credits his success to the mentorship he received from Jono. “He was very motivating and gave me a lot of confidence,” Dan says. “In my mind, I owe him my career.”
Dan’s advice for Spiders?
“Definitely take what you guys are doing at Spiders seriously. It is so much more valuable than you might imagine. You don’t always need to have a computer science background to get a job in the industry. Having work under your belt can just be as valuable as a degree, if not more valuable.”
Spider Anna Molinari ’20 started sewing when she was eight years old. Now a fashion design major, she plans on making it a career. When choosing universities, Anna knew she didn’t want an isolated art school experience, and Syracuse University—with its extracurriculars and business program—was a perfect fit.
Two years into her degree, Anna has been building her portfolio which she showcases on her personal website, ‘Annamol Instinct.’
In terms of styles that inform her work, Anna has been experimenting with street style and enjoys outside of the box design. “I like using unconventional materials and sculptural fashion,” Anna says. “Most of the curriculum so far has been very orchestrated, but they are now letting us be more creative.” For her final project this semester, she is working on a outfit that includes a pair of chaps.
Her creative process begins with a lot of sketches and then picking one or two she wants to work with. “When I design, I think about what would I want to wear. If I was famous or going to an event, what outfit would I want to be seen in.” Before cutting into expensive fabric, Anna puts the outfit together with muslin fabric to iron out any kinks in the design.
“I love the creativity in fashion,” Anna says. “There are no rules.” She also likes having the opportunity to network with other creatives, including photography and video majors.
Next year, Anna will be studying abroad at the London College of Fashion and hopes that this experience will help guide her fashion career. One day, she hopes to live in London or Paris as their fashion weeks are landmarks in the fashion world. She would ideally work as a designer for a major fashion house—Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, or Chanel—on ready-to-wear fashion collections.
Overheard in the Office
“I’m already famous.” – Shazif Shaikh
“I have a permanent residence in Bird Library.” – Katie Canete