Marc Santora

Advanced Certificate in Management

Class of 2021

Marc Santora
"CUNY SPS has influenced my current job and my career in lots of ways. It expanded my management techniques and I've been able to handle situations more efficiently at work”

What were some of the most defining aspects of your time at CUNY SPS?

One defining moment that comes to mind when I think about my time as a student at CUNY SPS is getting an A on my first major assignment. I hadn’t written an academic paper in nearly ten years since I completed my undergraduate degree. I was very unsure of myself and my ability to meet the expectations of graduate-level work, but I made sure to put my best effort into being as thorough as possible. When I got my grade back, it was proof for me that I was up to the challenge and really could do well in the ACM program.

What is the best piece of advice, or most important thing you learned at CUNY SPS?

The best piece of advice I could offer is to always stay mindful of your course syllabus and to make a plan for completing your work. Balancing school work, a full-time job, and all other parts of life can get very difficult, so it’s important to know your schedule, set your own deadlines, and commit to the plan you’ve made for yourself. For schoolwork, in particular, I found that the early bird catches the worm, so planning to get things done early really helped me to always put my best foot forward while also managing my stress levels.

Who influenced you the most?

The easy answer to this question is Lianna Scull. I reached out to Lianna as a prospective student with long emails filled with lots of questions, and she always answered everyone thoroughly and quickly. She stayed in contact with me during my application process, became my advisor once I was accepted into the program, and supported me both personally and academically every step of the way. Not having been in school for a long time before joining the ACM program, it was a tremendous benefit to have that support from day one.

How has CUNY SPS influenced your current job, and your career overall?

CUNY SPS has influenced my current job and my career in lots of ways. It expanded my management techniques and I’ve been able to handle situations more efficiently at work. It reinforced what management knowledge I already had thus allowing me to feel much more comfortable speaking up and implementing my ideas. It broadened my network of trusted colleagues I could contact to exchange ideas, ask questions, and seek career advice. It was daunting to think about juggling work, life, and school prior to getting into the program, but now having proven to myself that I could manage each commitment successfully, my time at CUNY SPS has shown me that I could do anything I put my mind to.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

My organization acts as a fiscal intermediary and advisor to philanthropic causes. We fuel movements that empower women’s rights, fight against voter suppression, and advocate for immigrant justice, just to name a few. My job in operations management is to create the conditions for our work to be executed as efficiently as possible. Being successful at my job means that I’m contributing in some way, however small, to make the world a fairer and more equitable place.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be in a more senior role at my current organization while also pursuing my passion for writing.

What shows are you currently watching?

The pandemic has turned me into a big TV junkie. I’m watching too many to name at the moment. But some notable mentions would be Modern Family, Dopesick, The Crown, The Great British Bake Off, Insecure, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

What is your favorite meal?

Having grown up on Italian food, I’d have to say I favor any pasta dish put in front of me.

What is your favorite line in a movie?

“There’s no crying in baseball,” from Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own.

Favorite or most recent book you read?

I’m currently reading “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” by Joan Didion.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, All, None?

I’m most frequently on Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn is a close second.

List 3 things you would bring to a deserted island?

My dog, a radio, and lots of bug spray.

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