“I am always interested in learning something new, or even better, be[ing] told of something I did know but from a different perspective.”
Juan Escalera, a senior Marketing and economics major, spoke these words as he thought back on his time in George Mason’s Honors College. With graduation on the horizon, the effect that the Honors College and all he has learned during his time in it has become more prominent.
Escalera began his time in the Honors College in the EIP—the Early Identification Program. This program identifies promising first-generation college students while in middle and high school, and guides them through their college application process and their first steps into Mason.
Having benefitted from this program, Escalera decided to pay the experience forward. In fact, he returned to be employed by the same office that had guided him, working as the photographer for many of their events.
“Being able to give back and support the program directly has been a great opportunity and has allowed me work alongside familiar faces.”
Moving forward with his time at Mason, Escalera soon enrolled in Multidisciplinary Practicum (HNRS 360), taught by instructor Mr. Richard Todd Stafford. During this class, he created an official marketing plan to help his employer. Using this plan, he analyzed analytics for the EIP’s social media posts, and conducted interviews with the intent of growing their social media presence.
From this experience, Escalera’s talent for social media marketing and photography was nurtured by his instructor, and following this project, Escalera was hired to the Honors College Communications Team by Stafford. Here, he now serves as the head social media intern for the team, teaching his peers and learning new aspects of communications work every day. He demonstrates to the team how to appropriately run various social media accounts and camera techniques—skills that are much appreciated by his peers. The Honors college provided him with a bridge between his professional and academic life, shaping Escalera into a well-rounded student during his time in college.
Escalera has always remarked that he loves to learn something new. From EIP to a future Honors College graduate, his passion for learning and appreciation for discovering something new has shaped his experience.