Rivera Raising the Bar

Photo courtesy of Dylan Rivera.

Most are familiar with the term “senioritis,” and most college seniors are afflicted with this fabricated syndrome — but not Dylan Rivera, who is using his last semester at the College to be proactive.

Dylan Rivera had always supposed his last year of college would be the easiest, but he’s realized the opposite to be true.

The fourth-year marketing major decided he would “go hard” during his last semester at SUNY New Paltz. Not only is he a full-time student, but he is fulfilling a penchant for marketing with two internships, one at J. Patrick & Associates and the other at Alfandre Architecture.

“I went on HawkHire one day and I saw there are so many internships to apply for. I filled them all out and got a couple calls back,” he said. “I wanted to gather as much experience as I could before I graduated.”

Before applying to intern at Alfandre, he had passed by the sleek, green building on Main Street that houses the architecture firm without knowing about its eco-friendly work that he now helps market for. The firm specializes in “energy efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable residential and commercial green building,” according to Susan Weatherly, Alfandre’s Director of Marketing and New Business Development. It has served the Hudson Valley for 25 years with local projects such as The Bakery, New Paltz Karate, Hampton Inn and New Paltz 9/11 Memorial, just to name a few. 

Weatherly added that the firm has interns assist with everything from marketing and graphic design to social media and office support. The company’s president and owner, Rick Alfandre, graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1980 and maintains a close relationship with the school and community.

“When the opportunity arises, it is not uncommon for Alfandre Architecture to look to SUNY New Paltz for interns,” Weatherly said.

Rivera, having an interest in architecture firms and wanting to learn more, gladly took this opportunity. 

“What really sold me on Alfandre was their aspect of sustainability, going green and making the buildings efficiently and environment-friendly,” he said. “I just want to spread the awareness of what we do and the benefits we can provide to people.”

On Thursdays and Fridays, Rivera gets to do just that. As an intern, he works both independently and collaboratively to strategize new marketing techniques. His favorite project currently, he said, is working on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems which help companies to organize contacts in a database, reach their customers through newsletters and gather analytics. 

“I’ve gained insight into the industry to understand it more and understand where I can have a place and fit into it,” he said. “[It’s nice] communicating with different people in the office and bouncing ideas off each other, it’s the kind of non-judgemental and friendly environment you want to be in where they can give you insight into what you can be expecting when you graduate.”

Through his internships, Rivera said, he has incorporated what he has studied in the classroom and has learned even more by being in a real-world setting. Being so busy, he’s also been able to hone in on his time management skills. 

“I’m just taking it as it comes and trying to stay on top of everything because I have so much going on,” he said. “But I’m enjoying it and learning a lot.”