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Emily Raleigh: The Smart Girl

You know that girl who is totally ambitious, incredibly friendly, and unbelievably dedicated to everything she does? Emily Raleigh is that girl. Although Emily is extremely busy relaunching the network she started in high school, The Smart Girls Group, she took the time out of her crazy schedule to answer a few questions for Her Campus Fordham. As you read through her interview you will notice that Emily has a lot on her plate; from running and managing The Smart Girls Group, to being a resident assistant, to her involvement in several clubs, she performs quite the balancing act- and makes it look easy! You will never see Emily break a sweat, and you most definitely will never see this smart girl without a warm, genuine smile! Meet Emily Raleigh!


Where are you from?

I am from Long Beach Island, New Jersey, 20 steps from the beach!

What year are you?


What is your major?

I’m majoring in Entrepreneurship with a specialization in Communications and Media Management and a minor in Computer Science!

What activities are you involved in? 

I’m very involved in the Entrepreneurship program on campus. I’m on the Executive Board of Entrepreneurship Society and I’m on the Regional Board of the Compass Fellowship, after being a fellow last year. I’m also an RA for the ILC West Wing in O’Hare!

How did you decide to come to Fordham? 

How I chose Fordham still amazes me! I was originally going to Boston College, but then after visiting Fordham, I knew it was the perfect fit and on May 1 enrolled at Fordham. From the moment I walked on campus, they did not just believe in me as a capable student; they believed in The Smart Girls Group. In so many ways it is perfect. It is in the heart of New York City, which is arguably the most magical city in the world (plus the opportunities in the city are endless especially for entrepreneurs). But more than anything, it feels like home.

Do you have any tips for students who are trying to balance schoolwork, extracurriculars, and other obligations like internships?

Make your planner your best friend. Mine is color coded, scheduled down to the minute, and Post It notes are covering the pages. You also have to put priority levels on everything. I have a To Do list every day and break it up by priority, from A list to C list. It helps a lot! But at the end of the day, we are still in college and you need to make sure you have time to have fun and for yourself.

What’s your favorite thing about New York?

I love the fact that every day I can go on a new adventure. There is so much to do and see, and that is something you don’t get everywhere. My NYC Bucket List just seems to keep on growing, but luckily, I have some time to cross them off!

Do you have a favorite NYC memory?

Oh gosh, that is hard! I got to go to Kenneth Cole’s office in the Upper West Side a few weeks ago after he awarded The Smart Girls Group his AWEARNESS Grant. His office overlooks the Hudson and it is absolutely beautiful in every way. It was like seeing my dream office come to life, and it was so motivating to keep working hard! It was a great reminder also that we as Fordham students are given opportunities to experience things most college students only dream about simply because it is right in our backyard.

What’s on your NYC bucket list?

Literally everything. The number one thing I would like to do though is bike the five boroughs!

Do you have a favorite Fordham memory?

So far, my favorite Fordham memory was the second week of my freshman year when I got to walk the Brooklyn Bridge with the entire Jogues community. It was so much fun and I’m hoping that this year, I can bring my O’Hare residents there!

What’s your favorite class you’ve taken at Fordham? 

I think my favorite class so far has been the Ground Floor. I really enjoyed reading the textbook because it was actually related to what I was working on in so many ways and I loved the teacher, Dr. DiLorenzo. I actually have her again this year for Marketing so I’m excited!

What’s your least favorite class you’ve taken at Fordham?

I would probably say Statistics. I’m not much of a numbers girl, so that class wasn’t a favorite, but the teacher was very nice!

Where’s your favorite spot on campus?

I would have to say where the fountain is between Hughes, the Administration Building, and Dealy. It’s pretty no matter the time of year and everywhere you look is more gorgeous than the next. Plus, it is a great spot to read outside.

If you could give one piece of advice to a Fordham collegiette, what would it be?

Get off campus! New York City has so much to offer! Go to networking events, go explore Manhattan, go to a workshop. There’s an endless amount of things you can do!

What’s your dream job?

My dream job is actually what I am pursuing right now. I founded a company during high school called The Smart Girls Group, which unites the next generation of superstar women in our unique sisterhood environment. We are developing a one-stop-shop for ambitious young women, while redefining what it means to be smart. We have publications, campus chapters throughout the country, an online community and much more! There are over 250 Smart Girl Sisters, who also contribute, in The Smart Girls Group right now, and hopefully that number will grow in a big way this year.

We are actually relaunching on Sunday, September 1st, thanks to a grant from Kenneth Cole, which we won through the Compass Fellowship at Fordham! Hopefully, I can be doing this for the rest of my life because it is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done.

What do you think the best part of a Jesuit education is? 

It explores a little bit of everything! I find that I have been able to channel what I learned in all my classes to how I run The Smart Girls Group. It’s funny because so far, only one of my classes has been an actual business class, yet I’m still using everything I learned in my job. It is definitely a unique style of education and one that I feel very grateful to have.

Who is your favorite professor at Fordham?

Dr. Janssen! She is the Director of the Entrepreneurship here at Fordham and is just all around awesome. She has helped me get internships, make big decisions for The Smart Girls Group, and find my way in the world of entrepreneurship. I actually have not had a class with her yet, but working with her to improve the entrepreneurship program has been such a blessing and has truly been one of the best parts of being at Fordham.

What’s one thing everyone would be surprised to learn about you?

I used to be on a crew and was a breakdancer!

Pick one!

Bronx Zoo or Botanical Gardens?

Bronx Zoo!

Arthur Ave/Fordham Road?

Arthur Ave all the way!

Cafeteria or Grille?


Conway or Dr. Jay’s?

Ha! I don’t even know what this is…

RamVan or Subway?


Met or MoMA? 


Hot Dog or Bagel?

Hot Dog!

Broadway or Off-Broadway?


Radio City or Madison Square Garden?

Radio City!

Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge?

Central Park!






Alyssa is a senior at Fordham University pursuing a major in Communications and Media Studies, and a minor in Spanish. With career goals ranging from digital editor at a major women's magazine, to writing a best selling young adult novel, she has put her skills to the test in many different areas of the communications field. 
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