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Devon Geelan ’18 – SAINTS Orientation Leader

Recognize that face from somewhere? You’ve probably seen her around a million times! Devon Geelan is a senior at Siena with a self-created major in digital marketing and media.

Her hometown is Massapequa, Long Island where she lives with her parents, brother and their super cute dog. Devon is an incredible photographer and just came back from a semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. On campus, she is involved with numerous things from SAINTS orientation leaders to the Senior Gift Committee to an internship in the Study Abroad Office. I met Devon the last semester of my freshman year when our mutual friend wanted us all to room together, and I remember being absolutely blown away by her involvement and the fact that everyone knew her face. Since then, Devon and I have lived together for the past two years and she is one of my best friends at Siena. This week, before we caught up on last week’s episode of America Horror Story, I had the opportunity to sit down with her and talk about plans for the future and get to know her a little better (weird since we live together!)

Her Campus Siena: Why did you choose Siena?

Devon Geelan: I went to admissions events and immediately liked the things they said, and Siena came to my high school, and it just felt like they cared. Siena was the first school to accept me and as soon as I toured the campus, I felt the classic feeling of ‘this is it’ and knew I had to go here. I ultimately loved the feel of this campus, including the community aspect and during the open house days I met a lot of FYSM professors and connected with them. Also, I really did love the Franciscan mentality of Siena.  

HCS: You created your own major within Siena because they didn’t have exactly what you wanted to do. How did you go about creating your own major and know it was the right path for you?

DG: I created my own major within digital marketing and media, and it happened because when I was planning on studying abroad, I was in the office and mentioned that I wanted to be creative in business and marketing and Brother Brian told me I should do more studying of what’s in my major. He encouraged me to create my own major through the honors program which combined three departments. When I ended up looking at study abroad programs, I found one with graphic design and incorporated that into my own major at Siena because it didn’t have specifically what I wanted to study. I owe everything to Brother Brian, he changed my life!

HCS: Speaking of studying abroad, tell us about your Copenhagen experience! What’s it like riding a camel?

DG: My study abroad experience was incredible, but it is extremely difficult in the moment and I never anticipated it being that difficult. I wasn’t nervous before leaving for Copenhagen but the commuting, new languages, and trips to the grocery stores were nerve-wracking. My abroad experience was a pivotal time in my life; it changed my life so much. As for the camel, I’ve never ridden a horse so riding a camel was super weird! Their legs don’t bend so they stand funky, but where I was, Morocco, itself was the craziest time. It put me so out of my comfort zone and made me reflect on my whole life. Morocco was all different languages including French, Spanish and Arabic so it was a crazy time in my life, but made me such a different person.

HCS: Other than that, what’s one of your favorite memories from Copenhagen?

DG: One of my core courses in Copenhagen was graphic design, and the woman who taught it treated us like her children. There was only eight of us in the class, so it allowed us to really connect with her and get to know her. We traveled together as a class with her and spent hours learning about the Denmark culture and her life. Also, my host family was one of the best experiences! My host parents’ 12-year-old daughter was incredible and I enjoyed seeing the differences in how they raise their kids and socially interact. Overall the people in Copenhagen and all the connections I made were my favorite memories of being in Denmark.

HCS: Tell us a little more about your involvement on campus.

DG: Saint Orientation Leaders was my favorite thing that I did! But, I was super passionate about getting involved in admissions from the beginning. I loved helping underclassmen and talking to people so I was super involved in Pathfinders, which led to me being able to run the club as a sophomore and that’s ultimately what I think led me to become an orientation leader. The Saints Orientation Leader position was absolutely incredible and I have never felt so part of something. I’ve met so many people and had so many great connections through the club as well. But I also still remain involved with admissions, and now I’m interning with study abroad talking about my experiences in Denmark and the program as a whole. Pathfinders also helped me network at Siena’s career fair which helped me with my internship this year, at RAD Soap Company! I’ve also done random volunteering things here and there.

HCS: What are your plans for after Siena?

DG: I definitely want to work in New York City, so I’ll probably live at home because luckily I’m so close. I’ve interned in NYC for the past two summers so I know what it’s like as a whole, which is helpful. I’m looking into companies that have awesome designs for an internal marketing team or an agency that does marketing designs for all kinds of clients.

HCS: One of your favorite Siena memories from the past four years here?

DG: It’s super hard to pick out a specific memory because it’s so many little things. But if I was to pick I would say, returning from my study abroad, specifically returning to be a STEM for the SAINT orientation leaders. Reconnecting was incredible with all my friends who were so passionate about this job with me and hanging out with them was incredible. Welcoming in the new freshmen and having the best time was absolute euphoria. It was so exciting and senior year was just starting! Also being reunited and living with you and Alex (Vincent) this past summer, I love being with you guys and I’m going to miss you so much when we graduate.

HCS: What’s your favorite dinner food?

DG: I love Italian food–I know that’s super vague but it’s probably ravioli. And sometimes Saga has them and I get very excited.

HCS: Any advice for future freshmen?

DG: I love the cliche idea of being open, like holding doors open, having an open mind, and showing other people who you really are by being open and vulnerable. Those moments that seem scary end up being the best ones and your time at Siena goes by soooo fast. I also always think about the fact that there’s someone on this campus that I don’t know and could end up being one of my best friends–especially as a freshman this is important. If you have a passion or specific life goal you could end up meeting someone with similar passions so just be true to you!

Living every day to the fullest and trying to change the world
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