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From left: Alicia Mendoza, Mario Kochanski and Samantha Sandowski

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A student leader with determination and vision

In the advertising world, no television ad is as prestigious as a Super Bowl commercial.

Northeastern Illinois University student Alicia Mendoza is passionate about having a hand in creating such an ad—and you’d be wise not to bet against her.

“I would love to work on a Super Bowl commercial at some point in my career,” she said. “In the advertising and marketing world, that is one of the most important projects you can be asked to work on, and I love the creative work that goes into preparing for such an important event.”

To reach her dream job, Mendoza is thriving as a senior Marketing major at Northeastern, where she has become a student leader and academic all-star. She was elected to serve as the first president of Northeastern’s National Society of Hispanic MBAs undergraduate chapter. She is also involved in the Student Advisory Council of the College of Business and Management, serves as president of the American Marketing Association student chapter and has worked with the annual, student-run International Business Conference.

Mario Kochanski, who serves as the Student Advisory Council president, has known Mendoza since their high school days at Niles West.

“In one sentence, she gets it done,” Kochanski said. “The one thing about Alicia that has given her the success that she has attained is that she is one of the hardest-working people I know. She works tirelessly regardless of the different circumstances or obstacles that might arise. You can give her any task, any problem, any project, and if you can get her on board, you can rest assured she will get the task done.”

Mendoza’s success as a student hasn’t come without challenges. She is an undocumented student, and she found Northeastern to be a welcoming environment with a long history of serving undocumented students.

Mendoza, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Oakton Community College in Skokie, was accepted to Northeastern’s Honors Program and offered a full Phi Theta Kappa scholarship.

“Northeastern was the only school at that time willing to make such an offer because of my immigration status, so I am very grateful to the University for such an amazing opportunity,” Mendoza said.

Her hard work has not gone unnoticed by Michael Bedell, dean of the College of Business and Management.

“Alicia is a model student,” he said. “She gets the most out of her experience at Northeastern inside and outside of the classroom. The sky is the limit for Alicia, and I am eager to see what she accomplishes after she graduates from Northeastern.”

For now, Mendoza said she enjoys being a student leader at Northeastern and plans to pursue an M.B.A.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to be considered a student leader,” she said.  “However, it is not a title that I take lightly, and I feel that I have a great responsibility to give back to the community. I believe that part of being a great leader is helping and inspiring others and creating something that will hopefully be beneficial, not just to myself but to others as well.”

Pictured above (from left): Alicia Mendoza, Mario Kochanski and Samantha Sandowski

Business and Management

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