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Sean Kenney ’12

Sean KenneyFor Sean Kenney ’12, Syracuse University provided both the education and network to launch a successful career in the best ways possible—confident, curious, and connected. “SU was an environment that solidified my principles, fostered lifelong relationships, and expanded my horizon of possibilities,” Kenney says. “All in all, my time as a student created a toolbox of knowledge and experience upon which I continue to rely and develop today.”

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, Kenney began his career at a leading engineering consulting firm in New York City—an opportunity cultivated through the SU alumni network. A strong believer in the University’s commitment to student success, and grateful for the opportunities he gained through networking, Kenney helped three other alums gain employment during his time with the firm.

As his career progressed, the California native welcomed the chance to return home, and today he works as an environmental remediation and property development engineer, serving public and private real estate developers with projects located throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He supports local SU alumni engagement efforts too, serving on the San Francisco Regional Council.

Kenney also plans to pursue graduate studies in the near future and credits SU for continuing to shape him today, particularly by recognizing the things that fuel his passion. “As an involved student, I had to selectively choose my commitments since I didn’t have time for everything,” he says. “I realized the importance of identifying and committing to motivators that ‘pull’ me, energizing action and driving toward achievement, versus the ‘push’ motivators which represent challenges along the achievement path that require willpower to overcome.”

Perhaps Kenney’s greatest takeaway from SU, and advice he continues to follow, came from another alum. “At my commencement speech, Aaron Sorkin ’83 said, ‘Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.’ This mindset continues to serve me in life after college by valuing intellectual curiosity as a method to innovate to better solutions,” he says.