This summer, Jackson Lesure ’21 is working as an intern with Mastercard, while recent graduate Jake Preston ’20, will begin his full-time employment with the company in August.
Lesure is working from his home in Bridgton, Maine on several projects for the payment services company. He is working with other interns to help Mastercard partners manage the COVID-19 pandemic and to recover afterwards by pitching a business solution designed to help a key focus area of the community. “There’s no telling what work may look like in the future and this provides a unique opportunity to help all those at risk,” he says.
In addition, he’s assisting on a customer data cleanup project and using a data visualization tool for partners to allow them to more easily understand pertinent data. “My task is to create an interactive dashboard that gives insight into the service providers operating within Mastercard’s network,” Lesure says.
Working from Mastercard’s tech hub in New York City, Preston held an internship at the company last summer, when he worked with the digital marketing group on websites for Eastern European departments. In his new position, Preston, a media and society major with a minor in entrepreneurship, will serve as a sales analyst for the digital partnership team. “I’ll be managing our relationships with our digital partners, focused on fintech, and I’ll be drafting client presentations,” he says.
Both Preston and Lesure credit their experience as members of the Statesmen basketball team with giving them skills they are carrying forward to their work experiences. Preston says the influence of Head Coach Stefan Thompson ’13 and assistant coaches extended far beyond the court. “I learned a lot from them about what it means to be a leader and a caring individual,” he says.
Lesure says his basketball experiences helped him become a more disciplined student able to juggle multiple commitments and deadlines. “Not only do I need to be responsible in order to complete my work at the level at which I’d like to, it’s also very important to have good time management skills,” he says.
Preston and Lesure share their basketball connection with another Mastercard employee, Cort Williams ’19, who is an account analyst with the company. Lesure says connections such as these are making his internship memorable. “I will continue to talk to as many people as I can within the company and make meaningful connections—it’s the people that make experiences like this one amazing, even from my dining room table.”
Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, is grateful for the alum and parent support in securing these positions and others over the years from Mastercard Senior Vice President Trish Preston P’20 and John Preston ’71, P’20, principal and portfolio manager at Watts Capital. At Hobart, John Preston was a member of Delta Chi, the Statesmen basketball team, and was an American Studies major.
The photo above features Jake Preston ’20 (left) and Jackson Lesure ’21 (right).