Zack Fields ’06
Born and raised in upstate New York, Zack Fields ’06 feels like divine intervention brought him to Syracuse University. “I visited SU on what must have been one of the only sunny days Syracuse had that whole fall. Everyone was smiling and happy, and it felt more like Southern California than New York,” he says. “I literally stopped filling out the second half of my college applications, because I knew SU was where I’d go.”
While the Syracuse weather turned dark and cold, it couldn’t damper Fields’ warm memories about his days as an SU student—from the amazing friends he met, to the excitement of the men’s basketball national championship his freshman year, to a championship of his own in lacrosse in 2004. “Hands down, my favorite SU memory was the day Coach Desko said I made the lacrosse team my freshman year,” Fields says. “I just about skipped back to my dorm room with the biggest smile on my face. The only thing that even comes close is the day I got my college acceptance letter.”
After earning his marketing management degree, Fields moved to San Diego, a place with no shortage of sunny days, and began his career at Cox Enterprises, Inc., a multibillion-dollar communications, media, and automotive services company. Cox’s major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications, Inc.; Manheim, Inc.; AutoTrader.com; and Cox Media Group, Inc. As a marketing specialist, Fields handles statistical research and analysis for Cox, and he appreciates the big picture, big business perspective he gained at SU.
In 2011 a promotion brought Fields to Atlanta, and SU’s presence there helped him make friends and settle in a city where he didn’t know anyone. “I have yet to move to a place that doesn’t have a Syracuse presence, and it’s comforting to know I have a support network within a big city,” Fields says. “It’s nice to go to any Hudson Grille in Atlanta, where the club watches games, and see the SU flag raised. Now all we need are some ’Cuse branded license plates down here, and my life is complete.”
The SU network has become more instrumental for Fields with each passing year. “Everyone always says, ‘It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know.’ That’s 100 percent wrong. It’s entirely about who knows you. After that first job, nobody cares about your GPA anymore. It’s all about networking, and everyone I met at Syracuse has been great for career advice, job opportunities, or simply meeting new people in a new city.”While Fields’ work ethic has led to his success, he thanks SU for giving him the right start. “Success became a standard expectation for almost anything after experiencing two national championships between basketball and lacrosse. I represent the school with every step I take in my career and every person I meet,” he says. “From braving what seemed like 100 mph winds against the Dome in freezing weather to get to class, to those long walks to Marshall Street, or putting shorts on and hanging out on the Quad just because it broke 40 degrees…Syracuse gave me just enough crazy to think that anything is possible!”