Student Spotlight: Ilana Ostro

Tania Gorgius, Staff writer


Senior and marketing major of Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), President of the Hillel Organization, Treasurer of Marketing Club, and a representative of Council of Clubs (CoC), Ilana Ostro remains an active student on and off campus. Aside from her academic life, Ostro has fulfilled her own expectations by continuing to shine as a student leader.

Her duties as President of Hillel, which concerns itself with Jewish life on campus, consist of developing proposals for Jewish cultural events, building an ongoing Jewish culture and lifestyle in the community, recruiting, fundraising and event planning. “I would like to continue Jewish life on campus and work with the community,” said Ostro. “I have always been involved in Jewish life whether it is on or off campus and it is important that I continue my involvement in Judaism as a religion and culture.” According to Ostro, Hillel strives to build a Jewish Community both on and off campus for students. “The culture of the Jewish people is also diverse and blends in well with NEIU’s diversity on campus.” Her organization plans interactive lectures and workshops along with other educational and social events that surround the Jewish culture.

As the Treasurer of Marketing Club, she continues event planning and requesting for funds, along with marketing events on campus, including the events of Hillel. “Technically, they are two separate organizations, but without the creativity and discovering the many ways to network and reach out to students, we would not have been able to build Hillel,” said Ostro. She believes that marketing is a universal outlet for all organizations to use and utilize to their advantage. Ostro is hopeful about her goals for the Marketing Club. “I would like to see more marketing students get involved academically and socially, and collaborate with other student organizations along with companies outside of the university.”

In CoC, Ostro’s responsibilities include receiving and reviewing proposals from different clubs and organizations that request funds for events and initiatives. Ostro’s experience with presenting event proposals as part of other student organizations, qualified her position in the CoC as she was familiar with their process. “I enjoy seeing what’s going on with other student activities and encourage everyone I meet to get involved. I am at NEIU almost every day to study and to get things done for my student organizations.” said Ostro.

Ostro works for Enclave Nightclub and Cuvee Ultra Lounge as an event planning intern. She is also involved with Metro Hillel, which serves as an umbrella for all Chicago campus Hillel organizations at universities such as Loyola University, DePaul University, Colombia College, University of Illinois at Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Chicago.

Ostro is currently taking her last course in the College of Business, yet her passion and commitment continues to blossom. Her leadership as President of the Hillel organization encourages and leads our students with the notion to also want to take pride in their own or other culture of interest and become a leader themselves. “I hope that Hillel continues to build interest along with a Jewish family and community on campus” said Ostro. “Five years from now I would like the Hillel to have a variety of events on campus, as well as doing more volunteer work and service on and off campus. I would like to see more students to be strong leaders for the Jewish students and feel like Hillel is their second home on campus. I hope that the Marketing Club continues to build student interest, including current and prospective students. I also hope that there are more events on campus. It is important that the academic clubs stay active as a student organization.”
Ostro is inspired by successful people who are leaders in their businesses and communities. “I am inspired when I meet others who are also leaders or have the potential to lead because this is what pushes me to be a stronger and successful leader,” said Ostro.

Ostro came to NEIU after transferring from Depaul. “NEIU is convenient and has a good business program which is what I was interested in. It’s convenient in terms of distance and is very affordable,” said Ostro. What attracted Ostro to NEIU is the affordability and utilization of resources on campus such as student activities and other events. Like many students who work and go to school, Ostro still finds time to cook, travel, and snowboard. She also likes to plan events, hang out with friends, and spend time with her family as much as possible, especially during the Jewish holidays. In the future, she sees herself in a big corporation working with people, planning events, marketing activities, and advertising.