Alumna Earns Two Degrees and a Leadership Position

When it comes to planning her career path, Lu Yin G ’14, G ’19 has always been one step ahead. She chose to pursue an MBA at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management right after completing her undergraduate degree in China, because she knew that she would eventually want a leadership role — and she wanted to begin preparing for that leadership position as early as possible.

“If you haven’t had any experience working in a company or the professional world, directly doing an MBA is going to be difficult,” Yin shares. Since she spent the last two years of her undergraduate experience interning two to three days a week, Yin was ready to leap to an MBA program right after she graduated.

Keeping that goal of a leadership position in mind helped ease Yin’s transition between undergraduate and graduate school, and more importantly, her move to the U.S. She appreciated all of the opportunities Whitman offered, including events where she met alumni and projects that allowed her to work with professionals. These experiences helped her settle quickly into the Syracuse community. Even the MBA curriculum played a role.

Yin shares, “It feels like you’re not just studying from the book, you’re also getting real-world experience.”

While pursuing her MBA, Yin also spent a summer in Singapore, through the Singapore Internship Program. She wasn’t aware of the program until she spoke to a second-year grad student and  immediately reached out to Gary La Point, professor of supply chain management practice, to see how she could apply. That summer, Yin was able to secure an internship with IBM and work on her leadership skills.

“The relationships between students and professors are really strong at Whitman,” Yin shares. She’s still connected with multiple professors. Professor Don Harter has had a positive influence on Yin’s career; he also helped her decide whether to pursue business analytics or applied data science concentration. Zhengping Wu, associate professor of supply chain management, was a source of advice and support as Yin thought about whether or not to get a Ph.D. at Whitman.

But another resource as impactful as Whitman’s professors was the Whitman Career Center, Yin adds. When she began looking for jobs, she started working with the Career Center to update her resume, revising it more times than she could count. And her career advisor’s advice about companies and opportunities was invaluable, Yin says. “A lot of students don’t realize how important a role the career center plays.”

As she wrapped up her MBA, Yin began an operations supervisor role at Cardinal Health. As a supervisor, she had a certain level of influence within the company, but after a few years, she was ready to explore the role of an individual contributor or consultant.

The natural next question was, “What’s going to help me get qualified?” Yin shares. And that’s how she ended up back at Whitman to expand her technical skills, this time pursuing a master’s in business analytics.

“My MBA helped me land a leadership role, and the M.S. in business analytics helped me get an individualized role,” Yin says. The combination of the two has given her the chance to land a leadership consulting role in Cardinal’s North American Supply Chain Transformation team.

But as planned out as Yin’s professional path has been so far, she’s keeping an open mind about what’s to come. She shares, “If there are opportunities that are suited for me, I’m open to working anywhere.”

Learn more about Whitman alumni in the latest alumni profiles.

Sandhya Iyer