I am a proud 2010 MBA graduate of Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Looking back to the spring of 2008, when I made the decision one day in May to attend Syracuse University brings back exciting memories. After debating between schools in Canada and other parts of the U.S., I believe Whitman’s MBA program provided a unique opportunity to grow academically, professionally and personally.
Currently, I work at the National League of Cities (NLC) in Washington D.C. as the Program Manager of the Equitable Economic Development (EED) Fellowship Program, a partnership between NLC, the Urban Land Institute and PolicyLink. The EED Fellowship provides one year of technical assistance to an annual class of six U.S. cities, helping city leaders pursue more equitable and inclusive economic development policies, programs and funding. The inaugural 2016-2017 class consists of the cities of Boston, Charlotte, Houston, Memphis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. I am currently in the process of selecting the next cohort of cities.
Small class settings, faculty accessibility and experiential opportunities to apply what you learn in the classroom to real world projects are just a few factors that made my time at SU enriching. During the MBA program, I had the opportunity to be involved with different organizations such as the Whitman Consulting Club (VP of Professional Development) and the Whitman Graduate Student Organization (VP of Social Engagement). In addition, I also worked in the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, interacting with aspiring student entrepreneurs, outstanding faculty and community members. Thanks to all these SU experiences, my passion for entrepreneurs, small business, community engagement, startups, cities and economic development grew exponentially.
Going back to how I ended up in my current position which I love, I decided to jump into a new life adventure relocating to Canada right after my MBA from SU. I went back to school, completing an MPA program from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. With two masters under my belt, I began my economic development journey in Toronto where I worked for the Foreign Direct Investment agency of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and for the Region of Durham, a regional municipal government in the GTA. Before moving to DC and accepting my current position with NLC, I was also serving as acting Chair of the Ontario Manufacturing Communities Alliance, a sector-based partnership that collectively promotes the advanced manufacturing sector of five member municipalities internationally.
The MBA has been critical to my career progression. I really appreciated how the program provides students with experiential learning opportunities, so you apply what you discuss in the classroom to real-life work projects. Thanks to this, I acquired the right combination of technical, project management, analytical and soft skills to successfully manage programs and to further develop my leadership skills. Now, as an alumnus, I feel I BLEED ORANGE even more than when I was a student. I couldn’t be more grateful for the time I spent at SU. I was actively involved with the alumni chapter in Toronto, and I am hoping to do the same in Washington, D.C. I encourage all alumni to stay involved with SU and local alumni chapters. Let’s keep growing the SU and Whitman family.