Alumni of the Week: Casey Kerr ’16

Kerr, Casey (6)-Edit-HighResTo say my path through Syracuse University was unconventional would be an understatement. I spent my entire freshman year enrolled in the biomedical engineering program only to realize that my real passion was business. I then began my transition into Whitman which was only possible due to the truly committed and caring faculty and staff in the building. The rest of my time in Whitman was equally as out of the ordinary and provided me with an unforgettable experience.

My first real Whitman experience began when I started an internship on campus with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). By the end of my first day, I realized that I had found an organization that was sincerely rooted in caring for others; a pattern I would find throughout Whitman. During my two-year internship, I watched as IVMF staff and Whitman faculty and staff worked together to better the lives of as many veterans as they possibly could. This experience pointed out to me a lesson that would resonate with me through my last three years at Whitman: there is always time to help others no matter who you are.

Inside the walls of Whitman, one will find some of the most talented and passionate business experienced professionals that are willing and ready to give back–something that truly shaped my experience. My first Whitman professor, and a large part of why I chose entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises (EEE), was Richard Ranucci in the introductory course to EEE. I was immediately drawn in by the real life experience of having an adjunct professor. This is part of the Whitman experience that I didn’t appreciate enough until I entered the workforce. The lessons that I learned beyond the text book, from my professors, ended up preparing me for my role just as much as the traditional teachings did.

By the time I reached senior year and anxiety about graduating was in full effect, the support system of Whitman was there again. Whether it was Katheryn in the career center wishing me luck as I nervously entered an interview or a professor constantly checking up on me until I heard back about a job, it was always clear to me how much we students mean to everyone at Whitman. Eventually, all of the time and effort this school invested in me led me to a job offer, which I was thrilled to accept.

Although leaving Syracuse was painful, I was lucky enough to start my career at an organization that excited me about the next chapter. This summer I began my role in the Business Leadership Program for Synchrony Financial, an innovative payment solutions company, previously known as GE Capital. I don’t think there is any coincidence that a program as committed as Whitman led me to an organization like Synchrony that is equally as such. From the moment I sat in my first interview to today as I sit at my own desk, everyone at Synchrony has made it clear that he/she will do whatever it takes to develop me as part of the team.

To all Whitman students, I would like to highly suggest reading up on our Business Leadership Program, as it has provided me with a better start to my career than I could have ever asked. There is a natural progression through our business school that you can feel from freshman year until your last class sitting on Waverly place. Synchrony financial takes you from that point and invests to make sure that you continue to grow and learn so that you can hit every goal you set for your professional career.

Wherever you go with your career after Whitman, I advise you to invest in yourself and the people around you.

Casey Kerr
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