Big Tech Employee Takes On Not One But Two Online Graduate Degree Programs at Whitman

For Matthew Stockhaus ‘22 MBA, ’22 M.S., one graduate degree and a full-time career were not enough. So, instead, the senior business program manager at Microsoft in Virginia decided to pursue an online MBA, an online Master of Science in business analytics and a certificate of data science at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.

“At Microsoft, I currently manage the data analytics program for a specific business unit,” he explains. “I use data to create impact within my organization, empower stakeholders to be data-driven individuals and also provide insights to influence strategy towards business objectives.”

In the highly competitive world of tech, Stockhaus wanted to “become effectively bilingual in both business administration and data analytics,” which prompted him to pursue both degrees. However, he needed to figure out how to juggle it all, and an online program seemed to be the best option.

“I knew that in order to pursue a graduate-level education, I would need to find a program that would accommodate individuals who are not able to relocate or attend in-person classes during the workday,” he explains. “The flexibility of the online MBA and master’s programs through the Whitman School afforded me the opportunity to balance work and school concurrently without having to sacrifice professional quality or make major lifestyle adjustments.”

While the past three years of working in the office and the online classroom have certainly been challenging, he is proud to have graduated this May. The Whitman programs quickly instilled self-discipline, effective time management and perseverance, according to Stockhaus, and, at the same time, he became a “more well-rounded technical professional capable of approaching work with a more holistic understanding of the needs across the business.” 

He specifically credits coursework in areas like supply chain, leadership and Lean Six Sigma for giving him in-depth know-how of key business value drivers, as well as the foundational understanding of the “why and the how” in organizational processes — knowledge he has already been able to incorporate into his current job. In addition, his coursework in big data, finance, and accounting analytics deepened his knowledge and technical capabilities for leveraging programming languages like R and Python to detect anomalies and forecast business needs more accurately. 

Stockhaus also praises the Whitman faculty members for sharing their industry expertise and experience with the students, as well as demonstrating how theories and concepts learned in the coursework apply to the real world.

Now with two diplomas in hand, Stockhaus is certain that pushing himself to earn both graduate degrees has not only strengthened his reputation and credibility in his current position at Microsoft but will also help him advance in his career thanks to the specialized knowledge and skills he gained at the Whitman School.“I knew that taking on both online degree programs would specifically provide me with the building blocks I needed to develop personally and contribute to my success professionally,” he says. “I chose to take on a big task, but, now that I’ve completed it, I am so pleased that I chose Syracuse University and the Whitman School.”