Bryan Perry ’23 MBA can see Syracuse University’s JMA Wireless Dome in the distance from his driveway. But, even though he lives only a few miles from campus, he still chose to pursue an MBA through the online program at the Whitman School.
Perry is a procurement specialist in the Replacement Components Division of Carrier Corporation’s Syracuse, New York, location, a global provider of residential and commercial HVAC and IAQ solutions. He is responsible for business relationships, price negotiations and contracts for over 350 suppliers that account for an annual $45 million spend. In 2016, Perry decided to take advantage of his company’s Employee Scholar Program and applied to the Whitman School’s online MBA program. Not only does the scholarship cover about 85% of tuition, but Carrier also gives its employees an hour-and-a-half off per week for each 3-credit course they are taking.
Despite living so close to campus, Perry opted for the online MBA program because of its convenience and flexibility. He likes that he can attend classes online from his home in the evenings and focus on asynchronous work on weekends.
Working a master’s degree into his already busy schedule, Perry has been “chipping away” at his requirements, taking one course at a time every semester, even during the summer months. But the finish line is finally in sight, as he has only two 3-credit courses left to complete. Perry hopes to finish his MBA sometime in 2023.
Perry says he has learned skills in his classes that he’s applied at work as soon as the next day, citing things like data reporting and negotiation skills. He also credits his professors for being very helpful in sharing real-world skills. For example, one Whitman faculty member, adjunct instructor Shaam Ramamurthy, helped him decide how to best present data for a unique project that involved Excel functionality and building better reports – topics that had been covered in his class.
Networking with professors and other classmates has been a great asset of the online MBA program, according to Perry. He has made a number of connections with other students across multiple industries. “Some of the conversations I’ve had with classmates have helped me to speak to my suppliers more effectively and get better, more efficient results,” he explains.
In addition, Perry has participated in two residencies on campus where he interacted with faculty and classmates. And, he has plans to attend his third residency this September, this time in New York City focusing on a holistic approach to business decisions and understanding true real-world impacts of data-driven choices.
Of course, living so close to the University, he can stop by campus anytime he likes, even taking in an occasional football or basketball game. (In fact, Perry has actually played on the Dome’s field four times – winning two back-to-back sectional football titles for his alma mater, Westhill High School.)
Every time Perry sees the Dome from his driveway, it is a reminder of his connection to Syracuse University and how much he has already accomplished in his pursuit of his advanced degree.
“Having the knowledge that comes with an MBA will hopefully allow me to step into a larger role at work,” he says. “I’ve already put this information to good use, and I’m confident that completing my degree will open even more doors for me.”
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