Frederick Vona: From Online to On Campus

Frederick Vona, a veteran of the information technology industry, recently joined Syracuse University‘s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as an assistant professor of management after spending more than 23 years as an executive at Oracle Corporation and nearly seven years teaching in the MBA@Syracuse program.  

During his time at Oracle, Vona led national teams in the areas of customer success, product engineering, advanced customer support and contract renewals. His teams drove customer loyalty through customer focus, ongoing understanding of customer needs, and outstanding personalized service. Servicing the company’s largest financial and insurance clients, Vona had a $510 million budgetary responsibility.

Vona enjoyed his tenure at Oracle. However, when a full-time position opened at Whitman last year, Vona jumped at the chance to focus his career on his true passion – education. Vona had previously been teaching an information technology course in the MBA@Syracuse program part-time.

“The [information technology] course takes a business approach to IT, giving students a different insight,” explained Vona. “Students are anointed CIO and go through the course as an executive.”

Although more than 90 percent of students in Vona’s graduate course do not come from an IT background, he has had multiple students switch careers because of his course.

“Getting to understand how technology is driving more business, and business value, is interesting for people,” said Vona.

Professor Vona now teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in strategic management, competitive strategy and corporate strategy. With one semester of teaching at the undergraduate level under his belt, Vona has found that using his impressive background in IT to provide insight and answer undergraduate students’ questions about corporate strategy rewarding.

Vona holds a B.S. in secondary education from Fitchburg State University with majors in industrial technology, history and a minor in physical education. In addition, Vona earned an M.B.A. from Whitman, an executive program certificate in strategy and management from the Sloan School, M.I.T. , and a M.A. in sports management from The Ohio State University.

In his free time, Vona enjoys cheering on his favorite Premier League soccer team, Arsenal. Vona played soccer throughout high school and college and was the captain of his team at Fitchburg State University. Vona holds a U.S. Soccer National Coaching License and has served as Varsity and Assistant Varsity soccer coaches at The Ohio State University, Fitchburg State University, and Westford Academy.

Alexander Straus