MBA@Syracuse Students Come to Campus for Program’s First In-Person Residency

In April, Whitman hosted the first residency of the newly revamped online MBA known as MBA@Syracuse. More than 120 students from around the world traveled to campus to meet other classmates, faculty and staff in person for the first time since commencing their weekly virtual meetings in January via live video classes. The residency focused on the business of healthcare. Representatives from top Syracuse-area healthcare organizations discussed how healthcare is a major economic driver in communities and shared strategies for future innovation and growth.

Christine Bergold of West Islip, N.Y., a member of the January 2015 MBA@Syracuse cohort, said the residency imparted lessons that she is already putting to work in her position as controller at Halland Companies LLC.

“This residency pushed me out of my comfort zone in business discussions,” said Bergold. “Understanding how different industries deal with workplace issues is very beneficial. Employee engagement is a main concern in the healthcare industry and in every growing field. Developing trust between employees and management is the most important lesson I gained from this residency. I have already started to implement some of the strategies for building trust in my organization.”

The residency’s list of accomplished presenters and panelists included Whitman alumnus Jim Sharples ’96 MBA, vice president of Delta Marketing Dynamics. Sharples keeps connected and gives back to Whitman by guest lecturing in marketing research classes, judging presentations and speaking to student groups. He recently hired an MBA student intern. Sharples participated in the residency’s “Managing New Product Development” session.

“Having been through the Whitman MBA program, I understand the value of hearing the first-hand perspective of accomplished professionals,” said Sharples. “I am happy to share my experience and expertise to help give students an even richer understanding of business as it relates to theory and practice.”

He found the students to be engaged and inquisitive during the panel. “Healthcare is a core part of our overall economy. It is an intricate industry that is constantly shifting and always ripe for innovation,” Sharples added. “I think it was extremely valuable for the students to hear from proven leaders in this space and learn lessons that can be applied to any industry.”

To learn more about the residency content, presenters and students’ experience on campus (including lunch at the Carrier Dome’s coveted Club 4.4), read the event re-cap. For further information on MBA@Syracuse or our new online accounting program, visit