Online MBA Student and Military Member Abroad

MBA@Syracuse student Geoffrey Haines is an active duty member of the Air Force. Currently stationed in Germany, he works in the intelligence field and has served for almost 11 years. Geoffrey recently attended a residency held on the Syracuse campus. We talked to him about why he enrolled in the MBA@Syracuse program and what his experience has been like so far.

What motivated you to earn your MBA?

I wanted to diversify my experience. I wanted to do something that would be a little more beneficial to me outside of the military.

What attracted you to MBA@Syracuse?

There are a lot of full-time options available to military members—especially active duty members who live overseas. For me, Syracuse was the right fit for many reasons. One, I know I am getting a quality education. Second, they offer classes that allow me to do it on my own time.

As much as I work and at the levels that I work, I feel as though I need something that can work around my schedule. I also have a two-year-old and a wife, so my time is stretched thin. I’m able to do a lot of the asynchronous sessions online, as well as participate in class. Even with a six-hour time difference, it made it worth it to me in the long run.

What is it like attending MBA@Syracuse as a military student?

As far as military-specific needs go, that’s a huge benefit that Syracuse has to offer. The Syracuse Veterans Affairs Office really goes above and beyond to serve the core needs of the active duty and veterans they have as students.

I’m also a big advocate for the fact that this is a good mixture of not just military people, but also professional corporate people. I’m able to come here and really interact with people in a number of different fields and different areas.

Have you taken online classes before?

Yes. I went to American Military University online, and it was a correspondence course. There was very little interaction—sometimes no interaction—with a professor and very little interaction with my other classmates. As far as MBA@Syracuse goes, it is leaps and bounds beyond that.

What do you think about the residencies?

Living abroad, I think being able to attend a residency in the United States and network with a bigger crowd is great. I think the overseas residencies offer a little bit of a cultural aspect as well—and allow me to travel to places that I typically wouldn’t travel to. I think it’s a good balance.

Do you feel connected to your fellow students?

Yes. Residencies are a huge part of that I think. At first I thought the residencies were going to be an inconvenience, but I’m so glad that they’re there! I’ll continue to participate and probably attend more than just the three that are required.