Jill M. Syracuse

MBA, Class of 2020

Former Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer, Independent Health

This interview was conducted by Lindsey Godbout, a Syracuse University senior majoring in public relations and pursuing minors in marketing and political science.

Jill Syracuse had always planned on going back to school to earn an MBA. For over 30 years, she worked for a managed care company, 15 of which were in a senior executive role. With family, career and volunteer commitments, she never felt like the time was exactly right.

“As time went on, the thought of earning my advanced degree never left,” Syracuse says. “It was always a thought in the back of my mind.”

While trying to find the perfect program for her, Syracuse visited several schools and information sessions. It was her daughter, a senior at Syracuse University, who encouraged her to look into the online MBA program through the Whitman School.

“I felt a special sense of community at Syracuse that other programs did not have.” —Jill M. Syracuse

Syracuse recalls her daughter’s Convocation ceremony in the Carrier Dome for first-year students and their parents. She could feel the Orange pride that filled the air and was proud of her daughter’s accomplishments. However, she was unsure if Syracuse University was the right decision for her.

After requesting more information about the program, she received a call from an admissions counselor who helped walk her through the program. Syracuse was initially nervous that the online program would be difficult for a more traditional student like herself. The admissions counselor assured her it was meant to be convenient and user-friendly, ultimately helping her make the right decision.

“The online platform is exceptional. I felt it was mature, dependable and easy to use,” Syracuse says. “I also felt a special sense of community at Syracuse that other programs did not have.”

Syracuse has enjoyed her experience as an online MBA student at the Whitman School. From the opportunity to visit the campus for residencies, to meeting her professors and taking additional courses through the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, she has expanded her knowledge significantly from engaged, approachable and knowledgeable professors.

She has had the opportunity to see Syracuse University as a parent and a student. The University has provided both her and her daughter with the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that balances academic rigor with empathy, compassion and openness. They wear their Syracuse University Orange with pride.

After she finishes an MBA, Syracuse plans to apply to the Maxwell School in hopes of obtaining an EMPA degree and is excited to continue learning.