Student Perspective: MBA@Syracuse Residency in Dublin

Far right to left: Matthew Feldhaus with fellow MBA@Syracuse students in Dublin, Ireland for the MBA residency. Below, Matt shares his unique experience at residency. 

I had the opportunity to participate in my third residency program with Syracuse University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in Dublin, Ireland. The Whitman School of Management’s online MBA program is unique in that students must travel to various cities—domestic or international—and participate in an accelerated and highly focused business program dictated by the region or country. As an online student, it may seem a bit unnecessary and expensive, but in my personal experience, the residency classes have been the most educational. Why? Because experience is the most powerful and intelligent educator in the world.

Have you ever traveled to a beautiful site and realized there aren’t words to correctly capture the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and everything involved in that experience? For example, I had seen photos of the Grand Canyon many times in my life, and upon making the trip and actually standing upon the edge and looking out, I truly was in awe of its beauty and size. Similarly, within an MBA program, one could easily read about microfinancing within Peru or the emerging technology focus in Ireland, but one misses out on one key area about education: experience. Experience is more powerful than even the wisest of professors or the most stimulating of curricula. I will forever remember the engaging presentation about agri-tech, the field of using technology within agriculture, and how a seemingly small country like Ireland is leading agri-tech developments due to its dependency on livestock.

My residency experience included visiting small local pubs where my classmates and I got to sit with Dubliners, watch football matches, and share stories about our cultures and countries. One of the true capstones of the residency was the cultural dinner, dance, and music presentation. The beautiful melodies of traditional Gaelic music coupled with the athletic footwork and charm of an Irish dancer was a memory I will cherish for a lifetime. Sure, I could drink a pint of Guinness and listen to some Flogging Molly anywhere in the world, but nothing compares to the lasting impact the authentic experience imparts. For this reason, the residency program within Whitman’s MBA program is a powerful addition to an already substantial curriculum.

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Citation for this content: MBA@Syracuse, Syracuse University’s online MBA program