Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am a native of Germany and have lived in central New York since 1995. I earned a BA in Social Work from the Catholic University of North Rhine-Westphalia in Paderborn, Germany, and a Master in Social Work from Syracuse University.
I have over 20 years of experience in the health care industry as both a direct care provider and an administrator. My experience includes many speaking engagements and advocacy with local, state, and federal government. I am actively involved in my community and presently serve on three community boards.
Why did you choose the Syracuse program?
Being an alumna of Syracuse University, it made sense to return to SU where I knew the culture and quality of education. The ranking of MBA@Syracuse also played a role in the decision making process.
What made you decide to earn your MBA?
The MBA complements my MSW and my 20+ years of work experience in the human service field, and it satisfied my desire for continued learning and growth. After moving from providing direct care as a therapist to more administrative leadership roles, I was looking to gain business skills to allow me to fully lean in and sit at the table during strategic and financial discussions.
How would you describe the online class format?
I didn’t know what to expect with an online class, and I had some anxiety going into it. However, the format is easy to navigate and was, surprisingly, as interactive as sitting in a class room. I liked the breakout sessions that we had in some of the classes to stimulate small group discussions.
What has the experience been like with your professors?
The professors I had were all very passionate about the courses they taught. Professor Luz Flores-Lee teaches multiple courses, and after taking Data Analysis with her, I specifically looked for her section of the Leadership in Organizations course. Most professors have set weekly office hours and are responsive to email.
Can you describe your residency experience?
The residencies are absolutely amazing and allow you to meet and connect with your cohort. I started the program in October 2015, and my first class was a weekend residency. I can’t think of a better way to start the program. Everyone was extremely welcoming, and the advice I gathered during that weekend was invaluable. I also had the opportunity to attend the residency extension class in London, which was truly a great experience.
Students must complete three residencies and have the option to complete six total. In hindsight, I wish I had attended all six and used three of them to cover an elective requirement. The networking opportunity at the residencies is just tremendous.
How would you describe the workload?
Throughout the program, I consistently took two courses each term. The workload for each course varies greatly and probably ranged from 3 to 15 hours per week for each course.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
When signing up for classes, it is helpful to look at your calendar for the full 11 weeks of the course to make sure you don’t have any major conflicts. You can only miss one class per course and still pass. The capstone class is quite intense, and if you are planning to take another class during that same term, my advice is to look for something that is not as intense.
Did you feel like a member of the Syracuse University community?
Definitely. I do have the advantage of living in Syracuse and walking by Whitman several times per week and making it to some of the games at the dome.