Ryan Raymond ’03 believes that one of the most meaningful benefits of a Syracuse University education is gaining the confidence to be yourself. “You have to embrace what makes you unique and relentlessly pursue your passions,” he says.
That philosophy was something Raymond cultivated while earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications , where his passion for advertising and communications flourished. “I crafted my presentation and design style while learning how to build and maintain a brand,” he says. That rewarding experience lured the 39-year-old married father of two back to the University last fall to pursue an online MBA in the Whitman School of Management .
“I looked extensively at online MBA programs and ultimately chose Syracuse University because of its reputation for producing business leaders,” Raymond says. Another benefit is the University’s strong alumni network in major U.S. markets for medical technology, a field in which he’s held a leadership role as a marketing executive for nearly two decades.
Finding a New Path Forward
Raymond currently oversees marketing in the vision screening and diagnostics sector at Hillrom, a fast-growing global medical technology company focused on enhancing outcomes for both patients and caregivers. “My role is to develop our product marketing strategies, including digital marketing, customer acquisition and retention strategies, and brand development,” he says.
As he gained experience in this field, Raymond recognized that career advancement would depend on strengthening his capabilities in strategic management theory, finance and entrepreneurship. An MBA was clearly the right path, but it would mean fitting a graduate program into a life that was already packed with commitments.
“The biggest challenge so far is managing my time,” Raymond says. “You have to seek balance. There are some times when school will take priority and other times when family, work and volunteering require my focus. I try to prioritize my day by setting goals or time limits for studying or homework. Mental breaks are important, so spending time binge-watching shows with my wife or playing with my kids contributes to my personal balance.”
Impactful Online Learning
The program is everything Raymond hoped it would be. “The professors are excellent and deliver impactful videos and live lectures that pull from their expertise as thought leaders in their fields,” he explains. “The online experience rivals in-person learning, and in many ways it encourages a greater level of discussion and collaboration. I was already comfortable at the University because I completed my undergraduate studies here, but the online program invites new students into the Orange community. It offers a great platform for online learning that makes it easy to collaborate with students, alumni and faculty.”
The online experience rivals in-person learning, and in many ways it encourages a greater level of discussion and collaboration.
He is certain that this journey will lead him to more than just a credential. “The Whitman MBA offers so many opportunities for professional and personal growth,” he says. “Post-degree, I want to be a marketing executive for a medical technology, life sciences or health care consulting firm, so that I can contribute to the wave of new product development and help change the world.”
Commitment to Community
Raymond is already doing his own part to bring change to the world as an active and committed volunteer. He serves as Hillrom’s corporate board member with Lions KidSight USA , a leading nonprofit with a mission to ensure that all children in the U.S. receive eye screenings and follow-up care. He’s also on the board of directors for the Fayetteville-Manlius Soccer Club, which promotes youth soccer in the community. “It helps kids develop skills, enjoy the benefits of healthy competition, and build a love of soccer,” he asserts. “I enjoy volunteering because of the positive impact it has on kids, but it’s also important to me because it provides a format to demonstrate leadership skills and network with peers who are equally committed to doing social good.”
As he looks to the future, Raymond believes that he is fulfilling a commitment to his alma mater that began when he started his college career at Syracuse University more than 20 years ago. “To ‘Be Orange’ means you are taking on a code of honor to demonstrate leadership, passion and inclusion in everything you do,” he says. “In summary, you are an extension of the great alumni who have come before you.”