Online MBA Program Provides Valuable Learning Experience for Seasoned Asset Manager

Chamila Blanco ’24 MBA


  • Online

The program has been so valuable to me. Every class I’ve taken has provided useful information that is relatable to experiences I’ve had in my life.

Heading into her final semester, Chamila Blanco ’24 MBA knew she wanted to top off her online MBA program with a special experience. She found it in the residency course Negotiation, held the first weekend of January 2024 on the Syracuse University campus and taught by Chancellor Kent Syverud.


“He gave us negotiation cases that put us out of our comfort zone. We did role playing in various scenarios that were recorded, and Chancellor Syverud gave us live feedback,” says Blanco. “It was amazing.”


She wasn’t surprised the experience exceeded her expectations; she’s felt that way about the entire program: “Even though it’s been online, I can honestly say I’ve gotten more out of this MBA program than my undergraduate experience.”


Some of that is due to experience and maturity. An economics major as an undergrad at New York University, Blanco has forged a 15-year career in asset management, working in client service or investor relations roles both with individuals and institutions. “I’m naturally good with people and a social person, so that attracted me to an upfront role servicing clients,” she says.


She began her current position as a vice president at Goldman Sachs in Norwalk, Connecticut, in June 2021, shortly after beginning her MBA studies. Blanco works with large corporations in managing their pension funds and foundation assets.


In selecting an online program that she could undertake concurrently with work, Blanco says she felt genuine interest and assistance from the Whitman School that she didn’t experience elsewhere.


“Quite frankly, Syracuse expressed the most interest in really getting to know me, my interests and needs and gave me a lot of information to help me make my decision,” she says.


One thing she knew was that she didn’t want to focus her studies on one area. “Even though I work in finance, my role is considered more of a marketing function,” Blanco says. “I did not want to stick with either finance or marketing but to take the core requirements and explore whatever I naturally gravitated toward.”


The result, she says, has been a true learning experience, which is exactly what she was looking for. “The program has been so valuable to me. Every class I’ve taken has provided useful information that is relatable to experiences I’ve had in my life,” says Blanco, who particularly enjoyed her courses related to organizational leadership and entrepreneurship.

“A lot of people earn an MBA simply to add to their resume, but I’ve learned so much,” she says. “I feel like the experience has already paid for itself. The professors have been amazing, have shown true interest in me and have offered very positive advice about what else exists outside the parameters of what I'm currently doing.”


Although she enjoyed every minute of it, Blanco considers completing the program a huge accomplishment, having managed her studies on top of a demanding career as well as having two young children with a third on the way.


“Graduation is May 12, and I’m due on May 8,” Blanco says. “I’m hoping she comes early so I can just bring all the kids with me because I want them to see that their mom did this.”


—Renée Gearhart Levy


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