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Sydney Jarrett Williams, Director in Go-to-Market Strategy at Syneos Health

According to Sydney Jarrett Williams, the Jenkins MBA program’s value-adding curriculum and career services not only allowed her to advance to a new role with a 20% salary increase – but gave her the flexibility to balance her responsibilities as a student, full-time professional and mom.

Get to know Sydney

Program: Online MBA
Start date: August 2021
Graduation date:
August 2023
Current location: Cary, North Carolina

Life before Jenkins

Hometown: Peoria, Illinois
Undergraduate education: University of Illinois, B.S. in Crop Sciences
Additional education: NC State University, M.S. in Crop Sciences
Work experience: 10 years
Roles: Program, project and portfolio management
Fields: Corporate strategy, regulatory affairs
Industries: Pharmaceuticals, agriculture

Career goals

According to Jarrett Williams, the Jenkins MBA program taught her to ask better questions to anticipate and deliver to organizations’ enterprise goals – and she hopes to leverage this skill to move into the C-suite of a life sciences-focused company. “This is my long-term goal, but I also want to be a great mom, wife and friend, so I am keeping an open mind,” she says. 

Why Jenkins? 

The Jenkins MBA program allowed Jarett Williams to get the best of both worlds – online course delivery with the option to take a few in-person classes and strengthen her professional network. “The ROI couldn’t be beat in my analysis,” she says.

Daily life

As a director in go-to-market strategy at Syneos Health, Jarrett Williams works on a fully-remote team with colleagues in India, Germany, New Jersey and California – meaning her workdays typically start early. “I might have an early morning team check-in, or check messages while drinking coffee as my kids eat breakfast. I take a break to bike my kids to school, and when I get back, the grind starts in earnest,” she says. Her primary day-to-day responsibilities include identifying topics that matter most to the Syneos Health customers, talking to experts in the company about these topics, and then translating their experience into sales-focused messages and content. “I work with our sales training team to deploy those messages and then continue to track the outreach and impact on our pipeline.” In the afternoons, she bikes or walks to pick her kids up from school, then finishes the workday with any final meetings or emails before logging off for family time and dinner. 

What makes it great

Because of her busy schedule as a full-time professional, wife and mom, what Jarrett Williams values most about the Jenkins MBA program is its flexibility. “The ability to self-pace, whether that means taking a break or speeding things up to finish earlier, was very valuable to me. If I knew work or family matters would need my attention, I could pick classes that moved the workload to a different time,” she says.

She also took advantage of the Jenkins MBA program’s career services. “My career advisor, Lisa Batts, was fantastic in guiding me, whether I was pedal to the metal in looking for new roles, or looking for ways to leverage the position I was in.

When I moved into a very undefined new role, Lisa provided actionable steps to take to demonstrate value and create a role that worked for my career and family goals.”

My career advisor, Lisa Batts, was fantastic in guiding me, whether I was pedal to the metal in looking for new roles, or looking for ways to leverage the position I was in.”

Career impact 

Jarrett Williams didn’t mean to take a capstone class during her second semester, but it turned out to be a fortunate mistake. “MBA 580 with Chris Hitch provided such a useful set of information that I was able to leverage it into a new role with a 20% salary increase,” she says. She found practical value in the content from her marketing class as well. “I would take the discussions from case studies in my Monday evening class – where we dissected how Starbucks reaches customers or how Erik Peterson got in a mess – and ask a different set of questions on Tuesday to develop a roadmap with my management.”

Final thoughts

To other full-time professionals who want to pursue their MBA, and to moms in particular, Jarrett Williams offers a few words of advice. “Get the support you need from your networks – including management, mentors, family and friends. You might need to spread your mental capacity between work and school. You may have to schedule friend time months in advance. Your Friday nights might become homework sessions instead of date nights. There will be a few weekends where mom needs to learn about HR, trust and leading teams. Adding a professional program onto a robust life requires support.”

Get in touch

Connect with Jarrett Williams on LinkedIn.