SJ Lyman ’19, MSc ’20 believes that Carthage’s Master of Science in Business — Design and Innovation (BDI) program and liberal arts education provided them with the tools they needed to succeed in more than one career field. While they received a bachelor’s degree in marketing, SJ Lyman now works in information technology at Snap-on Incorporated as an associate business systems analyst, re-creating user issues in a test system environment and working with developers to resolve issues and test solutions.
“With my academic training, I am able to show up every day and face the challenges of my job with a new perspective.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“With my current career, I enjoy learning something new every day. With a field that I had no academic experience in, I have my work cut out for me on a daily basis. But with my academic training, I am able to show up every day and face the challenges of my job with a new perspective.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“I never thought I would work in an IT department. When I attended Carthage for my undergraduate degree, I majored in marketing and minored in Spanish. Then when I returned to Carthage for my master’s degree, I wasn’t going for the traditional Master of Business Administration. I knew Carthage’s BDI program was going to be more targeted to give me a vast skill set that would propel me into the future of the workforce.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I had no idea Carthage existed until one day I received an interest card in the mail to play golf at the College. Once I stepped foot on campus, I was sold on enrolling there. Not only is the campus right on the lake, but I saw people walk down Campus Drive and actually know one another and have genuine relationships with each other. It became more and more apparent that Carthage would become the place I called home.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“If you are ever wondering if a liberal arts degree is worth it, my answer to you is a simple yes. While you may wonder how Aristotle or a religion course is going to help you in your career path post graduation, you have to keep in mind that once out of school and working, nothing is ever linear. You may find yourself in a job you didn’t think you’d be in or maybe you didn’t even know the job existed. Or you may find yourself in a social setting where you can contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way because of your education. When you receive a liberal arts degree, you’re getting the total package, and you are investing in yourself to enter the world as a well-rounded person after leaving college.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“I will always be grateful and thankful for all of my interactions with the professors at Carthage. Professor Jennifer Madden, who launched the BDI program, played an intricate role in my professional and personal development. Professor Greg Barron always made me feel seen and heard, and made me feel that I can make an impact.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“If you want to try something, now is the time. It’s never too late to change your mind or try new things. Also, stay curious! The more questions you ask and the more you question norms and processes, the more you push yourself and others to grow and learn. Dissolve the normal box, and you can start drawing outside the lines. Most importantly, live your life for you and surround yourself with people who love and support you and celebrate your true authentic self.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“These values have played a major role in my life and reflect how I live today. Without truth, strength, and service, there would be no forward progress and no wholehearted living. To me, part of living life to the fullest is leaving things a little better than we left them. The Carthage values exhibit this philosophy.”