Like a lot of Syracuse University students, Jackie Berchtein was immediately attracted to the Syracuse University campus while visiting a friend from high school. From a wide-eyed high schoolers point of view, this was exactly what a college setting should look like. That’s when she decided to make Syracuse University her priority application.
After beginning classes at the College of Arts and Sciences, she was encouraged to take an introductory course by a friend who was enrolled in the iSchool. The first class, required of all iSchool students, was enough to convince her to transfer in, and Berchtein set her sights on an iSchool major in Information Management and Technology, and a minor in Entrepreneurship from Whitman.
The complementary but different courses of study helped prepare Berchtein in a number of ways. For many of her internships and first jobs, the companies had her primarily focused in IT work, and her iSchool education helped pave the way for those positions. On the other hand, her continued interest in entrepreneurship and business has led her to pursue an MBA from Boston University. The combination of her work experience and MBA will help guide her professional future, and she says “I have applied so much of what I learned in my undergrad to my current roles now. I want to apply my business knowledge to my technical expertise. I always knew that with a combined technical and business degree, I could create value for the world and influence the way business impacts society.”
Before finishing her undergraduate studies, Berchtein had two different internships. The first was as a Digital Marketing Intern for Appinall, a software startup, where she got to experiment with different aspects of social media management and digital design. The second opportunity was with Brown Brothers Harriman. In this role, she was Information System Intern, and performed a wide range of tasks, all of which helped to round out her professional exposure and experience.
Her first job out of college was with Oracle working on their NetSuite platform. In this customer-facing role, Berchtein was working directly with clients to identify business problems that could be alleviated using the many tools NetSuite offered. She enjoyed interacting with clients on this level and became proficient with the platform, as well as a solution-oriented project manager. Her experience and proven record of results helped her land her next job at The TJX Companies, Inc.
Berchtein’s role at the parent company of TJ-Maxx does not have the same kind of contact with customers, but Berchtein finds that she is still learning and overcoming interesting challenges everyday. As Senior Engineer at TJX, a company that relies heavily on the NetSuite platform, she brings an abundance of knowledge about this program from her previous experience at Oracle. A former expert working on the end of the platform provider, she is now the expert on the client side of the platform. The exposure to both sides of this business relationship has taught her a lot about what she values professionally and wants for her future career.
A long-active volunteer for many organizations, Berchtein plans to continue her work with Women In Technology (WHITE). She has been involved with this group for many years and is passionate about their mission to get more women involved and educated in the broad field of technology. Her interest in this organization began during her time at the iSchool and has persisted in her professional life. She worked with them while at Oracle and continues to do everything she can to contribute from her position at TJX.
Berchtein was raised in Needham, MA–a town just outside Boston–and has been able to professionally migrate back to her home city. Living in South Boston, working a full time job, and about halfway finished with her graduate program, she is busy and motivated to learn new things as she tackles her early career goals. Looking back on what has prepared her for her current trajectory, she says “The iSchool has definitely helped me in my career. Being able to take all the courses that I wanted, from project management to all of the programming classes, and the hands-on approach has especially helped me as a developer and having that knowledge that I can apply to every job that I have had. ”