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Posted 4.9.14

Sharon Rivera is a graduate of the 2002 Master of Science in Management-Operations Research and Supply Chain program and one of our more successful alums. Sharon came to Case Western Reserve University from the Bronx, NY and took advantage of a merit scholarship and excelled in the program. When asked about the program, Sharon said one of the more influential professors who really had an impact on her while attending Case Western Reserve and succeeding here was Professor Matthew Sobel. She shared that Sobel made her feel at ease as he shared he was also originally from the Bronx and could relate to her well.

After graduating, Sharon accepted a position with American Greetings and stayed in the greater Cleveland area. After working there for a year and a half, she jumped at the opportunity to join Progressive Insurance where she said, “they were great in helping me shape my career by allowing me to move between jobs and giving me opportunities to be exposed to three different areas continuously aligning with my interests and career development while working with them for just under three years.”

Wanting to get back to New York City, Sharon took an offer at financial giant American Express, where she worked for six years. She was able to apply a lot of what she learned during the program and got more involved in risk management. Not only did she shine while at AMEX, moving from a Manager to Senior Manager position and then onto a Director role, but she spent two of her six years there traveling the world to manage a credit portfolio for 21 countries.

Wanting to expand her knowledge and responsibility in the risk management area, Sharon found a position at Ebay’s PayPal Inc. and applied online. She said, “I was very pleased as they called me the next day and that call led to subsequent interviews and my hire at PayPal.” The move took Sharon from New York to California, where she works today as a Senior Manager, North America Seller Risk Management. When she started at PayPal, she had no direct reports, but now, has grown to manage a group of six with more to hire. Sharon connected with the MSM-OR/SC Director, Matthew Maloney via their LinkedIn subgroup and Sharon was able to post a few jobs through that group where she has been put in touch with some of the program’s recent graduates looking to start their careers in Risk Management. Sharon shared with us that “typically our recruiters don’t always look at the type of candidates I would like, so I’ve expanded my search to consider students from my program so that the candidate pool expands and gives us a better group of applicants.” Sharon went on to say how she really felt grateful for her time at Case Western Reserve and the opportunity that her merit scholarship gave her and she wants to stay in touch and help future graduates in any way she can.

As the Operations Research and Supply Chain program continues to grow over the past four years, growing from 16 to 48 students to accommodate the demand in the marketplace for operations research and supply chain graduate degrees, connecting and keeping in touch with alumnae like Sharon is an integral part of the program’s growth. Program director Matthew Maloney said, “getting our successful alums like Sharon back in the mix via social media and establishing relationships with her great organizations, like Ebay and PayPal, allows us to recruit more students as they realize how competitive our graduates are in the marketplace and the types of opportunities they are getting and thriving in.”

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Read about another OR/SC student's work experience

Learn more about the MSM-OR/SC program at Weatherhead

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