2020 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

2020 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

Jacqueline Ryan

What is your current role and department at UM?

Sr. ManagerUMIT Business Operations

What degree will you be receiving this coming graduation? 
Master of Science in Leadership from the Miami Herbert Business School

How long have you been in service at UM? 
20 years

What were some highlights of your time as a student and employee? 

I had an incredible opportunity to join the University of Miami 20 years ago. Little did I know then that I was going to be able to accomplish both my undergrad and graduate degrees at the U. What I once thought impossible, is now a reality.

As a student and at my age, I loved sharing the classroom with passionate, team-oriented professionals who raised the bar and constantly challenged me to be and do better. As an immigrant, first-generation college graduate, and a single mother, I first enrolled as a student in the School of Continuing Studies in 2000. This accomplishment represents more than a degree or a diploma. For me it validates my resilient and tenacious nature. But I could have not done it without the congeniality and inspiration from this amazing cohort and the enthusiasm and support from the dedicated faculty. The Master of Science in Leadership has been an extraordinary experience, and it has provided impactful skills, critical knowledge, and real-world scenarios to carry out my personal leadership vision while expanding my ’Canes family. The COVID-19 pandemic may have rained on our parade, but it did not diminish our sense of achievement. Learning from leaders in the field is invaluable.

As an employee, I have the great fortune to work with individuals who support the University’s service standards and exhibit the D.I.R.E.C.C.T. values on a daily basis. Particularly, my team members have supported my efforts to lead with civility and have helped me foster a culture of belonging. Seeing the significant contributions of UMIT during the COVID-19 pandemic—assisting the University leadership team in transitioning students to online learning and employees to remote work—makes me proud to bleed orange and green and grateful to be a Miami Hurricane!

What is a favorite UM memory? 
It’s difficult to share only one favorite memory as I have a nice collection of sweet memories at the U during my 20 years of service. Therefore, here are my top three: Hearing the impressive Band of the Hour for the first time in 1999 gave me chills; attending the student picnic at the President’s house in 2008 was unforgettable; and seeing my children and husband cheering me on as I walked across the stage in the 2018 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony was priceless.

Have you received any awards, honors or special achievements?
I was one of the recipients of the Executive Presence Award during the Miami Leadership Challenge.  

Please share any advice that you might have for employees looking to go back to school.

To my fellow ’Canes, remember that time goes by regardless. It’s normal to not know how or where to begin, but the only requirement to embark on this amazing journey is to be disciplined and persistent. Stop procrastinating and give yourself the best gift of all—the gift of knowledge. To quote Confucius, “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” Invest in yourself and be honored to call the University of Miami your alma mater, too. As the University’s Alma Mater states, “with all knowledge at your hand,” the possibilities are endless.

Learn about other 2020 graduating employees.