Jim Viscusi, ’21
It is said, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been. It was that kind of self-reflection that triggered Jim Viscusi, EMBA ‘21 to shake things up and enroll in Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business Executive MBA program (EMBA) in 2019.
“For me, this was a re-skilling to allow me to move to an executive level position within my company,” said Viscusi.
Viscusi has worked at Oracle since 1996 and has held various positions along the way, moving from a consulting member of their technical staff to director of data management and the Oracle management cloud to a leadership role in 2019 as the director of the MAA platform engineering team. In this role, Viscusi oversees a team of 30 hardware engineers, system administrators and software developers. Through Drexel’s EMBA program he was able to sharpen negotiation, business and leadership skills needed to succeed.
“What I now have that I didn’t have before was an understanding and a set of skills I can bring to my job to make me better than I would have been otherwise,” said Viscusi.
What stood out to Viscusi, among other Executive MBA programs was Drexel’s long-standing focus and partnership with industry.
“At Drexel you are going to take things in the classroom and bring them forward into your actual job and that’s Drexel to the key,” said Viscusi. “I got so much more than I ever expected.”
It didn’t take long for him to receive a return on his educational investment. Part-way through his EMBA experience the world changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, “supply chain” wasn’t a house-hold term, however that topic was already being taught in Drexel’s EMBA curriculum.
“Our professor was someone who worked on supply chain for one of the most complex pharmaceutical companies in the industry and had the knowledge to explain well beyond the classroom how to run a supply chain,” said Viscusi. “I deal with supply chain all day long now and I immediately applied what I learned in the classroom so while lots of my peers were trying to catch up in that discussion, I was able to lead that discussion.”
Why I chose Drexel’s EMBA Program:
What Drexel’s Executive MBA program offers is a world-class program for a school that is locked in on industry. Through the faculty and even your own cohort members, you receive industry experience I don’t believe any other regional program would offer you. Having been with one company for decades now, I was able to come back to my job at Oracle after graduating from this program with a fresh perspective and an entirely new skill set that I was able to apply directly to my job. Had I not done the EMBA program at Drexel, I can’t imagine I would have been set up to solve the problems I’ve been asked to solve over the past three years.
The Drexel Network:
When you go through a program like this, you truly bond and grow with your cohort. Now I have this network of like-minded and successful individuals I can draw upon and this resource of Drexel Dragons is still available to me in the form of classmates, alumni and faculty. To this day, I still talk to and collaborate with members of my cohort who have become more like family to me and anytime I get an opportunity to be apart of the Drexel community, I’m all in because I always come out better than when I started.