Early on in her senior year, Sydney McCloud set two closely-related goals: “I want to leave Drexel well-rounded and to be knowledgeable in every field of business.”
With the completion of her degree in Management Information Systems, along with a minor in finance, McCloud has certainly met the first. She’s well on her way to the second, and the position she’s secured as technology consulting analyst with Accenture will bring her along toward the broad base of knowledge that she seeks.
Based in the company’s Philadelphia office, McCloud will begin a two-year rotational program called the Technology Development Program, working on three- to six-month rotations paired with a senior consultant. Each rotation focuses on a project with a client involving the deployment of a specific technology.
“I really liked that Accenture was focused on challenging and growing within yourself,” she says. “It’s very competitive in the market and within the software and technology industry.”
McCloud adds she’s open to relocating for work or to working internationally, either as part of a rotation or in a future assignment.
“I don’t want to keep myself in a small bubble. With the world we’re living in today, we need to be able to educate ourselves in all different kinds of situations,” she says. “That’s something my parents really embedded in me: to be open-minded, and to constantly learn.”
Looking back to her freshman year, when she entered as a general business major, McCloud says, “I had no idea I was going to be an MIS major - I didn’t know what it was.” She credits MIS 200 and Samir Shah, Clinical Professor of Decision Sciences and MIS, with setting her on the path that would define her college experience and shape her future career.
“With Prof. Shah and the other professors I’ve really liked, they went out of their way to have more one-on-one sessions with me,” she says. “I was able to explore different questions I had or things I didn’t understand.”
Like many freshmen, McCloud explored student organizations determined to find a group that she knew represented her values and provided her with the sense of community she so desired.
After learning about Drexel Women in Business – also known as DWIB – and working with the group her freshman year, McCloud was moved by their mission and impact and applied for a position on the organization’s executive board that same year.
Convinced that the group could do more to work with the community outside of University City, McCloud emphasized this need in her interviews for the positions she applied to. “Originally, I interviewed for Treasurer and one other position,” says McCloud. “But I also wanted to emphasize how DWIB could do more to give back to the community because that was something huge in my upbringing.”
Reminded of the commitment to service that her mother instilled in her family as a child, McCloud wanted to see the organization make more of an impact and extend its reach far outside of Drexel’s campus. “At the time, there were no events centered toward the community. We would collaborate with organizations, but there was nothing that made DWIB stand out as a whole, and that was a role that I thought would be beneficial to the board,” says McCloud.
McCloud’s passion and drive for service made an impression on the executive board so much that they created a position on the executive board that was dedicated to philanthropy, with McCloud as the first to hold the position. From there, she went on to serve as interim vice president and then as president. “It was a lot of pressure at the time, but looking back, I definitely grew a lot and learned a lot from the position,” she says.
During her time leading DWIB, she has grown the organization’s membership and increased the number of community outreach events. But despite such an active involvement in Drexel Women in Business, another organization gave McCloud the support she needed as she navigated three co-ops and a heavy course load: LeBow BRIDGE.
McCloud joined BRIDGE after her first year at the University and quickly found a resource for support and guidance that she had previously found unmatched. McCloud credits BRIDGE with helping her form a feeling of home while at Drexel through staff support and student connections.
“There’s no words to say how thankful I am to the BRIDGE leadership for being there whenever I need them,” says McCloud, “I feel that without BRIDGE, I wouldn’t be in my current position today.”
“Having that surrounding circle of supporters and close friends really helped me. I didn’t do it alone.”