Seidenberg Alumnus Feature: Jonathan Etkin ’02

Each year, Seidenberg students graduate and move into the workforce. Graduates build their careers and hold close to the knowledge they gained at Seidenberg. When we have the chance to share the stories of alumni who’ve gone on to succeed in their fields, we jump at the opportunity. Alumnus Jonathan Etkin shared his story with us.

The Danbury, Connecticut native spent four and a half years at Pace University to obtain a master’s degree as a part-time student while also living a double life as a full-time employee and commuter. Jonathan’s path to higher education was strenuous, but he made sure to keep his eyes on the goal: a Masters of Science degree from the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Before his time at Pace, Jonathan got his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from SUNY Albany. While he knew he wanted to work in the technology industry, the light bulb didn’t go off for him until 1995 when he was working in NYC as an accountant and Microsoft software was becoming an office staple.

“Working in that field for a while was when I realized that I really had an aptitude and a passion for technology,” he explains. “That’s when I decided to pursue the masters at Pace.”

“The first technology I was introduced to in-work was the thing I intended to do my studies and my papers on—multidimensional databases.”

This led Jonathan to the Masters of Business Information Systems program at Pace University. From there, it took a lot of focus to keep his eye on the prize.

Jonathan set out to work full-time, study as a part-time student, plan a wedding, and juggle life as a commuter. The key was to find a flexible job. He made sure to unlock his potential by finding a job that understood the importance of the education that he was pursuing.

“It’s important to find a job that is willing to let you leave on certain days at certain times,” Jonathan expresses.

Doing this allowed him the flexibility he needed while he was commuting from work to Pace’s former White Plains campus. Jonathan’s work schedule had him leaving work 2 to 3 times a week for class. It was a wonderful opportunity for him to gain work experience while also gaining a degree that would open up more doors for him.

Jonathan was introduced to “Enterprise Performance Management” technology early in his career. This new form of multidimensional databases furthered his passion to work in the industry he dreamed of.

“Not only did I have the personal desire to go in that direction, I found the benefits and how much more efficient you could be and how much more quickly you could get things done and get them done accurately,” he explains.

Once Jonathan graduated with his master’s degree from Seidenberg in 2002, he immediately began to excel in management positions in the tech and consulting industries, implementing Oracle / Hyperion Performance Management Solutions.

In 2017, Jonathan shifted his career to become the Customer Success Director at Anaplan, a modern, cloud-based planning platform. At Anaplan, Jonathan’s team is in charge of customer implementations to ensure success.

When asked how he feels in his role at Anaplan, he explains that “it’s exciting, to be honest. It’s a new cutting edge technology. Anaplan was born to be a cloud software product, so it’s just a more modern take on the same type of technology.”

“I work with our implementation partners and our customers to make sure we are delivering on what they feel they purchased from us,” he explains.

When talking about the work he and his team members do, Jonathan explains with an example. If a company wants to track their expenses or any other possible variables, the implementation partners at Anaplan ensure that the company’s goals are met. Jonathan’s team makes sure the transition is seamless and efficient and that the customers are satisfied with the product.

“We do what we need to do to make the customers happy and successful,” he explains. “We’re pulling in all the right people to make sure we’re successful.”

As a professional successfully making moves in the technology industry, it’s safe to say that Jonathan’s advice is something to listen to. We’re proud of everything he has done since his time at Seidenberg. He wanted to leave us with some words of advice for Seidenberg students:

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is that…simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I would advise people who are learning technology to not over-engineer solutions for their end-users,” Jonathan advises. “Your main goal as an implementer should be focused on the end-user experience. Make it simple, easy to understand, scalable, and easy to maintain.”