Jim Rosenheim ’64

Jim & Matthew RosenheimQ: Tell us about your career path and where you are today.
A: After my SU graduation, I attended law school for two years, found it not to my liking, and did an MBA at American University. I went to graduate school at night while working in the family jewelry business during the day in order to pay for school. When I completed my MBA in 1968, interest rates were 20% and there were no jobs in my major, real estate. I asked to stay working in the family business with the idea of pursuing a commercial real estate career when the market turned, but once I was fully into the business, I chose to stay and make it my career. I am currently CEO of Tiny Jewel Box. The business has evolved into one of America’s best-known independent retail brands having been awarded numerous awards within the jewelry industry.

Q: How did your SU experience prepare you for your career?
A: I was a political science major at Syracuse with a minor in art history. I took a wide variety of courses outside the Maxwell School to broaden my general knowledge and to fulfill the educational requirement of the University. The art history courses gave me particular knowledge applicable to my career. They taught me about the evolution of culture and style, which is highly applicable to the understanding of the stylistic changes in jewelry through the ages. More importantly, I learned that the one constant in life and business is change. In the world of today it has allowed me to embrace change, stay current with those changes, and adapt the direction of my business to stay relevant. Also, the broad education I received has allowed me to interact with my clients on many different levels and subjects, not just jewelry. This is most important in dealing with educated and well-traveled individuals.

Q: Looking back, what SU experiences have been the most meaningful to you?
A: Learning to meet and deal with a wide variety of individuals and many different circumstances has prepared me for the many challenges I have faced in my business career and in life for the past 50+ years since my graduation.

Q: Why do you feel that it is important to remain connected to the alumni network and the University?
A: I must admit that over the years I have lost touch with most of the people that I knew at SU. I think this is a loss, as I have watched my son, Matthew (also an SU grad), enjoy the relationships he made while at college.

Q: What advice would you give students?
A: College is one of the major steppingstones in life. Try to take full advantage of all the opportunities offered to you—academically, culturally, socially, etc. College is a time for real growth. Embrace the differences in people and circumstances around you, even if you are unsure of yourself. It is a great preparation to the variety of experiences and circumstances that you are sure to face in life.