Meet The Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2018

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Jessica Jennings

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Idealistic millennial who believes in the power of business to positively impact society.

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

Fun Fact About Yourself: As a toddler, I had a contract with Wilhelmina Models. Photoshoots consisted of trying on clothes and playing with other kids, toys, and sometimes puppies. It was probably the best job I’ve ever had, but I was too young to appreciate it. I almost made it into a commercial, but I was entirely too shy during the audition.

Undergraduate School and Major: Columbia University, Political Science

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Office of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg – Media Research Analyst

Edelman Public Relations – Account Executive, Business + Social Purpose

JPMorgan Chase & Co. – Associate, Global Philanthropy

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While at JPMorgan Chase, I piloted a skills-based volunteerism initiative called the Detroit Service Corps. Through this program, a team of 12 top-talent JPMC executives were chosen to work, pro bono, on behalf of Detroit nonprofits whose mission was to seed economic development in the city. The employee volunteers were tasked with improving business operations for these nonprofits so that they could ultimately better serve the local Detroit community. The program has since expanded to numerous cities throughout the world and has become one of JPMorgan Chase’s key strategic Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Do not let your GMAT score define you. It is an important component of the application process, but do not let the test consume your life. There are many aspects to the application process, and a certain score will not guarantee or prohibit admission into your dream school. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer as a well-rounded candidate.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? While I was researching schools, I attended a #ROSSTALKS event featuring Scott DeRue. He talked about principles of leadership through the lens of his hike up Mt. Everest. He was so genuine and passionate, that I knew I had to learn more about the Ross community. Throughout my conversations with current and former students, administrators, and staff, the Ross spirit of teamwork, accountability, support, and academic excellence shined through. Something lights up in Rossers eyes when they talk about this school, and I wanted to experience a piece of this magic. Everyone at Ross is extremely helpful, passionate, honest and friendly – there is an infectious energy that permeates the culture and gets you excited to grow as a person and transform into a successful business leader. As luck would have it, Scott DeRue has since been named the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. I can’t wait to start school in the fall and join this wonderful community! 

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I believe that all businesses should be mindful of their impact on, and interactions with, society. Corporate America cannot turn a blind eye to the many social challenges that society faces – economic disparity, hunger, women’s equality, LGBT rights etc. – and it is the responsibility of business leaders to step up and find ways to leverage the resources and expertise of the private sector to address these issues. My dream job would be to direct CSR strategy for a Fortune 500 company, so that I can help facilitate connections between the private and public sector and determine how each can work effectively to improve our world for future generations.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like to be known as someone who was a team player and who made a positive impact on my peers’ experience. Personal relationships are extremely important to me. I want to connect with my classmates on a deeper level and graduate having built lifelong friendships.    

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