2020 MBAs To Watch: Jamison Alexander Friedland, New York University (Stern)

Jamison Alexander Friedland

New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business

“Determined, optimistic, intelligent, loyal, self-assured, goal-oriented, independent, good sense of humor.”

Hometown: Glen Cove, NY

Fun fact about yourself: I played Maria Sharapova in tennis and won! When I was 10 years old and she was 8, as the two youngest members at the tennis academy, the coaches had us play a match. At the time I did not take any great pride in beating a younger girl. However, while my hard work allowed me to become the number one nationally ranked junior in USTA for my age, she went on to become the number one ranked female player in the world.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Northwestern University, Economics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Traditum Group LLC, Limited Partner & Senior Fixed Income Trader

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? International Finance Corporation; Washington D.C.

Where will you be working after graduation? TBD

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Glucksman Institute for Research in Securities Markets Fellowship Recipient
  • Mary McMahon Hollander Scholarship Award Winner
  • Co-President of Social Impact and Sustainability Association (SISA)
  • Founding Member of ESG Sub-Fund of Michael Price Student Investment Fund
  • NYU team lead in MBA Impact Investing Network & Training competition

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my role as a founding member of the ESG Sub-Fund within the Michael Price Student Investment Fund. As part of a grant from investor Michael Price, NYU Stern has run a student investment fund. During my time at Stern, we launched a sub-fund focusing on ESG investing. As one of the founding members, I was responsible for designing the focus of the fund including whether to be exclusionary or engaging of certain industries, deciding how we choose to benchmark our fund and through what lens we evaluated ESG metrics. I look forward to seeing how this sub-fund continues to evolve as the new classes of students shape its future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my trading career, one of the achievements I am most proud of is the creation of an investment strategy. After being actively trading for a number of years, I saw an opportunity based on market conditions and my firm’s trading capacity to enhance our presence in the cash bond space. This strategy was so profitable that I was asked to teach the other traders in the firm in order to maximize returns.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor at NYU Stern has been Tensie Whelan. I had the opportunity to meet Tensie before I enrolled at Stern through events hosted by the School’s Center for Sustainable Business. Through this meeting, I was able to negotiate a research opportunity about ESG credentials of Fortune 100 board members. I was then also able to work as Professor Whelan’s teaching fellow for four of her courses at the Undergraduate, MBA, and Online Certificate levels. Prior to working with Tensie, I was aware of how approaching investing from a sustainable mindset could be used as a risk mitigant. However, as her teaching fellow, I was able to watch her successfully demonstrate the potential financial upside available for companies which I can use going forward in my professional life.

Through this time, I have been so impressed by her dedication to the field of sustainability and the passion with which she engages on the topic. Additionally, her past experience as President of Rainforest Alliance allows her to bring in numerous guest speakers from some of the most impressive corporations in the field of sustainable finance.

On a more personal note, Tensie has invited me to attend conferences as her guest when she has been a panelist and has often gone out of her way to include me in external events being hosted by the Center. I consider her one of my first mentors in the area of sustainability and look forward to a long and continued friendship after graduation.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite event at NYU has been the annual sustainability conference that is jointly hosted by the business, law and policy student organizations. Prior to enrolling in courses, I attended the conference as a prospective student and was impressed by the professionalism of the event and the quality of the panelists. As a member of the Social Impact and Sustainability Club my first year and as the Co-President my second year, this event has been one of the key focuses of our club. As the event is student-run, it highlights the opportunities presented to students to shape the direction of their learning and to engage with working professionals in their field of interest.

Why did you choose this business school? I choose to attend business school in general because I realized during my work as a trader that I wanted a different career in sustainability and impact investing. With that goal in mind, I focused on the programming available and was impressed by the offerings provided at NYU Stern. The combination of the Center for Sustainable Business with the academic offerings and experiential learning provided a great base to pursue my specialization in sustainable business. Additionally, being located in New York City provided me an opportunity to network throughout the city at various sustainability-themed conferences and work during the semester at impact-focused investment organizations.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Advice I have for potential applicants for all MBA programs is to think hard about your long-term goals and be honest with yourself about what you are looking to gain during your business school experience. If the opportunities at NYU Stern align with those goals, then convey that as sincerely as possible in both the application and interview process

What is the biggest myth about your school? A myth that I had heard about NYU Stern and many of the MBA programs that are located in major metropolitan areas is that the student communities are not as close knit because of the diversity of housing locations and opportunities within the city. While I have nothing to compare against, I have been pleasantly surprised by how close the Stern community is overall and have made some of my closest friends through the program.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? While I have enjoyed all my experiences at Stern, one thing I would do differently is take more advantage of the opportunity to take courses at other NYU programs. By taking more courses at the Law and Policy schools, I could have expanded on some of the nuances within impact investing as well as broadened my network within the sustainability community.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kyu Sung Kim is the classmate whom I most admire. While I did not know him particularly well during my first year, we both had the opportunity to intern at the International Finance Corporation over the summer. I learned about his path to pursue his MBA, and I was impressed by the dedication and courage he has shown during these two years. Kyu decided to pursue his MBA at NYU despite never having lived outside of South Korea. As a non-native speaker, the courses were that much more difficult, yet he was able to achieve high academic marks and be within the top 10 percent academically in the entire class. This would have been enough of a challenge for most, but Kyu also has a wife and small child who moved to New York with him during his MBA. His ability to maintain this high academic standard while juggling a family is that much more impressive.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I was very fortunate to have many supportive family members and friends who helped shape my decision to pursue business. Because of that, it is difficult to choose only one person to designate as the most influential. If forced to choose, I would say that the author Michael Lewis and particularly the story of Liar’s Poker had the largest impact. I have always seen the world mathematically and approached problems analytically and seeing how those skills could be applied in the world of finance influenced my education and career decisions.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Make an impact-related speech at the UN
  • Be recognized on a Forbes list for my global impact

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would hope to be remembered as being an energetic organizer and influencer of change who would still make time to listen or help friends and peers.

Hobbies? Tennis, travel, poker, Jeopardy

What made Jamison such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Jamie Friedland is a second-year MBA candidate at NYU Stern. Jamie came to Stern with the goal of one day helping to influence how investments can be used to shape better returns as well as a better society. Jamie has started to do just that during his time here at Stern, taking on several curricular and co-curricular sustainability-focused offerings through which he has made a significant impact locally here at NYU and around the nation.

From the minute Jamie arrived on campus, he engaged with our office through the school’s participation in the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) program as a team leader. He also became highly engaged through Stern’s Social Impact and Sustainability (SISA) club as well as Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business research projects. He then subsequently enrolled in our NYU Impact Investing Fund experiential learning (Stern Solutions) course, a one of a kind interdisciplinary investment management offering through NYU’s Stern School of Business, Wagner School of Public Policy, and NYU Law schools. The goal of this course is to expose students to every aspect of an impact investing fund’s operations by investing real money and being integrated with students across key disciplines. Investments are made in five sectors: financial inclusion, environment, healthcare/aging, education, and food systems. Through Jamie’s involvement he helped the fund to complete its inaugural investment, subscribing for $30,000 of convertible notes issued by Sapient Industries, a Philadelphia-based start-up that uses a combination of smart hardware and machine learning algorithms to reduce energy waste in commercial real estate.

Now in his second year, Jamie is continuing his work with the NYU Impact Investing Fund as a deal team leader and ensuring that the fund continues to monitor its original investment as well as completing due-diligence for a second investment. He also was a founding member of the creation of an ESG Sub-Fund within Stern’s long-standing Michael Price Student Investment Fund course. Additionally, he has become co-president of SISA to further advocate for sustainable business conversations and career opportunities among Stern MBA students.

Jamie is thoughtful and organized, always willing to offer advice to first-year or prospective students on how to best leverage their MBA in the sustainable finance arena. Jamie embodies the philosophy of doing well while doing good, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Bryan Ramos
Executive Director
Office of Student Engagement


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