Hometown: Madison, Alabama
Major: Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration
Expected date of graduation: 2020
Jennifer is described as the embodiment of “head for business and heart for the world.” At Loyola, Jennifer has been a top student, an active volunteer with the school’s MBA/MS day of service, and a student panelist for Q-Impact. She has also been active in the Quinlan Graduate Women in Business and Quinlan Graduate Marketing Association.
Jennifer works full-time at the marketing agency Walker Sands—a job that has ended up serving as a significant part of her education, as she is able to regularly bring real-world examples from work into the classroom. In addition to her scholarship and employment, Jennifer also finds time to serve as an associate board member with Holiday Heroes, an organization that brings celebrations to children in the hospital during holiday seasons.
Here, Jennifer explains how a microenterprise consulting class led to one of her most meaningful volunteer experiences.
What was the most meaningful volunteer, service, or student organization activity you’ve been involved in? How has it influenced you or shaped you as a person?
During my time at Loyola, one of the most meaningful service experiences has been consulting for a microenterprise through MGMT 435 with Professor Stacy Neier Beran. My team worked with a local entrepreneur starting a photography business to refine her vision and build an actionable business plan. It felt good to use my education to make a real difference in someone’s life—and help bring a business to Rogers Park. For me, this experience underscored the positive impact business has at the micro level. Sometimes those smallest organizations can have the greatest impact for people. While global enterprises sound glamorous to work for, you can make a much greater contribution to smaller companies.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your Jesuit education?
Taking Clifford Shultz’s Marketing and Consumer Behavior in Southeast Asia was the single best experience I’ve had as a student at Loyola, and I encourage everyone to take the class. I’ve traveled across North America and to Europe and Latin America, but Southeast Asia is so unique. Sure, swimming with elephants at a Thai elephant sanctuary was the happiest I’ve ever felt, but learning about Cambodia’s Killing Fields and the Vietnam War from their perspective was truly humbling. It gives you a greater appreciation for everything we’re born with and inspired me to want to do business globally in an ethical and sustainable way.
What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?
I’m lucky in that I already work in my desired field of marketing for technology companies. The reason I pursued my MBA was to prepare me for more senior leadership roles in the future. Long term, I hope to be CMO of a fast-growing tech company, and learning how to be an ethical leader at Loyola has prepared me for this role. Not only have the classes and professors given me a strong foundation in business, but also the other students I’ve worked with in group projects or learned from in the service days and study abroad have given me a network I can lean on for many years.