2018 Best & Brightest: Jorge Fournier, Wake Forest University

Jorge Fournier

Wake Forest University

Suit enthusiast and a firm believer in interconnectivity; work in progress.”

Fun fact about yourself: I won second place in a Parent’s magazine baby picture contest. My parents received free Pampers for a full year.

Hometown: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

High School: Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Major: Finance

Minor: Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise

Favorite Business Course: Private Equity with Peter Brockway and Bill Marcum

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Student Trustee for the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees
  • President’s Aide for Dr. Nathan O. Hatch
  • School of Business Advisory Board Member
  • School of Business Ambassador
  • Helped raise over $200,000 for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria by being involved in the Students with Puerto Rico GoFundMe campaign representing Wake Forest University
  • Served as Liaison and Vice-President for the Organization for Latin American Students (OLAS)
  • Served as Pledge Class Vice-President and Warden for the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Professional Fraternity
  • Member of Wake Fintech, Finance Club, Entrepreneurship Society, and the Student Activity Fee Committee
  • Volunteered at El Buen Pastor, Campus Kitchen, Habitat For Humanity, and participated in fundraising events hosted by Wake Forest students, such as Hit the Bricks and Wake N’ Shake
  • Translated exhibit descriptions to Spanish for the Davidson County Historical Museum
  • Served as Novice Captain for the Wake Forest Rowing Club during my freshman year
  • Dean’s List
  • Disher Scholarship
  • Stephen and Chrissy Vasquez Scholarship
  • Jennie J. Pakon née Lis and John S. Palon Scholarship
  • Roy M. Rawls & Fumi Kato Kubota Scholarship

Where have you interned during your college career? 

CompanyLocationRole
Barclays Capital

Summer of 2017 (Junior year Internship)

New York, NYInvestment Banking Summer Analyst in the Industrials M&A Coverage group
Ernst & Young (EY)

Summer of 2016

Charlotte, NCLaunch Intern (Rotational internship in advisory, tax, and assurance service lines)
Integration Technologies Corp. (Intech)

Summer of 2015 (Freshman year)

San Juan, Puerto RicoStudent Intern

–        Focused on assisting the sales team with marketing materials, the IT experts by building a beginner’s guide for common services of the company and also concentrated on building cost calculators for different services

4ni’s Promo Distribution

April 2014 – May 2014

President and FounderStarted a company when I was a senior in high school that distributed customized promotional items for small businesses around my hometown of Puerto Rico, including my high school

 Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be an analyst at the Barclays Investment Bank in New York City.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? What I enjoyed most about the Wake Forest School of Business is the amazing people I had the opportunity of meeting. Most of my professors would often bring guest speakers to class. These speakers solidified what we were learning and also allowed us to ask questions to industry leaders –an opportunity we otherwise would not have. I think the faculty has been incredible. Most of the faculty come from the business industry and have an immense knowledge of how people do things in the real world. As a senior in high school, I could not have imagined that one of the highlights of my college experience would be the opportunity to have coffee with my professors to talk about their research and their careers. My experience has been much more positive than I ever imagined!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned is the value of integrity and how building relationships is far more important than being proficient at Excel. By developing a set of values to guide me through difficult situations, I will be able to excel and meet people that share similar values to mine. This is a treasured lesson that I will never forget.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would encourage the student to major in an area they think they love while also taking classes in other areas. You should take advantage of learning many different topics before graduating and focusing on just one. In addition, I would strongly encourage him or her to get to know the faculty –they will probably be the highlight of your experience during college.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Computer Science and Psychology.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The interconnection of the curriculum is what really surprised me about majoring in business. All of the classes complement each other, while also complementing your learning of business, thereby allowing you to make a broader impact in the community. Not only is this interconnection notable in the business school, but also I now understand how the many liberal arts courses that I have taken have helped form and prepare me for the business world.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My family has always been influential in this decision. While I was growing up, my parents would often encourage me to get out of the house and do things outside. This led me to start a lemonade stand, where I sold many other times: flowers, gum, popsicles, and even short stories I wrote. I continued to create small businesses such as these and even managed to launch my first company as a senior in high school. With the first money I made, my grandfather taught me how to invest in stocks. After falling in love with the CNBC ticker in fourth grade, I have not looked back. My grandfather has been the person who has influenced me the most because I have seen how his businesses run and how you can start things up from nothing. I am constantly calling him over the phone to discuss different ideas and stocks. I love discussing how businesses interact with the global economy and the impact companies can have on people.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being elected as the Student Trustee. As the only Student Trustee, I have the responsibility of making sure that the students’ concerns and ideas are presented to the Board of Trustees. By representing the students’ interests, I have been able to acquire a different perspective about Wake Forest, meet with campus leaders in order to create change, and also grow immensely as a better leader and Wake Forester. With this position, I have been able to share innovative and diverse ideas to trustees, administrators and people who are in charge of making them happen. The position has helped me stay grounded in the student-body, while also gaining a perspective on the overall Wake Forest experience and how to make it better. The people I have met and the way I have changed since being chosen for the position has been the highlight of my Wake Forest experience. It has been an honor to me to help students this way!

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? I would make efforts to change the way we attract and mentor diverse students in the business school. I think we are making huge strides to diversify our campus and we should continue to do so in the short and long term. It has been proven that diverse teams are more successful, so if we could have more diverse students, we can be stronger as individuals while also learning to embrace differences and ideas that may not be similar to our own.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire the type of classmate who would sit up front and not be ashamed of raising their hand when knowing the answer. I love the classmates that asks thoughtful questions to that even make the student think.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? There are four groups of people who have really made a difference in my personal and professional growth. Firstly, my mentors. I have devoted a lot of my personal time to finding mentors in different fields and meeting new people. They have been my source of emotional and spiritual motivation throughout my high school and college career. The second group of people is my family. My family has taught me how to be honorable, humble and live life with purpose. I owe them my motivation to achieve an impact in other people’s lives – something I am always trying to do. The third group of people are the people at Wake Forest. I could not have imagined a better source of energy and eagerness to help from faculty, students and administrators on campus. The last group are my friends. I have made a lot of friends from different backgrounds and with diverse perspectives who challenge me to see the world in a different way every day. I have loved my years here and I will continue to keep in contact with the fabulous people I have met.

What would your theme song be? “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. I love this song because it constantly reminds me that there is something better coming our way, just like the sun comes out after a long winter. I even learned to play the guitar just to learn to play this song.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. I eventually want to start a nonprofit organization focused on helping homeless people in Puerto Rico, by giving them another chance to stay off the streets.
  2. I would love to write a book in order to help other people develop a skill.

Favorite book: Principles by Ray Dalio

Favorite movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Favorite vacation spot: British Virgin Islands

What are your hobbies? I play basketball in my spare time and also play soccer during the intramural season at Wake Forest. I am an avid fan of going out and taking pictures of sunsets, skylines, and panoramic views wherever I am. I also love to read nonfiction books, mostly biographies and business books. I really enjoy playing with my little brother, who is currently 9.

What made Jorge such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Smart, hardworking, personable, talented, creative, positive, energetic, joyful; Jorge Fournier embodies all of these traits. But most importantly, he is a community builder. In this time of frequent divisiveness, Jorge brings a homemade cake to cheer someone’s day. He reaches across divides to make friends and cheer on student-athletes from around the globe. He brightens my day, and the days of so many people.  He brings us together.”

Michelle Steward, PhD
Associate Professor
Wake Forest University School of Business

“Jorge is a superb student. He is incredibly authentic with a natural sense of professionalism and a sheer joy for life.  Jorge’s greatest asset is his high level of intellectual curiosity. He has a constant hunger to learn more and a willingness to think through the more challenging topics in our world. He is a professor’s dream student in many ways because he not only absorbs and synthesizes material, but he also brings new gems to the discussion from his independent exploration of the topics at hand. He IS one of the Best and Brightest.”

Cynthia Tessien
Full Professor of Practice
Wake Forest University School of Business

DON’T MISS: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST BUSINESS MAJORS OF 2018 — THE COMPLETE LIST