2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jessica Wang, New York University (Stern)

Jessica Wang

New York University, Stern School of Business

“A BBC News enthusiast who’s optimistic, passionate about women’s empowerment, and an avid dog-spotter.”

Fun fact about yourself: I once memorized over 500 lines of Shakespeare!

Hometown: Collegeville, PA

High School: Methacton High School

Major: Business and Political Economy

Minor: Public Policy and Management

Favorite Business Course: The Making of Economic Policy in the White House

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Undergraduate Stern Women in Business – Co-President, Director of Conference (2020), Study Abroad Liaison for London and Shanghai (2018-19)
  • 180 Degrees Consulting (University College London)
  • NYU Stern Street Team Ambassador
  • NYU Stern Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • NYU Stern Orientation Leader
  • NYU Stern Dean’s List (2017-2021)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • PwC: Management Consulting Intern (New York, NY)
  • Vox Media: Revenue Operations Intern (New York, NY)
  • Madeleine Dean for U.S. Congress: Lead Finance Intern (Abington, PA)
  • Teamtrics: Marketing and Strategy Intern (Philadelphia, PA)

Where will you be working after graduation? Management Consulting Associate at PwC (New York, NY)

What company do you admire most?  I’ve always admired Wegmans, both as a business student and as a wannabe baker. The grocery chain has an extremely loyal consumer base, which is no surprise given its reputation of offering fantastic customer service, high-quality products (I highly recommend the ice cream), and low prices. It’s also consistently rated as one of the best companies to work for. I believe firms “do good by doing good,” and Wegmans goes above and beyond with its charitable donations and support of local farmers.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Julia Hur has been instrumental in helping me understand the relationship between businesses, people, and the environment around them. I was fortunate to work with her as an Undergraduate Research Assistant and to take her Management and Organizations class while studying in Shanghai. She taught me that understanding human behavior is key to understanding organizations, and I’m grateful to her for inspiring me to write my senior thesis on a topic I care deeply about: female empowerment in the workplace.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I recommend focusing on developing soft skills because they’re as important – if not more important – than the hard skills. Business is only partially about the ability to crunch numbers and make financial models. It’s more important that you can work productively in teams, articulate yourself well in writing and in speech, and think on the spot. The best business leaders are not the cogs in the machine; they’re the thinkers, the innovators, and the motivators!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by how intangible much of the business world is. As someone who solely imagined businesses as the brick-and-mortar buildings and B2C products and services that I was familiar with as a consumer, I was surprised to learn that many business careers dealt with the sale of knowledge, expertise, and imaginary assets. If someone told me four years ago that I would be entering a profession where I’d tell other businesses how to solve their own problems, I would’ve laughed – yet this naïve misconception-turned-realization helped me appreciate how vast, diverse, and impactful the world of business can be.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could rewind the clock, I would make an effort to take more classes that interest me outside of business school. There are countless classes at NYU that would complement my understanding of business concepts, while also tapping into my interests in topics such as international relations, history, art, and psychology. Four years isn’t enough to make the most of a college experience!

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of my time serving as the Co-President and Director of Conference for the Undergraduate Stern Women in Business (USWIB). Coming into a male-dominated environment, I sought out a community of supportive and empowering women, and USWIB became the most rewarding experience of my time at NYU. Over the years, I’ve been able to serve as a mentor for more than 30 female students, lead a team that coordinated a conference for 300 attendees, and help create a new initiative of diversity, equity, and inclusion dialogues to spread the word about topics such as race, gender, and intersectionality. Giving back to the Stern community through USWIB has been the highlight of my college career.

Which classmate do you most admire? Dharaa Rathi is a BPE classmate, close friend, and fellow USWIB E-Board member whom I admire deeply. She has the innate empathy, confidence, and passion for doing good in the world that’s necessary for being an inspirational business leader and wonderful friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents and my older sister, Christina, have helped me believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. They instilled in me the hard-working, immigrant values that made me push for nothing but the absolute best, yet they did so with constant empathy and support. Christina was the one who inspired me to pursue a career in business, and I would not be where I am today without her guidance, wisdom, and (much-needed) reality checks. I’m forever grateful to my family for their love, encouragement, and belief in me.

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

  1. Create a mentorship program for young women interested in business careers.
  2. Work in the intersection of private and public sectors (possibly run for office one day!).

What are your hobbies? I enjoy staying politically active, baking with family and friends, seeing Broadway shows, reading books, and traveling and exploring new places.

What made Jessica such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Jessica is a leader, a mentor, and a resource within the NYU Stern community. We take great pride in the pillars of the Stern student experience: academic excellence, global ambassadorship, social impact, professionalism, and community. So it was an easy decision to hire Jessica onto the NYU Stern Street Team, a group of student ambassadors for the school, because she epitomizes these pillars—doing well while also doing good, representing her school with pride, and serving as a leader in her community. This year has challenged all of us, and through it all, Jessica has thoughtfully contributed both in and outside the classroom and brought her creativity and smile to her role as a student leader. She says yes. She is determined and hopeful. She is a light that shines brightly within our NYU Stern community.”

Lendon Ebbins
Assistant Director of Communications

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