2019 Best & Brightest: Jada Haynes, Indiana University (Kelley)

Jada Haynes

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“When everyone sits, I stand. When everyone stands, I stand out. When everyone stands out, I’m the standard.” (Collen Hlazo)

Fun fact about yourself: 1) I’ve studied abroad in four continents, 16 countries, 35+ cities while in college.  2) I met Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union in a Harvard Business School class this summer 3) I am a Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient (Eagle Scout Equivalent) and a was a Girl Scout for 14 years

Hometown: Naperville, IL

High School: Naperville Central High School

Major: Finance and Accounting

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Global Business Immersion – Thailand

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities

  • IU Run Club, Women’s Track & Field Member (August 2015 – Present)
  • Undergraduate Business Diversity Council, Vice President of Finance (September 2015 – January 2018)
  • Kelley Accounting Department, Accounting Teacher’s Assistant & Peer Tutor (December 2015 – Present)
  • Kelley Admissions, Tour Guide (August 2016 – Present)
  • Kelley Living Learning Center, Live-In Peer Mentor (August 2016 – May 2017)
  • Scholarship Advisory Committee, Member (December 2015 – Present)
  • Kelley Undergraduate Consulting Workshop, Member (March 2017 – Present)
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), Career Prep Fellow (May 2017 – August 2018)
  • Junior Achievement, Volunteer (Winter 2016)

School Honors

  • Indiana University Wells Scholar, IU’s most prestigious merit-based full scholarship based on intellectual ability and scholarly performance
  • Kelley Honors Program, Kelley Dean’s Council Scholar, Indiana University Founders Scholar, Hutton Honors College
  • Kelley Diversity Award Recipient, 2017
  • Senior Recognition Award (TBD)

Study Abroad
(Jan. – May 2018)
(May 2017)
(May 2016)
(Jan 2016)

Case Competitions
1st –
National Black MBA Association Undergraduate (2017)
1st –
University of Alabama Diversity Conference (2017)
1st –
ArcelorMittal Kelley Compass (2016)
1st – Kelley Honors Computers in Business (2016)
1st –
IU Diversity Competition (2015)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Deloitte Consulting, Strategy & Operations (S&O) Intern, Chicago, IL

(Summer 2018)

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Financial Due Diligence Intern, Chicago, IL (Summer 2017)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Corporate Responsibility Intern, Chicago, IL (Summer 2016)

Where will you be working after graduation?

  • McKinsey & Co., Business Analyst, Chicago, IL (August 2019)

What company do you admire most? Southwest Airlines – The company that I truly admire is Southwest because it is a purpose-driven business. The company stands by the purpose of providing the cheapest fares to the most people. Travel has been such a big part of my life, as I have truly been able to grow as a person by seeing more of the world around me. I admire a company that makes travel a possibility for more and more people.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Studying Abroad – I admire my business school for allowing students to push their limits and study abroad. The school provides a plethora of semester, short-term, summer and volunteer opportunities, which makes studying abroad a feasible option for most students. About 60 percent of students study abroad each year at Kelley; that is amazing!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? “Failure is Okay” – Failure is something everyone needs to be comfortable with. The more comfortable you are with failure, the easier it is for you to bounce back and the more successful you will be as a business person.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Collaborative Environment – Business school was much more collaborative than I initially thought. Throughout my four years, I have worked to solve business problems with a diverse group of teams. This collaboration component has helped me find solutions that I would have never been able to solve alone. Through business school, I truly understand the power of teams and how collaboration changes the way you think.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Engineering – side note: I completed my Girl Scout Gold Award project by encouraging children to pursue fields in STEM.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? High School Accounting Teacher – My high school accounting teacher was the most influential person regarding my decision to pursue business. She was the first person who broke down the foundational components of business and made them understandable. In this way, I realized that business not only made sense, but it was fun. Each journal entry was like a puzzle where I got to embrace my inner problem-solver and math nerd all in one.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Semester Study in Eastern Europe – Studying abroad for a semester in Budapest, Hungary was the collegiate achievement that I am most proud of. When I look back to my various academic achievements, they do not compare to living abroad for four months in Eastern Europe. As the first in my family to travel outside of the continent, this experience met me with a variety of academic, personal, and cultural challenges that I ultimately persevered.

Which classmate do you most admire? Jade Haynes – I admire my twin sister, Jade. She has been there for me every step of the way with me during my four years at IU. While people always judged us for going to the same college, majoring in the same things, getting involved in similar extracurriculars and even interning at the same firms – I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She embodies a hard-worker, dream chaser, mentor, and powerful businesswoman. Being her presence pushes me to be the best version of myself.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Taryn Thomas – I wouldn’t be the student I am without Taryn Thomas, my academic advisor from freshman year. When I stepped into her office at new student orientation the summer before my freshman year, I never I thought I would be meeting someone who tremendously changes my life. I never thought I would send her postcards as I journeyed to new continents throughout college. I never thought I would come into her office to talk about tough topics, but leave with a smile on my face. I never thought my academic advisor would become my friend, but she made her professional title didn’t come between forming a personal relationship with her students. For her, I am truly grateful.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

1) Travel to all seven continents 2) See all the seven wonders of the world before 30

What are your hobbies? Track & Field, writing poetry, listening to gospel music, planning trips, mentoring

What made Jada such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Jada Haynes is a perfect example to other students of how academic excellence, community involvement, intellectual curiosity, professional ambition, and a willingness to give back to Kelley students, can simultaneously benefit both an individual and an entire school community. Over the past four years, Jada has achieved a phenomenal GPA, traveled the world and gained an invaluable international perspective, mastered the art of case competition gaining national recognition while also helping other students succeed.

Jada shines wherever she is, but she shines brightest when giving back to students, specifically those who are underrepresented and underserved. This is what stood out the most when I talked to the staff who know her best. Jada chose to be a resident assistant in the Kelley Living Learning Center during arguably her toughest academic year specifically because she wanted to serve as a mentor and resource to students. Jada knew the pressure of being a Kelley freshman and desired to help alleviate some of that stress not only with kind words, a friendly smile and an electric personality but also with true curricular support that only a near perfect academic scholar like Jada could provide.

This was only the beginning for Jada. She has served as a Kelley Guide, a key student appointment in the Kelley Office of Admissions. As a Kelley Guide, Jada has spoken at countless recruitment events, including as a Direct Admit Day Speaker where she was speaking for an audience of over 1000 about her life and the part that IU, Kelley, and business has played in that journey. As a member of the IU Scholarship Advisory Council, Jada serves as an advocate and ambassador for Indiana University working on recruitment initiatives and traveling to showcase IU and show how students can achieve their dreams while also giving back to a community. Jada serves as a student advisor to the Dean’s Council Scholarship Student Cohort supporting the Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives in recruiting and retaining exceptional student scholars who come from underrepresented backgrounds.  As a member of Management Leaders for Tomorrow, Jada has the opportunity to be mentored thereby not only growing as a professional but also honing her own mentoring skills to give back to the countless students whose lives she brightens. And it is this area where Jada Haynes is the perfect example to others. She will never pass over an opportunity to give back. And in giving back she excels more: in academics, in the community, as a curious intellectual, as a professional and as an emerging international business leader.”

Carmund White
Assistant Director of Diversity Initiatives 
Indiana University Kelley School of Business


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.