2019 Best & Brightest: Jenna Florendo, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Jenna Florendo

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

 “Believer that kindness is contagious, travel makes you richer, and life is better with books.”

Fun fact about yourself: When I studied abroad for a semester in London, I traveled to 13 different countries in 4 months.

Hometown: Long Island, NY

High School: Herricks High School

Major: Finance with a Concentration in Value Investing

Minor: n/a

Favorite Business Course: Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

School Awards and Honors

  • Phi Kappa Phi (2018-2019)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma (2018-2019)
  • Alpha Sigma Nu (2018-2019)
  • William E. Boyle Society (2016-2019)
  • Global Business Honors Program (2015-2019)
  • Dean’s List (2015-2019)
  • Orbis Undergraduate Investing Challenge First Place Winner (2018)
  • UNOVA Scholarship Recipient (2018)
  • Woolworth Award (2016)
  • Gabelli School of Business Consulting Cup Semi-Finalist (2016)
  • Manresa Scholars Program (2015-2016)
  • Fidelity Investment’s National Stock Pitch Competition Finalist (2015)

Community Work and Leadership Roles

  • Smart Woman Securities: Chief Executive Officer (2018-2019), Senior Research Analyst (2017), Consumer Staples Equity Research Analyst (2016)
  • Jude Up ‘til Dawn: Sponsorship Chair (2018-2019), Student Organization Chair (2016-2017)
  • Gabelli School of Business Freshman Academic Advisor (2018-2019)
  • Gabelli School of Business Tutor (2018-2019)
  • Fordham Student Managed Investment Fund: Managing Director and Real Estate Portfolio Manager (Fall 2018), Real Estate Analyst (Spring 2018)
  • Fordham University Emerging Leaders Program (2016)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • UBS (New York, NY): Wealth Management Intern
  • Goldman Sachs (New York, NY): Asset Management Summer Analyst
  • Blackstone (New York, NY): Private Wealth Solutions Summer Analyst and Part-Time Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Blackstone (New York, NY): Private Wealth Solutions Analyst

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Professor Romeo, who was my accounting professor and is the club advisor for an organization I am involved with called Smart Woman Securities (SWS). I admire Professor Romeo because she came to class prepared, made her objectives clear, and was always willing to help her students. I respected the way she ran her classes, for she was knowledgeable in the content area and reinforced her points with meaningful references. As the club advisor for SWS, Professor Romeo has also been invaluable to the growth and success of the organization. She would contribute new ideas to the club and made herself available should we need any help with our weekly seminars or annual events. I feel fortunate to have worked closely with Professor Romeo during my time at Fordham, and I am confident we will stay in touch even after I graduate.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I loved having New York City only a train ride away. Because of Fordham’s proximity to the city, it was so easy to network with alumni, attend business conferences, intern throughout the school year, and go on corporate treks at various financial institutions. With New York City at my fingertips, I got to network with a multitude of people and learn about the different career options out there. Furthermore, the Gabelli School of Business gave me the enriching opportunity to take classes taught by business professionals who worked during the day but then taught classes at night. As a result, I’ve been able to receive real-world lessons from experienced adjunct professors.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? One thing that has surprised me the most about majoring in business is the importance of having strong communication and collaboration skills. First, being the smartest person in the room is meaningless unless you can effectively share your ideas. As someone studying finance, a lot of the work that I do is number-intensive. However, both written and verbal communication skills are necessary to effectively present those numbers and motivate others to listen to what I have to say. Second, the realm of business is team-oriented. In the workplace, you will need to collaborate with others to reach common goals. Thus, learning to work well on a team is essential to maximizing efficiency and promoting innovation.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Engineering. Since I was young, engineering has interested me. Engineering is an exciting area of study that demands creativity to think critically and figure out real-world problems.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad influenced me the most to pursue business. He has worked in business for over 25 years and has loved every moment of it. When I was in high school, he explained to me that there are many different career paths you can take by studying business. With a myriad of business areas, I was intrigued by the idea of getting a business education that I could leverage in many different fields depending on my interests. Since pursuing business, my dad has been a great supporter and role model.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of leading Fordham’s chapter of Smart Woman Securities (SWS) as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). SWS is a national organization dedicated to educating undergraduate women on finance and investments. Through the club, I discovered my passion for finance and made connections that allowed me to get internships I never dreamed I would be able to receive. When I was selected to be the CEO, I was proud to have the opportunity to give back to the club that helped me so much throughout my college career. As the CEO, I have driven the overall vision and strategy of the club and have been dedicated to empowering women to feel more confident when engaging with the financial markets. Through the planning of instructive seminars and conferences, it has been a gratifying experience helping women become more confident as they grow their finance influence.

Which classmate do you most admire? One classmate that I admire is Emily Harman. Emily was a few years older than I was at Fordham, but she has been a great mentor and friend since I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her. Everyone only has good things to say about her. She is hard-working, creative, and willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who asks. What I admire most about Emily is how humble she is. She’s accomplished so much in the business world, and I feel fortunate to have someone like her in my life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my mom for my success. Since I was young, she challenged me to be the best person I can be. She taught me that effort paves the way to success and that nothing was ever achieved without hard work. Because this ideal was ingrained in me, I was eager to put in the work and hit the ground running as soon as I started at Fordham. My mom encouraged me to take advantage of as many opportunities as I could. As a result, I got financial experience early on, which set the stage for the opportunities I received later on in my college career.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Two items on the top of my bucket list are skydiving and traveling to Dubai.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy playing intramural volleyball with my co-ed volleyball team. I love traveling and exploring new places as well. Throughout my time at Fordham, I’ve studied abroad and participated in several international study tours. In my free time, I also like reading, working out with my roommates, and exploring New York City.

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

I have known Jenna for several years. And over these years, I have come to admire the person she is. There aren’t enough words to explain what an amazing, dedicated, hard-working, honorable, individual Jenna is. I have known her in various capacities, as her professor, and as an advisor. She was one of my best students in Principles of Financial Accounting. Jenna is the type of student any professor would want in the classroom. She was always engaged and focused on her work. Jenna asked insightful questions that really showed she was interested in the topic at hand. Jenna was able to obtain exemplary grades while being involved in extracurricular activities and having an internship.

I have also known Jenna, first as a member of Smart Woman Securities (SWS), an organization focused on investment education for undergraduate women, but then as the CEO of SWS. This organization is one of the largest and most active student organizations on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, in large part due to Jenna. When she became CEO, she took on the challenge of really modifying and streamlining the organization to ensure all members were actively engaged in the numerous events and activities the organization offered. Jenna was really determined to make it the best organization on campus and she did!  Under her leadership, SWS was nominated and won the 2018 Student Organization of the Year Award. To this day, after she fulfilled her term, she is still in contact with the current board to guide them when needed.

In addition to SWS, Jenna is involved in other campus activities. She is well-regarded by her peers, other professors and Fordham’s administration because of her engaging personality and willingness to participate in various academic programs. She is committed to not only take advantage of all opportunities available to her but is always excited to share her experiences and opportunities with her fellow classmates. Having known her for the past several years, I can honestly say she is a person who leads by example and has inspired others via her hard work and dedication.”

Rosa Romeo
Clinical Assistant Professor, Accounting and Taxation
Gabelli School of Business
Fordham University

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