2020 Best & Brightest: Jaret Waters, Ohio State (Fisher)

Jaret Waters

Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

“My two greatest passions are Latin American studies and the Real Housewives franchise.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have been to the world’s largest pride parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

High School: Copley High School

Major: Economics, Spanish

Minor: Portuguese

Favorite Business Course: Human Resources and Organizational Behavior

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:


  • Co-founder, DISPLAYced Immigrant and Refugee Art Gallery
  • Undergraduate Representative, Fisher Diversity Committee
  • President and Co-Founder, Out in Business
  • Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Writing, Fisher Ink
  • Vice President of Professional Activities, Delta Sigma Pi


  • Suicide Hotline Volunteer, North Central Mental Health Services
  • Mentor, Community Refugee and Immigration Services


  • Teaching Assistant (Business Statistics), Fisher College of Business
  • Tutor, Student-Athlete Support Services Office
  • Member, Honors Cohort


  • Recipient, Walter M. Rudin Outstanding Junior Award
  • Recipient, Pace Setters Award

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • S. Department of Education – Florianopolis, Brazil – Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow
  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company – Akron, Ohio – Procurement Intern
  • Greif, Inc. – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Consulting Lead

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be moving to Brazil to continue my studies while conducting research.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Isis Barra Costa, a professor in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Having taken only one class with her, I was amazed by how well she was able to communicate her own expertise and specialty in the field, but also how much she allowed us the freedom to explore our own diverse interests. Beyond the classroom, she has immensely helped me in planning my postgraduate experience and research. In fact, despite her busy schedule, several of my peers have indicated that they also regularly turn to Isis for advice and mentorship because she constantly makes herself available to support students. Studying and working under her reminds me of the great passion I had for learning and school as a child.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I never imagined having the opportunity to be surrounded by such driven and inspiring individuals. If the environment of Fisher were not so ambitious, I doubt I would have had the capacity to pursue so many of my goals and passions. Students are genuinely concerned with their own development, on a personal and professional level, such that it fostered a more holistic view of growth within me. I am endlessly grateful to be able to say that the same individuals who will stand next to me at my wedding are the ones who are my greatest role models.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would tell them to actively work to put themselves into varied environments and surround themselves with a diverse group of people. Given the breadth of possible avenues in the business field, it is often easy to silo one’s self into a particular track because of some attractive, surface-level characteristics, without deeply questioning the choice. Exposing myself to different perspectives and environments has allowed me to better define my values, which then inform my career path decisions.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was most surprised by the background of the students I met who study business. I assumed that most people would have chosen a business major because their families own small businesses, always been fascinated by the stock market, or dreamed of working for Google, etc. However, I found that the majority of my peers had interests in fields such as education, mathematics, politics, computer science, and science, yet they all stumbled into business for one reason or another. I have loved getting to learn more about these fields and seeing how my peers apply these interests to the business world.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of the FLAS Fellowship that I did in Brazil this past summer. First of all, as a young child, I struggled immensely with any type of change, transition or uncertainty; I was the kid who clung to his mother’s leg while sobbing on the first day of kindergarten. Seeing the growth in myself, from this anxious child to a confident and curious adult, has been extremely empowering. Secondly, it was difficult to make the decision to partake in the fellowship while all of my peers were working traditional internships with prestigious companies. In fact, I almost decided to forego the chance to go to Brazil to be able to follow the crowd. However, I am proud of the resolution I exhibited in pursuing this opportunity because the experience I had this summer affirmed this decision and has inspired me to continue to center critical life choices on my passions and values.

Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire Max He, a student in my business fraternity. Over the past two years I have known him, Max has inspired me through his resilience, work ethic, and positive disposition. Despite the difficulties he often faces being an international student, he has found several avenues to get extremely involved on campus and explore his interests. In each of his involvements, I have seen how he commits his full effort to the cause and provides a unique perspective that adds value to the work of the team. At the same time that he serves as a professional role model to his peers, Max also is incredibly humble, kind, and engaging on a personal level. I never know whether I am more impressed by his extracurricular accomplishments or his ability to leave people smitten by his humorous and gracious demeanor. Max will continue to be a major role model of mine throughout my career.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank one of my best friends from back home, Anel Mattar. Anel moved to the U.S. from Venezuela with her family at the age of seven due to the sociopolitical situation of the country. After becoming friends in middle school, I asked Anel to help me learn Spanish at the beginning of high school. What she was able to teach me over the past several years, however, has been immensely more than that. She taught me everything from what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S. to how to make traditional Venezuelan dishes such as arepas. Her family has welcomed me in as one of their own, requesting that I refer to them as tía and abuelita. It was these relationships that have most inspired me throughout college and those that continue to inform my professional decisions. My friendship with Anel has helped awaken a lifelong passion in me, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I would like to attend graduate school and work in Colombia at some point.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy event planning, watching reality TV, reading about Latin American/Latino studies, listening to reggaeton and watching YouTube videos about linguistics.

What made Jaret such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Jaret makes an impression inside and outside of the classroom for all the right reasons. Inside the classroom, Jaret is a thinker and approaches classroom discussions as an opportunity to learn about an issue or topic from a different viewpoint. He listens, truly listens, to what others say and can integrate various viewpoints in a way that improves our understanding.

Jaret is a good citizen outside the classroom as well. He resurrected a student organization and built a robust following for it in large part due to his skill, leadership, and commitment. The most impressive thing about Jaret is that while he built this successful student organization, he was committed to finding his successor. Jaret, selflessly and correctly, sees passing on the organization to the next set of leaders as the best way to maintain the community over time. Jaret is a special person and I feel lucky to know him, and Fisher is stronger because of him.”

Steffanie L. Wilk
Professor, Management and Human Resources


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