2020 Best & Brightest, J’Quaan Waite, Miami University (Farmer)

J’Quaan Waite

Miami University of Ohio, Farmer School of Business

“Funniest person you’ll ever meet, as long as you never meet anyone else.”

Fun fact about yourself: I had long hair a majority of my life, and I didn’t get my first haircut until I was 17.

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

High School: Cincinnati Country Day School

Major: Finance

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: ESP 103 – Creativity and Innovation

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Bridges Program – Tour Guide
  • Women’s Basketball Team – Scout
  • Jackie Robinson Foundation – Scholar
  • Multicultural Business Association – Member
  • Matthew 25 Ministries – Volunteer
  • Farmer School of Business President’s List and/or Dean’s List – 6 consecutive semesters

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • GE Healthcare – Chicago, Illinois – Financial Management Program Intern
  • GE Aviation – Cincinnati, Ohio – Financial Management Program Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? I have accepted a full-time position at GE Aviation within their Financial Management Program. This program will allow me to explore different financial roles within the company through four 6-month rotations.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I really enjoyed the amount of collaboration within the Farmer School of Business. Beginning immediately freshman year, we are consistently encouraged to work together with our peers, both inside and outside of the classroom. From learning how our own brains think to being paired with peers whose brains think in totally opposite ways, FSB ensures that we collaborate and connect with our business school peers, often in very fun ways.  Before entering the Farmer School of Business, I never would have imagined that my business school classwork would help create some of the best friendships I could ask for.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business is to not be afraid of failure. Instead, use it as both a lesson and motivation to succeed. Failure is an integral aspect of growth; hidden within our failures are the keys to our success.  Learning how to experience failure, and turn failure into key learning moments has allowed me to make tremendous leaps and bounds in my life that I previously did not think would be possible.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would tell that student to do it, regardless of the business-related field.  Majoring in business, whether it be finance, marketing or information systems & analytics, allows you to learn about a multitude of concepts that have significant impacts on nearly every aspect of our lives as well as on the world. Learning these concepts provides you with a much clearer understanding of how and why the various interactions across the globe take place, giving you the ability to create improvements in these interactions and processes.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I have been surprised the most by the sheer number of skills I have learned over the past four years in the business school, not to mention how useful these skills have become in aspects of my life outside of both business and school. From learning how I think to learning elaborate organizational structures and processes, my business school education has allowed me to improve myself as a person as well as become a better world citizen.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?  I am most proud of becoming a scholar in the Jackie Robinson Foundation. I am honored to be connected to such an incredible organization that has such a large impact on providing opportunities for higher education to underrepresented groups. The Jackie Robinson Foundation has given me and many others like me the ability to attend college without carrying such a large financial burden on our shoulders, as well as countless opportunities to both connect with other great young minds across the country and prepare for the transition from college to the professional space.

Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire my friend and roommate, David Carter, whom I first met moving into dorms freshman year. David is pursuing a degree in Sports Leadership and Management and is the epitome of a hard worker. David is a high performer in the classroom, who has seemingly effortlessly juggled classwork and extracurricular involvement, all while working his way through all four years of school. I have strived to emulate his industrious attitude, and I am honored to consider him one of my closest friends.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would thank my mom for my success. She has always been my biggest supporter and motivator. There have been countless moments in my life when I have faced difficulties or have been unsure of myself, and my mom has always been there support and inspire me to persevere. Ever since I was a child, my mom made sure to expose me to business, specifically how to manage one’s finances. She is the main reason I am both who I am and where I am today.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are to start my own financial management office that operates in marginalized communities to provide free financial advice and lead a sustainability initiative that significantly improves the sustainability efforts of an entire industry.

What are your hobbies? Playing basketball, Collecting sneakers, Photography (mostly doing shoots with friends)

What made J’Quaan such an invaluable member of the Class of 2021

“J’Quaan is the type of student every professor hopes to have in their class. He actively participates every day, which makes the learning experience better for every student in the room and encourages others to add their voices to the discussion. He is goal-oriented and always seeks ways to improve.”

David Shrider
Associate Professor of Finance and Director of Global Business Initiatives


“J’Quaan Waite has made his mark at the Farmer School by achieving excellence in and outside the classroom. He is an exceptional student, but, as importantly, he is an exceptional human being. He is generous with his time, seeking out ways to support other students – mentoring, serving as a scout for the women’s basketball team and volunteering with a non-profit organization assembling care packages to send to third world countries. Academically, he excels in the classroom as a University Honors student. After two internships with GE, he has accepted a position with GE Aviation – an appropriate spot for such a high flyer.”

Michelle Thomas
Director of Student Organizations and Diversity


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