“Someone that is always at a 10, even when the room would prefer a seven.”
Fun fact about yourself” Everyone in my family has a name that starts with a “J.” I don’t think my parents fully realized what an awful mistake this was until we all turned out to be troublemakers. Imagine having to stumble through three different names when deciding which one of us to chew out.
Hometown: Johns Creek, GA
High School: Johns Creek High School
Major: B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance
Favorite Business Course: My favorite business course was Management of Financial Institutions. While the content of the course was relevant as financial institutions touch nearly every aspect of life, Professor Simasek did an incredible job of drawing on his own industry experience to give us an idea of the practical application of abstract concepts and processes. Additionally, we were all called upon at random to share an article we had read along with our opinion on the topic. The fear of being called on and not having an answer definitely kept us all well read and is a fortunate habit that I picked up.
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee — Senior Managing Director, Director of Mentorship, Sector Head of Consumer Staples
- Georgia Tech Accel Program — Director
- Excel Mentorship Program — Health & Wellness Mentor
- Georgia Tech Student Ambassadors — Ambassador
- Faculty Honors (4.0 GPA) – Every semester
Where have you interned during your college career?
- Credit Suisse — Investment Banking Summer Analyst
- VRA Partners — Fall Investment Banking Analyst
- Jones Lang LaSalle — Summer Capital Markets Analyst
- Siemens — Summer Product Management Analyst
Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation I will be moving to New York to work at Credit Suisse full-time as an investment banking analyst. I will be joining the global industrials group within the bank, which offers capital market and advisory services to companies operating within verticals such as building products, services, chemicals, metals and mining, paper and packaging, transportation and logistics, and aerospace and defense.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I would say the most surprising thing about majoring in business, and it still surprises me today, is the generosity of people successful in the field. It continually amazes me that there is always a helping hand for those willing to put themselves out there. Every internship, I have worked has provided me with exposure to senior management in some form, offering me advice and occasionally even allowing me to vocalize my opinions. I have had the opportunity to speak to and pick the brain of some pretty incredible people as a result of a mere cold email or referral. This has definitely inspired me to pay it forward, and I can’t wait to be in a position to help anyone that asks.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?If I could go back in time I would definitely have reached out to alumni and industry professionals far earlier. Though this is something that I made a point to do towards the end of my time at Scheller, I do believe that it ultimately had the greatest impact on the way I approach life. I don’t think that reaching out and creating relationships earlier would have necessarily changed my path. However, I believe the exposure as a freshman would have allowed me to better help some of my peers through organizations I am involved in on campus. Georgia Tech alumni are impressive and always willing to lend their time to younger students. The sooner you realize and understand the importance of leveraging this network, the better I believe you will fare.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The achievement that I will always be most proud of is my semester teaching mentorship for the Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee. Mentorship is a 12-week course that students must take in order to be placed as an analyst in the Investments Committee. It is taught each semester by the Director of Mentorship, who is a student in the organization. As a freshman, I remember sitting in Mentorship incredibly intimidated and in awe of both my classmates and the student professor. Candidly, to quote Gordon Gekko, I didn’t “know preferred stock from livestock” at the time – and I actually dropped out of the course on two occasions because I felt that things would never click for me. Fortunately, I had some great mentors along the way that kept me involved in the program, and as twisted fate would have it, I eventually went on to become the Director of Mentorship for a semester. I make sure to always remember how intimidated I felt sitting in that classroom and have always made a conscious effort to be as approachable and helpful as possible.
Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I have admired most during my time at Scheller is Shane Phillipps. People remember how you make them feel, and as the Senior Managing Director I was always amazed how inviting he could be with questions and compliments. He embodies the word charisma, lighting up every room and making every individual feel like they belong. Shane inspired me to seek out promotions within the Investments Committee, mentoring me and believing in me when often times I did not quite believe in myself. His most admirable trait, however, lies below the surface. Shane is consistently generous with his time, embodying the idea of paying things forward. Whether he is stuck on a deal, on vacation, or otherwise tied up, I have witnessed him continue to mentor and help any and all students that reach out. He exemplifies not only what it means to be an invaluable member to a student body, but also how to continue to provide as an alumnus. I have always told people that I would give just about anything to have even a fourth of the talent and personality as Shane. I am excited to follow him into the business world post-graduation and am proud to call him a mentor.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I owe anything I have ever accomplished to both my parents, but specifically I would have to thank my dad. My dad has been with me every step of the way. Whether it be proof reading my emails (if you’ve ever gotten an email from me there is a 95% chance he read it and changed the whole thing first) or begging me to go to bed the night before a test or interview, I truly couldn’t ask for a better support system. Beyond that, however, my dad has served as an incredible role model for my entire life. I’ve watched him take care of our family, build a business, teach himself instruments, and always put others before himself. Through good and bad, there is genuinely never been a time in my life when I’ve felt alone because I’m proud to call him my best friend. Dad, I love you and hope to be like you one day. Just maybe better looking and with a better golf swing if that’s not TOO much to ask. Thank you.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
- Raise a middle-market buyout fund
- Run for political office
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy playing golf, poker, reading, fishing (though if I go again and don’t catch anything please remove fishing), watching movies, and following unconventional sports leagues.
What made Jake such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?
“Jake is a highly motivated student leader with a delightful personality. Saying Jake is an exceptional student is an understatement. In addition to doing well in classes, Jake has been a leader in the Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee, putting into practice what finance is all about. Having the privilege to teach students like Jake is a high honor.”
Dr. Jacqueline Garner
Senior Lecturer, Finance
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