2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jeannie Patrice Hirsch, University of Virginia (McIntire)

Jeannie Patrice Hirsch

University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce

Fueled by caffeine, with “chihuahua that thinks she’s a great Dane” energy.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’m 5’1”, but I played the baritone saxophone for eight years.

Hometown: Rochester, New York

High School: Webster Schroeder High School

Major: Commerce (Finance and Accounting concentrations) and double major in Economics

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: COMM 4720, Valuation and Restructuring — taught by Professor Felicia Marston. I loved how this course was grounded in finance, but Professor Marston spent a huge chunk of time teaching us how to think from the perspectives of every different party in a transaction and always pushed us to go one step further with our thinking.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Alternative Investment Fund

  • Chief Operating Officer (December 2018 – December 2020)
  • Investment Committee Meeting Head (December 2019 – December 2020)
  • Coverage Director (December 2017 – December 2018)

Alpha Kappa Psi (Co-ed Professional Business Fraternity)

  • Stock Pitch Mentor (January 2019 – Current)
  • Service Chair (May 2018 – December 2018)

McIntire School of Commerce

  • Teaching Assistant — Strategy and Systems (COMM 3010), Strategic Value Creation (COMM 3040), Introduction to Financial Accounting (COMM 2010), Introduction to Managerial Accounting (COMM 2020)
  • McIntire Admissions Ambassador

Virginia Finance Institute — Vice President of Financial Analysis (January 2019 – December 2019)

Other activities: Sustainability Advocates (outreach member), Rotaract Club at UVA (service member), No-Tones a Capella — (Bad singer)

Honors: Echols Scholar, Intermediate Honors, Raven Society (Communications Chair), Legacy Scholarship recipient, Sherri King Memorial Scholarship recipient

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Evercore, Inc. — Investment Banking Summer Analyst (New York, NY)
  • UVIMCO — Investment Summer Analyst (Charlottesville, VA)
  • To The Market — Business and Sales Development Intern (Rochester, NY)

Where will you be working after graduation? Private Equity Analyst at Warburg Pincus LLC in New York, NY

What company do you admire most? One of my favorite and most admired companies is Allbirds. I’m a sucker for B Corps to begin with, but I especially appreciate how their shoes are both sustainably made and built to last (My friend calls them “the world’s most washable shoes” as a play on the Allbirds moniker “the world’s most comfortable shoes” — which they are). They’re the antithesis to fast fashion, and representative of a broader shift to sustainable and transparent production that I hope continues to strengthen over time.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Also somewhat ironically, I would advise that students balance their interest in business with their interests in other fields. Opinions are so enriched by deep knowledge in other fields, whether that’s history, art, politics, sustainability, or economics. Many of the best business students I know are equally passionate about business and another field, and it has enabled their studies and thought to be much more layered as a result.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I wish that I took more weird, one-off classes just for fun. This January, I took a cross-listed History and Media Studies class called “Democracy in Danger” that discussed the norms that uphold democracy and how social media has eroded some of those norms. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot about a field I hadn’t studied yet at all, and I wish I had taken more niche classes in different disciplines to further bolster my business knowledge.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of being the first female Investment Committee Head of my investment club, and one of the first few female students to be on the executive board. I had so many fantastic male (and several great female) mentors in the club, and I know first-hand the impact that seeing someone who looks like you at the top can have. I’m proud of forging through my own self-doubt to become the confident leader that I am, and grateful to be part of a broader shift toward increased diversity in finance and investing.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is Cara Guo. Cara is not only the most driven, hard-working, and persistent person I know, but is the physical embodiment of Adam Grant’s “Giver” personality. She constantly impresses me with her intellectual curiosity, sense of humor in good times and bad, passion for service and commitment to helping others, and ability to take on so many commitments that sometimes I think she must be using a Time-Turner to get everything done.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? It’s impossible to choose between my parents, but I owe a huge debt to my mom. She’s taught me to lead with compassion and empathy from the get-go, and displays all of the perseverance, creativity, and warmth that I strive to lead with in both my personal and professional life. She’s taught me to balance supporting others with taking care of myself. Thanks mom!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Run an endowment or manage an endowment’s private equity investments
  2. Wherever I work, start a partner program where women at the firm talk to high school girls and get them interested in investing

What are your hobbies? I love writing! I start every morning by writing — sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes hours. Other than that, I love running, reading, baking, and visiting new restaurants (bonus points if they serve a cuisine I’ve never tried).

What made Jeannie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?  

“Jeannie Hirsch exemplifies an extraordinary combination of individual excellence and determined community commitment and generosity. She is a top student in the most rigorous quantitative classes who finds a variety of influential ways to contribute to the strength and positivity of the McIntire community. As a TA who has promoted collaboration and cooperation, she has shown a dedication to go the extra mile in support of students and faculty, easing the transitions and challenges associated with changes caused by the pandemic; these efforts include many hours spent creating clear content tools, class exercises, and online discussion groups that connect individuals during this unsettling time.

Jeannie is also a leader in a multiple student organizations including COO of the Alternative Investment Fund, and Selections and Communications Chairs of the Raven Society. Additionally, she serves as a team member in other organizations in which she applies her talents in ways that have a direct impact on the community. One such initiative that she helped institute led to a 9% reduction in the use of disposable cups in University dining halls.

In sum, Jeannie is an invaluable team member, mentor, and inspiring role model who embodies leadership capabilities with warmth and humility, creating an immediate and long-term positive influence on the McIntire School.”

Professor Adelaide Wilcox King


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