2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jenny Lin, Lehigh University

Jenny Lin

Lehigh University College of Business

Lifelong learner entering the real-world in search of life’s meaning and purpose.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’m in the process of writing an academic article about the small business sector in Argentina which will be published later this year!

Hometown: Nesquehoning, PA

High School: Panther Valley High School

Major: Accounting and Business Information Systems

Minor: Political Science and Chinese

Favorite Business Course: ECO201 Federal Reserve Challenge Competition. I’ve taken this “no lecture, no textbook, no exam” course twice. This is my favorite business course because of its experiential, hands-on learning philosophy. As part of Lehigh’s team for the Federal Reserve Challenge, we analyzed real-time economic data, stock indexes, consumer sentiments, and risk factors to predict future economic trends and provide monetary policy recommendations to the FOMC. It was through this course that I applied terms and concepts I’ve learned in other courses into practice.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

President of Beta Alpha Psi

  • Vice President of Programming of Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Lehigh Business Dean’s Council Representative
  • Member of Alpha Alpha Alpha National Honors Society
  • Former Vice President of the Accounting Club
  • Former Vice President of F1RST
  • Former Treasurer of Residence Hall Council
  • Harold S. Geneen Scholar
  • Service Above Self Award
  • Nelson Leighton Bond Memorial Prize Winner
  • Contribution to Student Life Award
  • 2020 Honors Convocation Speaker
  • Dean’s List (every semester)

Where have you interned during your college career?

Marketing Intern at Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China

Financial Services Audit Intern at KPMG in New York City, USA (remote)

Where will you be working after graduation? Financial Services Audit Associate at KPMG in New York City, USA

What company do you admire most? NIO. When I interned abroad at Shanghai Tower in 2018, my supervisor had invited me to join her project to design a grand opening event for NIO’s seventh NIO House, which would be housed in Shanghai Tower. As I was tasked with doing research about NIO, I was fascinated by the aesthetic appeal of their vehicles, their revolutionary EV technology, and their ambitious visions. I’ve been following their journey which has become even more exciting as they have since launched their IPO. It would be an understatement to say that I’m inspired every time they announce their newest innovation.

Who is your favorite professor? While there have been so many professors who have become role models and mentors for me during my journey at Lehigh Business, Professor Joseph Manzo would have to be my top pick. Professor Manzo was the one who introduced me to the world of accounting, the one major I had told myself I would stay away from.

Having an unfavorable experience with debits and credits in high school made me assume accounting would never make sense to me. But it was through Professor Manzo’s teaching methods that allowed me to grasp and enjoy the topics that were being taught my sophomore year. That same year, I switched my major to accounting and applied to be a part of the executive board of the Accounting Club, where Professor Manzo serves as an advisor. He has been an amazing mentor to me as I navigated through the recruiting process, something knew little about. Besides his wealth of knowledge and experience that he shares with his students, he is a strong advocate of ethical decision-making, always reminding students what is legal is not always the ethical thing to do.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I would say the biggest lesson I’ve learned from studying business is to always be building connections with those within and outside of the business realm. Too often, business folks stay within the business sphere. Yet, it’s equally important to learn from others and their diverse perspectives. While I’ve had many intriguing conversations with those in the business world, I’ve learned so much from other peers and professionals who may not be studying or practicing business. Regardless if it’s a future dentist, psychologist, social worker, architect, or engineer, it’s always a gift to surround yourself with people from different backgrounds.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I had always associated the term “business” with big-name corporations that appear in the stock market and the news,the stores we shop at, and all the household goods we use. But majoring in Lehigh’s College of Business allowed me to realize the different spheres of business that one can enter. Through the core curriculum, I’ve learned the fundamentals of other business majors like marketing, supply chain management, and business information systems. Not only are there so many majors in business you can study, but I’ve also realized that a business degree can lead to a variety of careers in every possible industry out there.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Start networking earlier. My biggest regret was not starting earlier. I only started networking during my second semester of my first-year (which at the time I thought was pretty early), but I missed out on so many opportunities. I wished I would’ve connected with more alumni and professionals at the info sessions and workshops that I attended instead of just absorbing all the content they were sharing.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of launching the Laptop Lending Library when I was the Vice President of F1RST during my sophomore year. I was able to secure external sponsors to launch this service to provide free long-term loans of laptops to financially distressed students. To date, there are now over two dozen laptops in circulation. Being able to witness all the students who have benefitted and knowing that many more will benefit from this service has been heartwarming to say the least.

Which classmate do you most admire? Amy Chai. I’ve gotten to know Amy in all my major accounting courses in the past two years and genuinely admire her hunger for knowledge and her pursuit of creative inquiry in the classroom. While Amy only transferred into the College of Business in her sophomore year, her strong work ethic supported her in quickly getting up to speed with her peers. Amy always goes beyond absorbing all the relevant course material taught in class. You can always find her inquisitively asking why certain rules are the way that they are, exploring all the caveats and exceptions in the complicated world of accounting, and challenging the obsolete status quo. Amy’s intellectual curiosity coupled with her willingness to uplift others are defining elements of her character that I’m sure will set the foundation for her to thrive and accelerate in her career.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank Dr. George White for pushing me to make a lasting impact during my time at Lehigh. I had met Dr. White over lunch on the first day of his new role as the director of Student Access and Success, as he wanted to meet with first-generation students to listen to their stories. Following that conversation, he became the advisor for F1RST, a student-run organization for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minorities that I was involved with. Beyond becoming a mentor for our organization, he also became a mentor for myself as I navigated my college journey. Without his encouragement, I would never have had the confidence or motivation to continue advocating for the causes I was passionate about changing at Lehigh. It was Dr. White who connected me with the right people, provided advice for my ambitions, and supplied me the platform to leave a positive impact on the first-gen community. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything you have done, Dr. White!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Within the next year, I hope to complete all four parts of my CPA exam and successfully obtain my CPA license so that I am fully equipped to contribute to my engagement team. In terms of a long-term goal, I hope to achieve FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) at the end of a fulfilling and meaningful career.

What are your hobbies? During my free time, you can find me discovering new recipes to cook or traveling with friends and family. Once it is safe to travel again, my goal is to take my about-to-retire parents to tour around the world!

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

“The best word to describe Jenny Lin is “amazing.”  As the president of Lehigh’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter, Jenny demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, including the ability to creatively envision how things can be better, the discipline to overcome obstacles, and the energy to make things happen.  Jenny is very outgoing and participates in a variety of Lehigh organizations and activities that provide service to the Lehigh University community.  She volunteers her time selflessly, maintains an outstanding academic record, and is pleasure to work with.  Jenny’s efforts have made a significant positive impact not only for her classmates in the Lehigh’s College of Business, but for Lehigh University as a whole.”

Thomas Rees, CPA, CFA
Professor of Practice & Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor
Lehigh University



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