2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Kelsea Wong, Villanova School of Business

Kelsea Wong

Villanova School of Business

Always in pursuit of good food and great memories with even better company.”

Fun fact about yourself: I hiked an active volcano in Bali!

Hometown: Malvern, PA

High School: Great Valley High School

Major: Finance & Real Estate

Minor: Business Law & Corporate Governance

Favorite Business Course: Real Estate Investments

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Martin de Porres scholar (2017-2021)
  • Community Engagement Co-Chair, She’s The First Villanova (2018-2021)
  • Lorenzini Leadership Ambassador, Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Institute (2019-2021)
  • Student Facilitator, Environmental Leadership & Learning Community (2019-2020)
  • Peer Advisor, VSB Peer Advising Program (2019-2021)
  • Vice President, Real Estate Society (2020-2021)
  • Fund Manager, DiLella-Mulroy Student Managed Real Estate Fund (2020-2021)
  • Student Worker, VSB Communication & Marketing office (2019-2021)
  • Dean’s List, 2017-2020

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Intern; XSQ, Singapore (2018)
  • Real Estate Private Equity Summer Analyst; CenterSquare Investment Management, Plymouth Meeting, PA (2019)
  • Finance Summer Analyst; The Blackstone Group, NYC (2020)

Where will you be working after graduation? Finance Analyst at The Blackstone Group

What company do you admire most? I admire Athleta for its values and brand. I always find myself feeling inspired after reading news about their efforts in health, women’s empowerment, and sustainability, which are all strong passions of mine. I tend to support companies that incorporate social issues into their brand, and I think Athleta does incredible work as a B Corp and market leader.

Who is your favorite professor? I was lucky to have been a student of Professor Charles Davidson for two semesters for Real Estate Investments and Advanced Real Estate Modeling. Prof. Davidson’s teaching style blended group work, class lectures and current events discussions that aligned with how I best understand and take in information. Aside from teaching style, Prof. Davidson was very relationship-focused, and consistently talked about life outside of school and business, inspiring me to spend time developing my other hobbies and interests. Pre-COVID, Prof. Davidson would host an annual summer get-together for current and graduated real estate majors, building our community into more of a family. I aspire to be an individual who is both intelligent and compassionate like Prof. Davidson.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t lose sight of your interests outside of business because there is a chance that you can find a way to connect them. These interests make you unique and bring diversity to the table, which makes your perspective extremely valuable.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was most surprised by how my courses not only instilled the building blocks of business, but also emerging components of business. My classes discussed news and incorporated growing trends like technological advancements and ESG. The connection between business and growing trends showed me how vast the business world is and how the foundational business skills are crucial to be an expert in growing sectors that will only continue to advance.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Though I had the opportunity to go abroad to Singapore during the spring semester of my first year, I wish I had taken advantage of the vast number of programs to go abroad a second time to another part of the world. I learned from my first experience how special it is to be a student in another country, and I firmly believe that traveling is a key component to continuously learning about ourselves and society. With the forces of technology, it is easier to build to global community, and understanding business culture around the world is key to becoming a well-rounded leader.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of going abroad to Singapore during the spring semester of my first year. As an individual who has always been close to home and family, this was a personal challenge, and I returned to the United States with an ambition and humility. Being a student in another country at such a young age introduced me to a global perspective that will stay with me forever.

Which classmate do you most admire? I am honored to call Ryan Dell a classmate and one of my closest friends. He inspires me and others to work hard and do our best. I admire him for his work ethic, charismatic personality, and visionary ideas. Ryan and I first met when we both interned for CenterSquare Investment Management during the summer after our second year, and since, we have supported each other through projects and extracurricular activities.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom for my success. My mom has always supported me from driving me to various activities I was doing when I was younger to encouraging me to do what is best throughout college. Seeing her support my brother and dad as well is an inspiration to always do my best not only for myself but also for my family that has worked so hard for me to live a healthy and good life.

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

  • Work abroad
  • Start my own company

What are your hobbies?

  • Yoga
  • Cooking
  • Embroidery
  • Gardening

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

“I’ve known Kelsea for two years, and I can attest that she is a proven leader.

Kelsea has taken on the roles of Vice President of Real Estate Society and Fund Manager of the Student Managed Real Estate Fund. These roles are the realization of hard work over her four years. During the time that I have known her, Kelsea has jumped on the opportunities offered through the Real Estate program and has grown from participating in events to leading events.

Since taking on these new roles in the Real Estate extracurricular programs, Kelsea has made an active effort to better diversity by hosting coffee chats with underclassmen. Additionally, she has implemented systemic changes to these programs to set them up for continued success, including reorganizing the Student Managed Real Estate Fund and implementing a training program in place for new members.

Her efforts positively impact the program and is consistent with her approach to building a stronger community among her peers at the business school.

She also was a strong student and consistent contributor in both my Real Estate Investments and Advanced Real Estate Modeling class. Kelsea was always prepared for class and had thoughtful contributions to discussions. Her final investment pitch connected with class content and she passed the Real Estate modeling certification exam with flying colors.

Kelsea is ambitious, and one of the things I most appreciate about her is that she actively seeks opportunities to develop herself in both areas of business and social issues. She is also an active member of the greater university community through her role as a Leadership Ambassador with the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership and Community Engagement Chair of the She’s The First Villanova Chapter. These experiences have made her well-rounded and well-prepared for the working world.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Kelsea enhances the Villanova community with her presence. She captures the essence of the Villanova School of Business as a business leader for a better world. She is a pleasure to know, and I’m glad to have crossed paths with her at Villanova.”

Charles Davidson
Professor of the Practice, Finance & Real Estate


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