2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: JB Blood, Wake Forest University

JB Blood

Wake Forest University School of Business

“Current business student, future ketchup salesman.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve known all the Presidents forwards and backwards since third grade.

Hometown: Ridgefield, Connecticut

High School: Ridgefield High School

Major: Business Enterprise Management (BEM) and Politics and International Affairs

Minor: History

Favorite Business Course: Legal Environment of Business

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Wake Forest University, Dean’s Student Advisory Panel Founder and Coordinator

Office of the Dean of the College               

  • Worked directly with the Dean of Wake Forest College to create the Dean’s Student Advisory Panel
  • Drafted organizational charter
  • Created the application process for potential members
  • Meet monthly with the Dean to offer strategic analysis of College academic initiatives

President’s Aide, Wake Forest University

  • Meet regularly with University President to provide communication between students and administration
  • Selection criteria based on leadership in academic and student life

Staff Writer, Wake Forest University Old Gold & Black Newspaper            

  • Beat reporter for the Wake Forest Men’s Soccer and Men’s Ice Hockey team
  • Published articles covering games and team analysis
  • Ran social media accounts to produce video interviews with players and coach

Beta Gamma Sigma, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Alpha Theta Inductee

  • Wake Forest Chapters of Business, Politics, and History honor societies

Where have you interned during your college career?

The Kraft Heinz Company, Summer Trainee Program – Chicago, IL

Customer Business Development Team – June 2021 – August 2021

  • Created optimal shelving structure for Refrigerated Ready to Eat Desserts (RRTEs) category
  • Audited over 200 stores and recorded the shelf position of each product, signage, adjacencies, and more
  • Used the statistical software APT to isolate most successful shelving practices and calculate lift
  • Turned 8400+ data points into 4 shelving principles that collectively grow category sales by more than 10%

ReserveBar.com, Data Analytics Intern- Ridgefield, CT

Leading Wine and Spirits ecommerce gifting business in the US – June 2020 – August 2020

  • Reported directly to company CEO and President
  • Worked on initial plans for ReserveBar’s Spirited Change Initiative to promote minority-owned spirits brands
  • Analyzed digital conversion efficiencies for leading spirits brands using Google Analytics
  • Applied ReserveBar Intelligence data analytics to optimize brand sales on ecommerce platform
  • Created dozens of sales reports for brands using Shopify

ReserveBar.com, New Business Development Intern – Ridgefield, CT

Leading Wine and Spirits ecommerce gifting business in the US – July 2019 – August 2019

  • Analyzed strategic opportunities to expand the business into adjacencies
  • Projects included an overview of the potential growth of craft beer
  • Assisted on investor presentations and funding proposals leading to a Series B funding round with a $100+ million valuation
  • Provided analysis on potential M&A

Where will you be working after graduation? The Kraft Heinz Company, Management Trainee Program

Who is your favorite professor? I’ve had the pleasure of having three classes with Professor Matthew Phillips: Legal Environment of Business, Ethics, and Contemporary Issues in Law and Public Policy. In each class, Professor Phillips makes material that could be boring and dry into something relevant and interesting. He makes a real effort to get to know students and connects the material to interesting parts of his life, like being a pilot. Professor Phillips bleeds Wake Forest’s colors of old gold and black. Through his selflessness and kindness, he encapsulates our spirit of Pro Humanitate better than anyone I know.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I learned about the power of teamwork in the business world. Wake Forest does a great job of putting students in real-world situations by giving us group work in classes. I’ve truly seen how teams can accomplish more than individuals. Having a diverse group of people who can bring many different skills creates more well-rounded and interesting results. I’ve learned so much from my classmates, whether it’s Excel skills I didn’t know or outside-the-box ways of organizing presentations and projects.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Future business students should be ready to take a 360-degree view of business. What goes on in the finance department affects the marketing department, which affects the sales department…and so on. Business students should get a broad base of experience and not specialize in one area too quickly. There is a lot of power in cross-disciplinary thinking, and I think business students should fully embrace learning about multiple areas.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I loved my time in business school, so the only thing I would do differently would be to take advantage of a study abroad experience (Thanks, COVID!). The business world is global, and one cannot be a true business professional without being a true global citizen.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the partnership I’ve established with our Dean of College, Michele Gillespie, to create the Dean’s Student Advisory Panel (DSAP). I drafted an organizational charter and brought in the original members of DSAP. Our mission is to advise the Dean on academic and residential issues. Now we are in our third year of DSAP, and the results are in: it works and creates change. During the pandemic, we provided a crucial outlet for students to give their thoughts about online learning and other aspects of campus life. Wake Forest had a more student-centered response to the Covid-19 pandemic because of DSAP.

Which classmate do you most admire? My friend and classmate Brendan Gregoire is someone who I greatly admire. Brendan is one of the most reliable and trustworthy people I know. If I ever have a problem, I know I can reach out to him for advice and help. He is also an incredibly selfless person who always supports and is loyal to his friends. I truly admire these qualities and try to emulate them in my own life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My former boss, CEO, and co-founder of ReserveBar.com, Lindsay Held, is the best mentor a young professional could ask for. Lindsay is generous with both his time and knowledge. I had a front-row seat to watch him grow a small start-up into a company valued at more than a hundred million dollars. Despite the company’s success, Lindsay never compromised his values and remained the same driven but caring boss. Even though I only worked for him over the summer, Lindsay always called and checked in on me during the school year. Lindsay has taught me about everything from digital marketing to M&A strategy. But most importantly, Lindsay has taught me the power of being your authentic self in the workplace.

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

  1. Find great mentors and pass on that knowledge by mentoring others
  2. Be the CEO of a company

What are your hobbies? I love reading non-fiction books, and I’ve read some excellent books by business leaders like former Disney CEO Bob Iger and former Pixar President Ed Catmull. I also love watching sports, especially college sports — go Deacs!

What made JB such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?  

“JB Blood’s intellectual curiosity and work ethic enhances the learning environment in the classes that he attends.  He supports his classmates as a contributing team member and by setting the highest standard of excellence. “

Benjamin T. King, Jr.
Professor of Practice
Bern Beatty Teaching Fellow
Director of Interdisciplinary Programs

“JB balances keen insight and a willingness to pursue understanding doggedly with a warmth and easy collegiality with his peers: this enables him to inspire and support those around him to greater achievement.”

Matthew T. Phillips, JD
Associate Teaching Professor
Exxon-Calloway Fellow

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