2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jordan Davis, Indiana University (Kelley)

Jordan Davis

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

 “Incredibly blessed, wildly determined, Beyoncé level self-assured, and on track to talk show supremacy.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have a podcast called “you’re too loud!” that is listened to in over 50 countries around the world!

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

High School: Centerville High School

Major: Marketing, International Business

Minor: Spanish

Favorite Business Course: Building Cross Cultural Competence, taken in my CIEE Advanced Spanish Study Abroad program in Sevilla, Spain

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Awards and Honors

William R. Fry Scholar (Full ride merit scholarship)

MLK Building Bridges Award Winner

Kelley Student Leader of the Year

Kelley Coin Recipient

Kelley Honors Program

Hutton Honors College

Hudson & Holland Scholar

Provost’s Founders Scholar

Certificate of Linguistics and Language Fluency Exchange (University of Sevilla)

Wells Senior Recognition Award, (The top academic award for undergraduates on the Bloomington campus

Community Work and Leadership Roles

Host of “The Jordan Davis Show” – Council on International Exchange Sevilla

Career Prep Program Fellow – Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT)

Vice President of Outreach – Kelley Student Government

Director of Human Resources – Women in Business

Director of Health and Wellbeing – Indiana University Student Government

Director of Events & Activities – William R. Fry Scholarship Program

Conference Associate – Women in Business

Social Manager – Phi Gamma Nu

Athletic Tutor – IU Athletics

Selected Student Representative – IU Presidential Transition Team

Selected Student Representative – Senior Awards Committee

Selected Student Representative – Dean’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee

Selected Student Representative – Staff and Faculty Search Committees

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Associate Consultant Intern – Bain & Company, Chicago (Remote)
  • Building Entrepreneurial Leader (BEL) Intern – Bain & Company, Chicago (Remote)
  • Brand Management Extern – Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati (Remote)
  • Partner Services Intern – EAB, DC (Remote)
  • Orientation Leader – Indiana University Orientation Team, Indiana University

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Company, Associate Consultant Intern, Chicago

Who is your favorite professor? As a Black woman, I’m not sure you can find a better ally than Dr. Clark Barwick. I connected with Dr. Barwick during the first day of my sophomore year. Our first conversation organically led to how he could support my mental health projects on campus as well as how he could support me as a Black woman. I was immediately stunned because, unfortunately, I’d never met a white man that was so determined to see me not only succeed, but also ensure I felt supported.

I appreciate how aware Clark is that he is a white man. He knows that there’s nothing he can do to have any remote sense of what I go through as a Black woman at a primarily white institution, but he does everything in his power to do just about everything else. I also appreciate that he is intentional about lifting up not only my on-campus work, but also my off-campus work which demonstrates to me that he pays attention and works to educate himself without placing the burden on me.

Clark touches every part of campus in his work outside of being a professor as he is quite literally transforming the campus in its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts (and these are just the projects I know about). I think what I appreciate the most about Clark is his genuine desire to partner with me in making the school better for young Black women and other underserved students at Kelley. He understands that this work is a marathon, not a sprint, which is why I can confidently say that Dr. Clark Barwick has been such a critical piece of my IU experience.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? It wasn’t until recently that I began to fully realize and understand that, when used correctly, business is a great tool to execute the change you want to see in the world. To enact this change, many times we must make decisions that go far beyond margins, profit, and the bottom line. For example, in Summer 2020 we saw a lot of businesses make pledges to the Black community and Black Lives Matter. Amid a lot of performative activism that summer, major corporations felt immense pressure from society to take a stance. Unfortunately, many of these promises were empty and the pledges were nothing more than loads of lip service. But guess what? It never had to be that way!

I’m a firm believer that help from a corporation should always be a lot louder than their harm, and this was a chance for businesspeople to impart real impact in communities the corporation has historically exploited. In this case, and many other cases, it’s bigger than the profit line. It’s about doing the right thing. No matter what field I go into, studying business has taught me that just as businesses can harm, they can help so many communities, individuals, and the greater good. Unfortunately, major corporations have heavily contributed to societal issues including, but not limited to, racism, transphobia, misogyny, sustainability, etc. The good news is that with us being the future leaders of the world, we can and will ensure that we are looking beyond the dollar signs and finding new, fresh, and creative ways to better the world around us with the power of the business skills we’ve learned.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t limit yourself because of your background! I see many people take themselves out of the running for certain opportunities because it doesn’t align with their area of expertise. I often remind myself that it’s not my job to take myself out of the conversation just because I don’t think I’m “qualified” enough. The world will attempt to exclude you, so why are you trying to exclude yourself? If you don’t have your own back, who else will? You make the rules so whatever it is, business or non-business, go for it!

About once every few weeks, I find myself in a room with people that are substantially more experienced than me, and my anxiety starts putting in overtime and I get major imposter syndrome. My brain tries to trick me into believing that I don’t deserve to be here because of x,y,z reasons and I start to feel a weird mixture of doubt and shame. Let me be the first to tell you (and myself): Cut that out the second you start to believe those lies. You and I are meant to be in whatever room we find ourselves in because the reality is, we’re here because our hard work met opportunity. For my girls and Black friends specifically, in many cases, we’ve had to work 100 times as hard as everyone else and yet imposter syndrome strikes us the most. We owe it to ourselves to stand tall, keep our heads high, and fight through those yucky feelings because these rooms need us!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I didn’t realize how intertwined the areas of business are with each other. Even though I’m a marketing major, all my classes involved finance, accounting, ethics, and statistics; No field of business is isolated from all the rest. For this reason, I’m extremely grateful to the Kelley School of Business for requiring us to take courses outside of our major the first two years as an undergrad. Every aspect of business touches upon something else and I’ve had to learn to be a very cross-functional thinker to do well in my classes, regardless of the subject. Gaining these critical thinking skills solidified for me that a business background is a great starting point for any profession I, or others, choose to embark on.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Surprisingly enough – or maybe not surprising at all – I would take a lot more classes outside of the business school! I think a common misconception is that people studying business are 100% business-focused all the time. Regardless of your major, you need to be a well-rounded individual to be “successful” (whatever successful means to you). Some of the greatest leaders in the world are also romance novelists, award winning artists, world renowned chefs, and other incredible talents. I say all this to emphasize the world is so much bigger than profit & loss statements. In my first couple years, I was very hesitant to take classes that aligned with my talk show passions because I didn’t have someone tell me it was possible or allowed, so I’m here to tell you: Explore! Discover! Think Bigger! Even if you don’t have an idea of your passions yet, go beyond your business school and take non-business classes to complement your overall education and feed your soul.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? This fall, I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain and experienced the four most transformative months of my life. As an international business co-major and Spanish minor, I always knew that studying abroad would be the most effective learning experience. I chose to go to Sevilla instead of Barcelona or Madrid because I wanted to have the most authentic and immersive experience possible, and I knew I could only do that in a place where Spanish is the first and primary language.

I lived with an incredible host family of six that only spoke Spanish. All of my classes were taught in Spanish as they were through the University of Sevilla, and I even joined extracurricular programs with Spanish students to truly throw myself into the language. I’ve studied Spanish since sixth grade, but nothing could have prepared me for what this experience would entail. Without a doubt, the most immersive parts of my semester abroad were the weekends when I traveled to different countries and major European cities. These weekend excursions were truly irreplaceable. Experiences such as taking a French crash course and working with French locals to figure out how to get from Paris to Versailles, speaking to an elderly Swiss couple for two hours about what they’ve learned in their 56-year marriage, or even having to advocate for myself — in Italian — against racial discrimination in Milan. To me, this is my proudest achievement. Being afraid of leaving my comfort zone, doing it anyways, falling in love with Sevilla, and then returning to the U.S. with a full heart, full stomach, new lifelong friends and family, and memories to last a lifetime.

Which classmate do you most admire? I’m a big believer that, to some degree, we are who we surround ourselves with. I could not be more blessed to be surrounded by the best friends I never knew I needed. My best friends in the world are powerful women of color who will undoubtedly change the world, and I know this for a fact because they already have. This makes it impossible to choose just one, so I’m going to highlight my two roommates, best friends, and soul sisters for life: Sandy Saikumar and Lorraine Michira. These two women are honestly some of the most incredible, genuine, and empathetic people I’ve ever met in my life. There have been times they have metaphorically and physically picked me up off the ground when I couldn’t move. They’ve hyped me up and been excited for me when I didn’t let myself be excited about my own accomplishments. We’ve laughed during all-nighters while being scared watching Ozark together. Any good thing you see in me has somehow been molded and enhanced by Lorraine and Sandy. They’re truly special people and I will always be honored that God chose me to be their friend!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? This honor goes well beyond me and speaks to how strong of a village I have backing me up every step of the way. This village includes my family, my Kelley and Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives community, and certainly all my friends, but at the root of everything is my incredible mother, Felicia Davis. To put it simply: My mom is a rockstar. Everyone that has ever met her is stunned by how amazing she is, and I’m beyond blessed to get to call her my mom. She’s the first person I call with good news, bad news, and everything in between. My mom is so steady and faithful, and I think that’s what I admire the most. She is grounded in her faith and prayer, which has helped me become someone I’m proud of. I’m so proud of my mom and it makes me so happy knowing she’s proud of me! I know everyone thinks they have the best mom ever but just trust me on this one.

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

  • Headline a worldwide speaking/talk show tour
  • Interview Beyoncé

What are your hobbies? Co-hosting my podcast “you’re too loud!,”daily naps under weighted blankets, performing Beyonce’s entire two-hour Coachella performance, baking cinnamon streusel coffee cake, watching any and all reality TV (yes, major guilty pleasure), online shopping hauls, reading motivational books (my current favorites are Bamboozled and Untamed!) and overanalyzing my Google Calendar

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

“I first met Jordan Davis in spring 2020 when she took my Honors Business Ethics course. She immediately distinguished herself as someone with a fierce work ethic, uncommon levels of curiosity and self-confidence, and a core commitment to doing the right thing even in difficult circumstances. I watched Jordan demonstrate these traits daily in the context of contentious, wide-ranging classroom discussions about contemporary culture, corporate America, and responsibilities to one’s community. Jordan injected thought-provoking insights and pushed the class to go deeper and think harder. Over the years since that class, Jordan has continued to invest herself boldly within the Kelley community in a variety of impactful leadership settings. Whether on Kelley Student Government or as a member of the Dean’s Office Advisory Council, she has used her intelligence, skills, and passion to advocate for ways in which Kelley can create a richer, more inclusive and dynamic academic experience for all students. Her talent as a leader appears limitless. When she speaks, people listen. When she acts, she makes a difference.”

Josh Perry
Graf Family Professor and Chair, Department of Business Law & Ethics



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