2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jeannine Lynch, Wake Forest University

Jeannine Lynch

Wake Forest University School of Business

“I never forgo an opportunity – to learn, to inspire, to make an impact.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am currently training for my first half marathon!

Hometown: New Rochelle, New York

High School: The Ursuline School


Business & Enterprise Management, Concentration In Management Consulting

Politics & International Affairs

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Principles of Marketing with Dr. Kenny Herbst!

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

2023 President and 2022 Vice President of Zeta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority at Wake Forest University

Student Manager and Administrative Assistant for Office of Student Engagement, Benson University Center, Wake Forest University

Peer Career Coach for Market Readiness and Employment Team, Wake Forest School of Business

Former Public Relations Co-Chair for Wake Forest Student Government

2022-2023 Wake Forest University Outstanding Emerging Leader

2023 Wake Forest Homecoming Court

Pi Sigma Alpha – The National Political Science Honor Society

Dean’s List (all semesters)

Where have you interned during your college career?  Summer 2023 – Summer Analyst at The Alexander Group in Chicago, Illinois.

Where will you be working after graduation? Analyst – Deloitte Consulting, Government & Public Services Practice in Arlington, Virginia

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. Julie Wayne at the Wake Forest School of Business is one of the most compassionate and brilliant professors I have ever had. I had the privilege of taking her Leadership Experience course, and she serves as the faculty advisor for Kappa Delta Sorority at Wake Forest University. Having Dr. Wayne as both my professor and advisor was an incredible experience, and her insights on leading with boldness, confidence, and compassion have truly helped shape me into the leader I am today. Dr. Wayne has a genuine interest in every single one of her students, and actively takes steps to shape them into business leaders who will make a positive impact in the world.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? If I had the chance to restart my college career, I would still choose to major in business. Wake Forest’s School of Business has some of the most engaging and inspiring faculty and staff that I believe is unparalleled by any other school or department. Business-related fields encourage you to think outside of the box, to constantly wonder what’s next, and motivate you to challenge the status quo. When I first began my major, I was nervous that my lack of familiarity with the business world would inhibit my ability to excel and build confidence. I was wrong. My unique and personal experiences have made my classroom and professional contributions valuable and bring new perspectives and ideas. My advice to anyone in a similar position is to not let your fears and doubts dissuade you from majoring in a field that will help you succeed in any career. Whether you start your business major with loads of experience or having no idea what a liquid asset is, you will positively contribute if you work hard, stay open to new ideas, and embrace the unknown.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I have been most surprised by the variety of jobs that business majors pursue after graduation. Growing up, I never thought I would major in business. If someone talked about a “career in business”, I pictured them behind a desk, working on Excel, cranking out numbers in an endless loop. While the long hours in front of Excel are certainly a component of a career in business, majoring in business taught me that there are a variety of opportunities out there. If you enjoy cranking out numbers in Excel, you can pursue a career in accounting or finance. If you enjoy orchestrating productive workshops and soliciting creative ideas, you should try consulting. If you have a passion for graphic design and advertising, marketing may be the right choice for you. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the variety of employment opportunities available to business majors because of our diverse skillsets, passion for creativity, and love for learning.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I wish I had become more involved in business extracurriculars early in my undergraduate journey. I discovered early in my senior year that I have a passion for helping others with their job and internship searches, whether this is assisting them in preparing for case interviews, reviewing their resumes and cover letters, or simply providing networking tips. I now serve as a Career Peer for the School of Business and can provide these services to my peers. However, I wish I had begun this earlier in my college career. Furthermore, I also wish I had taken advantage of more pre-professional clubs, as I feel I could have gained valuable experience in them. Many of those clubs assist members with building interview skills – I never took advantage of these opportunities and instead built these skills on my own. As a second-semester senior, I recognize that I could have built these skills much quicker and made valuable connections had I taken advantage of these opportunities at an earlier point.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? During my Summer 2023 internship, I was asked to lead a client call with senior sales leaders. There was a slew of bad luck for my project team – our manager was stuck in the TSA line, the senior consultant was in a completely different time zone, and we could not reschedule the time sensitive meeting. My manager called me and told me he needed me to lead the call. I was absolutely terrified – I had sat in on many of these meetings and was afraid that I would panic under the pressure of a probing question from our client team. However, I recognized that I was being given a one-of-a-kind opportunity for interns at the firm; I needed to not only take advantage of it but surpass expectations. I led the call with confidence, poise, and assertiveness, not even realizing that my manager had made it through the TSA line and jumped on the Zoom link to listen in. I received high praise from both him and our client team, and in that moment, I knew that consulting had been the perfect career choice for me.

Which classmate do you most admire? There is one student in the Wake Forest School of Business that is widely known for her compassion, commitment to learning, and infectious positive energy – Mary Kate Englehardt. MK is both a classmate and friend of mine, and despite only ever had one class with her, and I am continuously impressed by her professionalism and the high standard she sets for business students. She is one of the most intelligent people I have met at Wake Forest, but she carries herself with a humble and kind demeanor. If you have ever had a class with her, or even a mere passing conversation, you know that she gives every lecture and conversation her utmost attention, always looking for opportunities to learn and form relationships. I am grateful that being in the business school has given me the opportunity to get to know MK, and I look forward to seeing all that she achieves during what will surely be a long and successful career.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mother – Liz Lynch. My mother was widowed over a decade-and-a-half ago and raised myself and my older brother on her own, instilling values of ambition, compassion, and an appreciation for others. As a long-standing high school administrator, she inspires young women to speak up in the classroom, challenge norms, and become leaders in our world. When she walks into a room, her confidence rattles the air and commands attention. As my mother, she has never failed to provide me with unconditional love and support, whether it’s picking up my daily phone calls to chat about an exciting achievement or using her personal network to expand my professional reach. I would not be who and where I am today without her. I know that she always has my back and has a genuine desire to help and inspire others. I am beyond grateful to have her as both a mother and a mentor, and I spend every day looking to her to see what positive change she inspires next.

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

1. Write a book. I am an avid reader and have a passion for sharing stories. I plan on one day sharing my own, much of which is intertwined with the inspiring journeys of others.

2. Start my own business. I have a few ideas that I am not ready to share yet, but I am looking forward to one day pursuing one.

What made Jeanine such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Jeannine is a ‘go-getter’ who is actively engaged in and outside of the classroom. She wants to make a positive difference wherever she is, so she seeks out leadership opportunities, including leading a large student organization. Jeannine thrives when given a challenge to tackle and a team to lead, and her peers admire, respect, and trust her. She is driven, determined, and hard-working, and I am sure she will continue to excel in all she does as she starts her career.”

Julie Holliday Wayne, Ph.D.
David C. Darnell Presidential Chair in Principled Leadership
Wake Forest University


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