Jalen Walker: 2016 Best and Brightest

Jalen Walker IndianaJalen Walker

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana

High School: Carroll High School

Major: Marketing

Minor: Education Policy

Favorite Business Courses: Consumer Behavior; Business Issues in the European Union; Business, Government, & Society

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Kelley Scholarship recipient; Hudson Holland Scholar; IU Achievement Scholar; Hutton Honors College member; Kelley School of Business Honors Program; Kelley Consulting Workshop member; Kelley Student Government (Vice President – 2013-2015); Indiana University Student Association (Chief of Marketing, campaign Chief of Policy, intern to Vice President); Kelley School of Business dedication ceremony student speaker; Kelley Tour Guide and student host; Citi Hong Kong International Case Competition semi-finalist; Wright Quad Student Government (Vice Governor); Student Board Member – IU Trustees’ Committee on Residence; Student Board Member – Bloomington Faculty Council: Sub-Committee for Course Evaluations; London study abroad participant; USA Today College Correspondent; Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference attendee; Christian Student Fellowship member; IU Scholarship Advisory Committee member

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Leerfield Communications, IU Sports Property Division, Bloomington, IN: Marketing Intern
  • McKinsey & Company, Chicago, IL: Sophomore Diversity Leadership Intern
  • McKinsey & Company, Chicago, IL: Summer Business Analyst
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Remote: Economic Development Intern

Describe your dream job: The pipedream would be a travel writer; getting paid to see the world! More realistically, I would love to work in the US State Department one day. Foreign policy offers some of the most difficult and rewarding problems to solve for our generation.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I loved being able to work on real-life projects with groups. I got to learn what really works, but also have a great time locked away with a group for hours on end!

Where would you like to work after graduation? I have accepted a full time offer with McKinsey & Company as a Business Analyst in Chicago.

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to eventually be the head of a brand for a company. It would be a great opportunity to control the major marketing decisions, but also get exposed to managing a mini-P&L. I’m hoping to work in the Federal government, particularly on education issues or foreign policy and trade. I want to always be working on whatever are the biggest problems to solve.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I saw the Nike “My Better is Better” ad. I thought making commercials like that would be incredible. Now, here I am as a Marketing major.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a middle school teacher and swim coach.” 

What was the happiest moment of your life? September 4th, 2015. I got engaged to my girlfriend of 5+ years!

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? Getting the chance to speak at the dedication ceremony of our new business school last fall was huge for me. I was honored to be asked and excited to talk about what Kelley has meant for me as a student.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? – A Quokka. Quokka’s are the happiest animals in the world, and I’m known to stay smiling and calm even in tough situations.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? – My parents. They let me talk their ear off with questions when I was young (sorry Mom!), which helped foster a curiosity in me which I still have today. They enabled me to travel the world, to live on my own in Chicago, and to pursue things that I loved.

Fun fact about yourself: I was formerly on a roller-blade speed skating team, which I quit when a friend’s little sister beat me in a race.

Favorite book: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Favorite movie: Elf

Favorite musical performer: Leon Bridges

Favorite vacation spot: Barcelona, Spain

What are your hobbies? Intramural basketball, reading (love neuroscience books), traveling, and swimming

What made Jalen such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“I am excited to introduce you to an exemplary undergraduate senior business student who I believe embodies the key values of Poets&Quants and qualifies as one of the Best and Brightest Graduates of 2016, Jalen Walker. Jalen was my student in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University on our main campus in Bloomington, Indiana in the C205: Business Communication Honors course in the spring of 2013.

In C205, Jalen proved himself an academic standout who daily demonstrated personal accountability, patient leadership, and strong character. He earned high grades in my challenging course as he demonstrated strengths in research, argument, professional writing, persuasive speaking, and outstanding team leadership. I learned about his effective leadership through observation, interactions, and reading feedback from his teammates, learning that Jalen is an active listener who is sensitive to the needs of each teammate, adept at hearing people out, and leading a team to develop both cohesion and good ideas.

Jalen continues his impact on Kelley as a senior through his many leadership roles on campus, including his roles on student government and advisor to our Dean, yet I am most impressed by his active informal mentorship of dozens of underclassmen, including 8-10 dedicated mentees whom he coaches frequently each week to develop expertise in organization, time management, patience, leadership, and academic achievement.

This semester, Jalen Walker accepted a rare full-time consulting offer from McKinsey & Company; his recruiters cited specifically Jalen’s noticeable intelligence combined with impactful problem solving and mature, skilled client coaching. He excels in offering and accepting feedback, a result of a humble nature and admirable character he’s developed since his young years learning from his father and mother’s guidance.

I believe Jalen Walker stands out among our honors-level business students at IU’s Kelley School of Business, a feat in itself, and I believe he will serve well as a representative of Poets & Quants’ Best and Brightest Graduates of 2016.”

Jeanette Heidewald
Senior Lecturer, CPCS Business Communication
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

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