Kent State Freshman Participates in JPMorgan Chase Program
Kent State University freshman economics major Hannah Robinson, who also is a participant in the university’s Student Support Services program, recently participated in the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Freshman Experience program in April. The two-day program offered first-year university students who self-identify as Black, Hispanic or Native American an introduction into the financial services’ industry.
Students participated in one of two sessions hosted at the JPMorgan Chase global headquarters in New York City, with travel and accommodations provided by the company.
During her stay in New York, Robinson met with members and employees of JPMorgan Chase and attended career exploration workshops on several different topics including wealth management and asset management.
Robinson says the program strengthened her confidence in her skills and abilities, bolstered by what she had learned in class.
“I was around people who were from all over — surrounded by students from Ivy League and Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Robinson says. “It made me realize that while I need to work harder than those around me, I should not discount my skills and ability. I can do just as well as the Harvard business student standing next to me.”
Robinson says she now plans to get more involved with programs on campus that will help her improve her business acumen.
“This experience has impacted the way I view my classes and extracurricular activities,” Robinson says. “Although I already work hard, I want to understand the content I’m learning on a deeper level. The information that I'm being taught is what's going to improve my knowledge of the business world and help me in the future.”
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Mark Polatajko says that this experience for Kent State students shows the value of strategic partnerships between the university and companies like JPMorgan Chase.
“It’s really a great story when opportunities present themselves, and how we as a university translate those into ways for our students to succeed,” Polatajko says. “This was definitely one of those opportunities.”
Cason Brunt, Kent State’s director of Student Support Services and Academic Diversity Outreach within University College, says that programs like this give Kent State students a competitive advantage as they apply for internships and professional experiences.
“For students, there are so many experiences that you need for your professional career that just don’t exist in a classroom setting,” Brunt says. “In having this opportunity, students can now think about their life after college in a more realistic way — outside just the realm of Kent State.”
Career Exploration and Development staff members help students as they work to make sense of their personal and career experiences. The staff members were a key partner in helping Robinson prepare for this experience.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Robinson wants to start a business in the Philippines, specifically catering to women of color.
“I want to make skin products, hair products and possibly clothing to show respect to their culture,” Robinson says. “But alongside being an entrepreneur, I want to diverge into economics. Having the wonderful experience at JPMorgan Chase allowed me to really think about different career opportunities for my passion.”