RICHMOND, Va. – Women’s soccer’s Jaclyn Kemly is among the 100 seniors honored in Poets&Quants’ Best & Brightest Business Majors of 2022. Entering its 7th year, the Best & Brightest features seniors who embody the best in business education. To compile this year’s list, P&Q invited each of the Top 50 undergraduate Business Schools to submit two students. Like previous years, the schools chose their representatives using their own selection criteria and process. However, P&Q encouraged the programs to consider students based on factors like academic performance, extracurricular leadership, and innate potential. Overall, the list includes 58 women and 42 men. In addition, 10 students hail from nations outside the United States, including Ghana, Egypt, Portugal, Bulgaria, Nepal, and China.
What do this year’s Best & Brightest have in common? Just ask the faculty. They label these students with terms like “born leader” and the “hardest worker I know.” They describe them as tireless workers who lead by example and set the standard for their peers. Some command the room with their contagious energy. Others live by a “Lift as you climb” code that compels them to put others first. They don’t look to always be right or be the smartest. Instead, they seek out common ground that brings people together and harnesses their strengths. That’s why professors relish having them in their classes — and treat them more as partners than pupils.
University of Richmond, Robins School of Business
“5:00 am soccer practice makes class the best part of my day.”
Fun fact about yourself: I played three sports (soccer, basketball, and softball) my whole life up through my senior year of high school!
Hometown: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
High School: Montclair Kimberley Academy
Major: Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing, Business Analytics, and Economics
Favorite Business Course: Marketing Research and Analysis with Dr. Joel Mier. Dr. Mier sparked my interest in a career in consumer insights by emphasizing the importance of consumers to a business. He gave my class the opportunity to apply our knowledge of the research process to a real-world project for a firm. I am extremely grateful for everything I have learned from Dr. Mier and for his support!
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- University of Richmond Women’s Soccer Team
- Started and played as an outside back and center midfielder throughout career
- Selected as member of team leadership group and served as a Champion Leader in the athletic department
- Earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Honors in senior season for scoring the game-winning goal in our conference opener.
- Earned Atlantic 10 Commissioners Honor Role for all eligible seasons
- Participated in Street Soccer community service initiative in Richmond, VA
- Research Assistant in the University of Richmond Marketing Department
- Q-Camp student ambassador
- Student member of Assessment and Accreditation Task Force
- Athletics Academic Support Tutor for mathematics/statistics, analytics, and economics
- Alfred E. Lyon Scholarship for Marketing
- Herman P. Thomas Scholarship for Marketing
- Dean’s list with all-A distinctions
- Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society
- Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Society
Where have you interned during your college career?
Roku, Inc. in San Jose, California (internship was remote) – Consumer Insights Intern
Cedar Stars Rush in Carlsbad, California – Lead Marketing Intern
Where will you be working after graduation? Roku, Inc. in San Jose, CA as an Audio Insights Specialist
Who is your favorite professor?
With all of the wonderful professors at the University of Richmond, this is definitely a tough question! Dr. Mehkari has been a fantastic professor and mentor for me since the first day I met him. I remember when he emailed me before my first soccer game of Sophomore year (before I had even had class with him) to wish me luck for the season. I was immediately blown away by the care he has for his students. Not only does Dr. Mehkari have extremely effective teaching methods, he also sacrifices all of his time and energy to prioritize his students. I have had the pleasure of taking three different math and economics classes with Dr. Mehkari, and in each one, I was reminded of why he is my favorite professor.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?
The values and ethics of a firm are just as important, if not more important, as its strategy and profits in order to be successful.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?
Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. There are a lot of business classes and practices that you may not have been exposed to before attending a business school, and that is okay! The best way to learn is to put yourself in uncomfortable positions in order to grow your skills as a business person.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business?
Business is extremely people oriented! One of the most important skills one needs to succeed in business is the ability to relate to others. Before majoring in business, I assumed that many of the roles in business required hard skills, such as math and analytics. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how collaborative and relationship-oriented business actually is, which is something I always enjoyed about playing sports.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?
I would try to make even more friendships with my classmates. Too often, I sat next to peers I already knew in my classes, and I wish I made the effort to meet more people I did not know throughout my time at Richmond. Those connections with classmates were so important in enhancing my time at Richmond, but they are also crucial to maintain in the business world.
What business executive do you admire most?
My dad is the Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Bank, one of the largest Community Banks in New Jersey. I feel fortunate to have watched my dad run this company and to have learned so much about how to succeed as a business leader first hand. My dad’s intelligence, hard work, and passion for what he does are unmatched. His excellent decision-making skills and ability to garner respect from everyone in the room are qualities that I only hope to achieve one day. Through all of his business successes, my dad has never missed one of my soccer, basketball, or softball games, which speaks to how caring he is as a father.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?
I was extremely honored to be selected as the Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Player of the Week in September 2021 after scoring the game-winning goal in the conference opener of my senior season. It was also my first career goal, which made the accomplishment even more special. I have always been the type of player to set up a goal rather than the one to score a goal, so it was especially exciting to achieve this at the Division One level! The support and love I felt from my teammates and coaches in that moment is something I will never forget.
Which classmate do you most admire?
Sonny Aryeh is one of the kindest and most genuine people I have met at the Robins School. She is incredibly outgoing and warm to everyone she meets, and she is a quick learner and a very engaged student. I am grateful to have gotten to know Sonny over the past several years and to call her a friend!
Who would you most want to thank for your success?
In terms of my successes at the Robins School of Business, I would like to thank Dr. Sara Hanson. Dr. Hanson has taught me so much about how to excel as a student in many business disciplines at Richmond. As her research assistant for the past three years, she has given me ample opportunities to develop my analytical skillset. My experiences with Dr. Hanson ultimately led to the start of my career in Consumer Insights at Roku. Most importantly, Dr. Hanson has served as a mentor and given me confidence in my abilities to pursue my passions in the business world.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
Have a positive impact on the sustainability initiatives of a company.
Earn a leadership position where I can have a positive impact on other employees.
What are your hobbies?
I love doing jigsaw puzzles, playing and watching sports, binge watching TV shows, and spending time with my family (and dog)!
What made Jaclyn such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?
“It is truly a pleasure to be writing this nomination in support of Jaclyn Kemly. Simply put Jaclyn is a star. She is a Business Administration major with a rare triple concentration in Marketing, Business Analytics, and Economics and a minor in Mathematics. And all this becomes even more impressive when one realizes that she did all this while both maintaining a GPA that ranks her at the top of her business school class and being a full-time scholar-athlete on the soccer team.
I have had the pleasure to teach Jaclyn in three of my classes. Each time Jaclyn impressed. Among the two graded classes she took with me, she got an A in both including being the absolute highest grade in one. Her performance in my Mathematical Economics course is particularly noteworthy as she took that class her junior year with a number of seniors with significantly more advanced math knowledge. Not only did she hold her own in that class, but she excelled, regularly scoring the highest grades on the tests. However, what makes Jaclyn truly standout in her classes is not just her outstanding academic ability, but also her friendly, team-oriented, and kind nature. It is a rare student who is able to govern the absolute respect and admiration of her colleagues, friends, and professor. Jaclyn is one such student.
Outside of the classroom, Jaclyn is a student athlete playing on the soccer team. She plays midfield. It is always a pleasure to watch her play. Her most memorable performance was this past year against St. Bonaventure where she scored the game winning goal earning her the A-10 Player of the Week award. Over the years, Jaclyn has also actively looked for ways to give back to the Business School. She currently volunteers to help out with Q-Camp (a professional bootcamp for Business School students), is a student representative on the Assessment and Accreditation Faculty Committee, and is a star tutor for student athletes interested in the Business School. Her contributions help make the Robins School of Business a better place for all.”
-Dr. M. Saif Mehkari
Associate Professor of Economics