The Game Changer

Alumna Jacquie Ward took her Bloch education all the way to the bank
Jacquie Ward, pictured standing in UMB Bank

Jacquie Ward, (MBA ’16), recently stepped into the role of director of private investments at UMB Family Wealth. She took this step relatively early in her career, but she felt prepared thanks in part to her education at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management and the student involvement opportunities that even a working student can join.

“I loved my time at UMKC, but I loved it that much more because I made a point to stretch and get involved,” Ward said. “That’s where I feel like my education became an actual game changer in my career. That’s where I met people that I still work with. I met some of my best friends. Some of the alumni that I met in those positions are the ones that I still call on and talk to on a regular basis. I see them at other industry events, and they now know me. That helps facilitate conversations.”

Though Ward now holds a master’s degree from UMKC, she began her career in finance immediately after completing her undergraduate degree in financial management, financial services and financial controllership at Kansas State University, following in her family’s footsteps. Her mother made a career in corporate finance during the 1980s, and Ward saw firsthand the struggles a working woman can face in a male-dominated field. However, Ward said she is optimistic about the current environment at UMB and in the field going forward.

“I see the world that I started in 10 years ago and the world I’m in now,” Ward said. “It’s definitely still a male-dominated space, but we do have women in really strong leadership positions as well. That’s something that, when I looked at my mom’s generation, she didn’t have, but I do. You have a chance to succeed when you have someone that knows exactly what it’s like in your situation and is in a position to be able to help guide you and the whole institution.”

One of the benefits of getting an MBA at UMKC, Ward found, was the real-world experience she could bring back to the office after each class.

“My UMKC education was top notch,” Ward said. “Within the classroom, we were doing things that were educational, but we were also doing things that I still tap into from a day-to-day basis for my job. We had a lot of professors that were great about aligning what we were doing with real life work. That prepared me for taking that next step in my career and expanding my network.”

Ward encourages anyone pursuing their MBA to get involved as well.

“You can go and show up to class, and you’re going to do just fine,” Ward said. “You’re going to get a great education, but you’re really not going to get everything that it can offer. Try to go that extra step.”

Top Stories