Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Jaina Wald

Marketing & Strategy

Co-President, RAMS
VP, Membership, Toastmasters
Tech Chair, SGA

Jaina is a second-year, full-time Marketing and Strategy student.  If you know her, you know that Jaina smiles in the face of wild, 900 pound felines. If you don't know her, you wonder why she smiles in the face of wild, 900 pound felines.  Nonetheless, here is an interview with a future brand manager at Campbell's Soup. 

What’s your deal? Where were you before you came to RBS? Why are you here now?

Let’s see…I’m originally from Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!), did my undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis, and moved to New York in 2005 to work in publishing. After learning that every English major in America wants to work in publishing (not to mention the low pay and long hours), took a job at a boutique Venture Capital and Consulting firm instead. I thought I’d be there for a year, but stayed for six, doing marketing, communications, sales, consulting and HR, and working with some of the coolest technology startups on the plant. I loved the people, but it was a small company and I knew that I would have to leave eventually. Given how much I had learned about Marketing and Business, I started to think about business school and began sending out applications. Instead of sitting around and waiting to hear back, my husband and I decided to quit our jobs and travel the world for six months. We spent three months in SE Asia, two months in Africa and one month in South America, and arrived back in the states a week before I started at Rutgers. One of my funniest memories of the trip was doing my Rutgers admissions interview on the trip via Skype. I was in Vietnam at the time, staying in a hostel, without anything to wear for an interview. Luckily, SE Asia is renowned for custom-made clothing, so found a guy in an alley who promised me he could make me “a suit in a day,” and despite the all-around sketchiness, he had a suit jacket and shirt ready for me an hour before the call. I did the interview that night in an internet café wearing my new suit jacket, shirt, ripped jean shorts and sandals :)

Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

Man oh man. Running my own company? Doing triathlons professionally? So many options…Most likely, I’ll be in a senior marketing and communications role at a large firm. I just accepted a position as an Associate Brand Manager at Campbell’s Soup in August 2014, so that’s the first stop. In an ideal world, I’d also like to be living and working internationally – maybe South America or Australia? Though I might have to convince my husband first…

What is your favorite thing about being an RBS student?

The camaraderie in our class is insane. When I looked at other business schools, I was amazed and turned off by how competitive and cutthroat the students were. At Rutgers, students work together– it’s not about cutting each other down to get ahead. People are genuine and care about helping each other (and the school). That’s what business schools should be like.

What did you think business school was going to be like? What is it actually like?

I thought it was going to be really serious, stressful, and boring. It’s not. It’s awesome. It’s undergrad, minus living across the hall from everyone. Plus, there’s this sense of appreciation for being in school, because most of us worked for a few years beforehand and we know that we’ll be back in the “working world” in a short time.

What do you do for fun?

Travel, Travel and more Travel. I’ve lived on four continents, visited 37 countries, and have toyed with the idea of joining the Peace Corps more times than I can count. I love sports, play soccer, and do races/triathlons. Plus, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie – skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks – you name it, I’ve done it. When I’m not running around, I’m hanging out with my husband and preparing for my first baby, due in January 2014!

Who is your favorite professor and why?

I love me some Susan Mach (business communications) – she’s super nice, cares about her students and really knows her stuff. Plus, with all the quantitative classes first semester, I loved having the chance to write again. I’m also enjoying Executive Leadership with Patti Ippoliti and Multicultural Markets with Jerome Williams. Both are discussion-based, interesting, and have taught me more about real-world issues I’ll be encountering post-business school than my traditional core classes.

How did you land your summer internship? How was it?

I got my internship with Campbell’s Soup by attending the NSHMBA career fair during my first year at Rutgers. I didn’t apply to Campbell’s ahead of time, but stopped by the booth, and just clicked with all the recruiters. I was interviewed on the spot, and again the following day, and found out a week later that I had the internship. The experience was incredible. I lucked out with an amazing team and loved spending the summer with students from all over the country. Plus, Campbell’s gives its interns incredible exposure to senior leaders, and real, business-driving internship projects so it felt like my contributions were making a difference. And, it never hurts working for a food company – we had constant samples of Milano cookies, Goldfish, Pace Salsa, V8, and the best part -- Free Soup Fridays! 

What would you do differently if you could repeat your first semester all over again?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I dropped Finance and it was the best decision I could have made – it allowed me to concentrate on the other classes I was taking (accounting and economics mostly) and just get used to being in school again. I took Finance second semester when things were calmer and I was settled in to the routine, and was much happier for it. Actually, one thing I would do differently – bring my lunch more...no matter how long I’m here, I will never understand why it takes so long to get food in the café.

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