Boothies of Booth: Gwen Jenkins

Name: Gwendolyn Jenkins

Nicknames: Gwen, Gwendo, Gwennifer, Gwendolingo

Originated From: Born In New York – Raised in Teaneck, New Jersey

Undergrad Institution: George Washington University

Major: Business Administration / International Business

Job Before Booth: Bank Regulator

Summer Internship: Bank of America Healthcare Investment Banking Team – NY

okay…now for the good stuff:

Prior To Booth

Preface – I know nothing about banking and finance so bear with me as I try to explain how badass black girl magic filled Gwen got to Booth.

So, Gwen went to George Washington and did one of her summer internships at the CME group here in Chicago. There she learned how to calculate margins on trades. But, she noticed that a lot of the traders were banks and that she was actually more-so interested in financial risk management and wanted to work with banks (you know the places that hoard all of our monies). So she figured out how to get closer to these big financial institutions. Upon graduation Gwen join the Office of The Comptroller Of The Currency (OCC), which is a branch of the US Department of Treasury. She was a whole government employee!

With a cool badge and everything, you could kind of define Gwen as the “Bank Police”.

As a regulator, the OCC exposed her to work with a variety of different sized banks and risk levels. The agency charters for national banks, everything from a tiny bank to the largest banks in the country. For a bank to operate within the United States, it has to have a charter from her office. Gwen’s job was to make sure that banks were in compliance. If they weren’t they would undergo real investigations (badge necessary).

While working at the OCC, Gwen lived in the fabulous city of New York, but had to travel a ton for work. So much so, that she was really on there on the weekends. Sometimes she got to go to dope places like Miami, other times she would be sent to not so fun less people populated places. If you know Gwen, then you know that her bubbly self loves to have a great time and party. So, she had to make the most out of the weekends when she was home.

As soon as she quit the OCC she headed to Japan on a solo trip to kick off her new Boothie life. She even got to get some advice from her new classmate Mike Hoyos on where to go.

Boothie Breakdown

Best Trip Of Your Life Thus Far:

Buenos Aires! In undergrad, I studied abroad in Argentina for a semester. I literally fell in love with the city. So much so, I moved back to teach English there for a year right after graduation.

If You Didn’t Have To Work What Would You Do:

Stay At-Home Dog Mom

Favorite Artist:

Beyonce (part of the Beyhive)

Favorite Class At Booth So Far: Global Social Impact Practicum

Global social impact practicum is a lab course that I knew I wanted to take prior to coming to Booth. This past winter I was the only first year in the class. We worked in teams of 5 with the University of Chicago Medical school -who developed a noninvasive oral healthcare screen. At the end of the quarter we traveled to India and visited different stakeholders. We presented an implementation plan and were super hands on. Nevertheless, I got to experience India in a different way then I would have traveling as a tourist. You can learn more here about the course.

What App Needs To Be Made:

An App where you can look up advice from specialists / people willing to give you advice on certain topic – basically an updated version of

Favorite Disney Movie:

The Lion King

What Job Would You Be Terrible At :

Retail – I would be tempted to just buy everything

Females in Finance What You Should You Know:

  • Don’t be afraid to enter a male dominated industry
  • Finance isn’t as intimidating as it seems – don’t self-select out

What Age Do You Want To Live Until:

I want to live for a good time not a long time. I want to have fun until I cant anymore.

What Do You Wish You Knew More About:

American History

What Is Worth Splurging On Everytime:

Chai Lattes

Favorite Commercial:

How Will You Make Your Life A “Good Life”?

Life is all about balance. Working hard and playing hard alongside simply enjoying life.

What’s The Hardest Lesson You’ve Learned Thus Far?

Be careful who you take advice from.

What do you think made you unique in the MBA app process?

I was one of the few regulators that came into Booth our year. Getting to actively share my knowledge and experience in class conversations has been pretty cool.

Most Memorable Gift That You’ve Ever Received:

Gameboy Color

What Lifestyle Changes Are You Trying To Make?

Want to be more active, cook more and not spend frivolously – business school makes that really hard.

What Do You Think Makes A Good Friend – How Much Do You Live Up To Your Standards?

Loyalty is key. Honesty is important. I keep a small circle, so I’m pretty good about upholding those standards. Quality > Quantity

Random Walk Location & Favorite Memory:

RW South Africa! I went for the animals, so the safari was definitely my favorite part. Also, on our random day off, I got convinced to go on a hike to Lions Head and almost slipped and fell off the cliff. My wonderful classmate Andrew Criste saved me – so I guess I have him to thank for saving my life.

What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

Have a family and travel to every continent.

Do You Think That Aliens Exist?


Who Do You Go Out Of Your Way To Be Nice To?


Which Industries Do You Think Will Be Revolutionized Soon?

Fashion. There’s so many changes with: subscription services, the idea of renting clothes which is revolutionary, second-usage, recycling, etc .

If Magic Was Real, Which Spell Would You Try First?

Time travel. Time is the only resource that we can’t get back.

What Do You Want To Get Out Of B-School?

  1. More quantitative skills in finance
  2. Build a really strong network
  3. Opportuniteis to learn / understand how to make a social impact

Whats The Oldest Thing That You Own:

Coins From The Civil War

Life Goals

I want to have a notable impact on the world by providing access to opportunities and education in finance to women and minorities.

How Would You Describe Your Booth Experience

A whirlwind. It’s been a whirlwind. I’ve learned so much so quickly and met so many people. Theres so much to be involved in, and I’ve never been involved in so many different activities in my life.