From Katrina to Kelley
Junior, Finance and Accounting
Downers Grove, Illinois
Fate brought John Jaskowiak to the Kelley School of Business.
In August 2005, Jaskowiak had spent just two days as a freshman on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, slammed into town. “I was watching TV with my roommate when we saw that a storm the size of the Gulf of Mexico was approaching,” recalls Jaskowiak. He evacuated to his Chicago-area home, expecting to return to classes in a few days.
Of course, that was impossible, so Jaskowiak started looking at other colleges. Indiana University, where he had been accepted as a direct admit to the Kelley School, quickly came to mind. “When I originally applied to colleges, it was a tough decision between IU and Tulane,” he says. “After Katrina, Professor 'Venkat' M. A. Venkataramanan told me to come down to Bloomington to see what they could do for me. IU was very accommodating and accepted me as a full-time student and reinstated my direct admit status and my scholarship. I was able to hit the ground running, and I knew immediately that I was definitely going to stay at IU.” (Kelley also admitted his sister, Julia, formerly a Tulane junior, and she graduated in 2007.)
Jaskowiak takes full advantage of the opportunities at Kelley. He’s a member of the Mitte Business Honors Program as well as one of just 62 direct admit students selected to participate in the school’s innovative sophomore block program, which studied emerging economies in conjunction with required course work and culminated in a trip to New Delhi, India. The students met with Indian business leaders including finance ministers and members of the Confederation of Indian Industry.
“That was awesome!” says Jaskowiak. “I gained a global perspective on just how integral countries like India are on the world’s borderless economy. That trip inspired me to learn more about the global economy.”
After graduation, Jaskowiak plans to work in asset management or investment banking—and Kelley will get him there. “The best thing about Kelley is that not only do I receive a top-notch education taught by distinguished faculty, but I feel that the professors and curriculum are instilling a passion in me for the career I will be pursuing,” he says.
- What is your dream job?
“To manage a large portfolio for a prominent asset management firm.”
- What business leader do you most admire?
“Self-made billionaire John Calamos, founder of Calamos Investments.”
- What are your favorite IU memories so far?
“Attending IU basketball games and celebrating my fraternity’s Little 500 victory my freshman year.”