JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Makes Impression on GU Business Students
If you bumped into JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on the street when he visited Spokane, you might never know the man in the golf shirt and jeans was one of the foremost minds in global finance, someone looked to by industry leaders and media outlets for his thoughts on inflation, interest rates and the state of the world’s economy.
Four Gonzaga students in the School of Business Administration knew exactly who Dimon was when they were invited along with Dean Ken Anderson to attend a lunch discussion with him at Barrister Winery. He stopped in the Inland Northwest as part of his annual bus tour to Chase Bank branches across the United States.
“Shaking the hand of one of the most influential people of our time was most definitely the highlight of the entire event,” says sophomore Ken Josue Velasquez, a 19-year-old Spokane native and business administration major with a concentration in finance. He was particularly struck by Dimon’s “dedication to innovation, global impact and empowerment of his clients.”
Jessica Agustin, a 22-year-old second-year MBA student from Indonesia, found that Dimon’s talk helped her understand the “multifaceted role of banking in our society,” and particularly how banking affects non-financial sectors of society. She was struck by his advice to remain calm in the face of seeming crises.
“The main idea was clear, that regardless of the circumstances, the show must go on,” Agustin says. “In the financial industry, with phenomena like fluctuations of global currencies, the strength of U.S. currency is not just about the economy. It’s also linked with the culture of the nation. Through resilience and determination, we can maintain stability in the face of adversity.”
Robert Blomgren (’07, business administration) is a 40-year-old Spokane native finishing his MBA at GU this fall. He found Dimon’s stage presence impressive, as well as his breakdown of “where the true power of the U.S. dollar comes from.” He left the luncheon inspired to keep on his current journey as “I have a similar leadership role in my current company” as the role Dimon serves at JPMorgan Chase.
Dimon’s presence while speaking also impressed Kaden McCullough, a 20-year-old from Colbert who compared the CEO’s ability to weave a lunchtime talk into a public-speaking “ballet.”
“He was able to get his points across while simultaneously expressing understanding for alternate viewpoints, and while meticulously articulating the reasons that had formed his opinions into what they were,” McCullough says.
As excited as McCullough was to hear from Dimon, the student walked away from the event truly valuing the experience of mixing with business leaders from throughout the Spokane community who were also on hand.
School of Business Administration Dean Ken Anderson says making those kinds of connections and engaging with the world off campus is part of the Gonzaga way of education.
“Our students got to meet Mr. Dimon and other members of the JPMorgan Chase leadership team, enjoy a talk by Mr. Dimon and network with dozens of members of the Spokane business community,” Anderson says. “One of our business school’s key values is engagement. We want Gonzaga business students to be engaged in activities outside of their classes, and this was a fantastic example of that.”
It certainly is something that Jessica Agustin won’t forget as she pushes on in her education and career.
“I feel even more driven in my studies and Gonzaga and my future plans,” she says. “Jamie’s advice to fearlessly embrace the unknown, to be unafraid of asking questions and to treat mistakes and steppingstones was truly inspiring.
“The insights and principles I learned sparked a greater desire to contribute positively to society with the knowledge I gained. The event also encouraged me to always remain curious and to have a constant thirst for learning.”