Career Change: From Survey Instruments to Banking Apps



Ronan Kennedy, MBA 14, Associate, JPMorgan Chase
Ronan Kennedy, MBA 14, Associate, JPMorgan Chase


Student: Ronan Kennedy, MBA 14, Evening & Weekend MBA Program

Then: Production Manager, Topcon Positioning Systems

Now: Associate, JPMorgan Chase (JPMC).

What he does: "I'm a project manager for the design of JPMorgan and Chase's mobile apps. We're also working with companies like Square and a slew of Silicon Valley startups to connect their innovations in e-commerce and mobile payments to the retail and corporate banking power of Chase. And I'm working to redesign the private banking app for JPMorgan, giving high-net-worth customers a better experience on their mobile phones."

Excited to be: Part of the mobile payment revolution. "Magnetic strips on the back of a piece of plastic are dated and inefficient. In today's world of hyper-connectivity, there must be a better way to connect a consumer's digital wallet to the retailer/business' digital accounts."

Why JPMorgan Chase: "I thought this role would be a great way to bridge my experience in operations with my desired future in finance. It also allows me to participate in an emerging use of technology and potentially impact the commerce of the future."

Critical career planning tools: "Career services took me in as an 'explorer' and helped transition me into a targeted career 'switcher,' advising me to take it one switch at a time. Resume reviews, mock interviews, and story-telling sessions helped me create a unified message."

Networked: While doing research for internal projects, I have reached out to several alums in the Private Banking and Investment Banking areas of JPMC, which streamlined my research. We're not JPMC people trying to talk business, but rather two Haas alums chatting about 'what if...?' The common foundations allows for quicker, more frank conversations, and an immediate friendship."

Life Lessons: "'Show up and be present!' from Mark Rittenberg's Leadership Communication course. Connect with co-workers, share stories and experiences, and have a dynamic voice on teleconferences to help reduce the perceived distance while on dreary phone calls."

About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.