As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2021, Jenna Whiting, an operations management and management double major with a minor in English from Newark, Delaware, has not had the typical final year or commencement at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whiting, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered.
Whiting was nominated for this series by UD Instructor of Operations Management Susan Murphy, who said, “Jenna is, perhaps, one of the most driven students I’ve ever taught. Her desire to understand material is unparalleled. She is incredibly thorough and professional in all her work– and she has incredibly high standards for quality and completes her work accordingly. She is the epitome of a high achiever– and I suspect she will apply these traits to her future career. ”
In this profile, Whiting shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Whiting: I have learned and experienced so many new things, from learning material in my classes, to gaining leadership experience in extracurricular activities and group projects, to joining a dance club that has turned into one of my biggest passions. I am also so thankful to have gained lifelong friends. Additionally, I have experienced challenges that have proven to me that my perseverance is strong, including going through this pandemic while also succeeding in my classes. I’m proud of what I have achieved and learned, and I’m ready for the next chapter!
Lerner: What is your favorite place at UD?
Whiting: I love Redding residence hall because I lived there for two years in a row (my first year as an Honors freshman and my second year as a resident assistant) and have formed great memories there. I also love walking on the brick paths of the Green during a nice day, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful campus.
Lerner: What is the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Whiting: I really enjoyed taking Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (BUAD423) with Professor Dustin Sleesman. I really liked how practical and engaging the course was since we got to participate in negotiation simulations with classmates. The lecture material was also super interesting and Dustin is an amazing professor.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience?
Whiting: Being a resident assistant (RA) my sophomore year was one of my favorite and most rewarding experiences I had in college. I loved getting to know and supporting the residents on my floor and in the building, as well as forming close bonds with my fellow staff members. I also gained incredible leadership experience and worked through numerous challenges, such as helping people through tough situations and balancing all of the job’s requirements with my other priorities. I left with new perspectives, friendships and skills that I’ll carry with me forever.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Whiting: Being a Lifelong Lerner means always carrying a piece of Lerner with me, no matter where I am. I’ll always have memories and lessons from my challenging and educational classes; my friendships with fellow Lerner students; my wonderful professors; and my experiences at extracurricular activities and events, such as career fairs and networking events. I also hope to continue to be involved with Lerner in some form, such as eventually coming back to serve as a mentor in the Lerner Executive Mentoring Program or speaking to students at a career event or info session.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Whiting: I hope to work in supply chain, specifically procurement. Regardless of where my path takes me, I really hope to be able to contribute meaningfully to the world in positions that have purpose, help people and our surroundings and make a positive impact.