Jen Wilmore graduated from Allegheny College in 2008 with an English degree with an emphasis in creative writing. After graduating, Jen moved to Boston where she completed her MFA degree in fiction from Emerson College. For her master’s thesis at Emerson, she completed her first unpublished novel. About that experience, Jen notes, “That is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. I am now working on my third manuscript, and it isn’t any easier this time around, especially now that I am a lawyer trying to write on the side.”
After Emerson, Jen went on to the University of Illinois for law school and graduated with a JD. In law school, she won a highly prestigious Rickert award for a research paper she co-wrote with a peer. She also participated in a mediation clinic, acting as the mediator for disputing parties and helping them to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution to minor issues without the need to consult a judge.
Jen now lives in downtown Cleveland where she is employed with Jones Day, a law firm with 42 offices. “I had never heard of Jones Day until I was in law school,” Jen remarked, but she wound up being hired by a firm that “represents about half of the Fortune 500 and Global Fortune 500.” At Jones Day, Jen is a mergers and acquisitions attorney, which means she deals with businesses that are buying, selling, and collaborating with other businesses.
In 2015 alone, Jen has worked on three multi-billion dollar deals at Jones Day one of which was the sale of CoverGirl by The Procter & Gamble Company for $12.5 billion.
When asked about how her English degree has helped her perform these incredibly amazing feats, Jen replied:
Aside from the obvious–reading comprehension and clear writing–my English background helps me relate to people. Once you enter the working world you can’t underestimate the value of communication and interpersonal skills. It’s hard to teach those in school, and we rarely test on them. Success in one’s career often requires more than intelligence and hard work. Both in the classroom and out, Allegheny nurtures interpersonal skills, and this is invaluable because someone’s impression of you will not solely be the work product you produce for them. It isn’t just a test at the end of the semester. It will be the way you present yourself, the way you listen, and the way you understand the problem or task at hand and think creatively to solve it.
If anyone is interested, Jen offered to talk to any Allegheny student, English major or not, about legal careers and law school. Contact Shawna Mook, the Oddfellows building coordinator, if you’re interested.
The Allegheny English Department wants to thank you for your time, Jen. Keep going for your goals.
Published Oct. ’15