Name: Jarrett M. Walker
Profession: Financial Services
One Word That Describes You: Visionary
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It is an honor to be recognized as a man of distinction. However, it is also humbling. I have read the bios of the other gentlemen being recognized and the list of their accomplishments is astonishing. I am grateful to be in the same category as these gentlemen, but I also know that I have more work to do!
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Without diving into a detailed personal anecdote, I believe that both struggle and failure are merely opportunities to define what type of man you are. I have experienced my fair share of adversity and will undoubtedly encounter more adversity as I continue to climb. The key is to stay the course and never let someone or something deter you from your path. When I find myself in an uphill battle, I refer to a poem I learned while pledging the Kappa Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. The poem is entitled, Don’t Quit.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
The most important quality I look for in all of my interactions with others is integrity. Without integrity it is hard to develop any type of meaningful relationship with someone.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Currently I am working on my M.B.A. at the Darden School of Business at The University of Virginia where I am focusing my studies on finance & strategy with a concentration in investment banking. Hopefully one day I will also be fortunate enough to be featured on Black Enterprise’s list of most powerful blacks on Wall Street.
In addition to my M.B.A. I am also working alongside two partners on The 3rd annual Black Alumni Networking Expo. The Expo is an annual professional development conference that we founded in Washington, D.C. This year we are looking to host over 2,000 professionals and business owners who will be coming together for a weekend of networking, development, and celebration.
What is the best advice you ever received?
‘The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams.’
I take that quote to heart because believing in yourself and remaining confident during times of adversity separates those that ‘wish for it happen’ from those that ‘make it happen.’
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Whatever you do, aim to be the best at it. Mediocrity was never praised by anybody. You have very little control over a lot of things but you always have control over your effort and your attitude. Whether your destiny is to be the CEO or the administrative assistant, be the best at your role because your role is vital to the success of the entire organization. Take pride in what you do. If you can commit to being the best then you will surely make a difference at your job, in your community, and in your family.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Before any meeting I do three things. First, I make sure that I am not only well prepared on the business at hand, but that I am also well- educated on all current micro and macro-level events. Ignorance is preventable. Secondly, I research the person I am meeting with. I want to know as much about that person as possible prior to the meeting. Not only does it allow you to formulate how the discussion will go, but it also shows the prospective client, partner, or mentor that you value their presence and their time. Lastly, I pick out which suit I will wear. Sometimes looking the part is half the battle. A powerful suit and a strong posture will set the tone for any business encounter. My father always told me that business is about P.I.E – Performance, Image, and Exposure.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
At this point in my career vacations are rare. I know that I have only scratched the surface of what I believe I am capable of and what God has planned for me. Right now I’m focusing most of my time on bettering myself and bettering those around me. I try to take weekend trips and enjoy time with my friends and family, however I rarely take extended vacations.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If I could travel anywhere it would have to be to London and Cambridge. The most prominent schools of economics are the London School of Economics and the Cambridge School of Economics. Most of our global economic policies and theories come from these two pillars in the economic community. After reading so much about the brilliant minds that once walked those campuses, it would be an amazing experience to visit both institutions.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.