Smith College Scholar Jena Kim.

Smith Scholar Wins American Banker’s Young Women’s Leadership Award

Spring 2024 | New York

Smith College Scholar Jena Kim is the distinguished recipient of the American Banker’s Young Women’s Leadership Award. Each year, American Banker Magazine and Discover grant the award to two New York City high school seniors with exceptional leadership who are the first in their families to attend college and are aspiring to pursue careers in finance, business, and economics. Jena’s exceptional track record of leadership in high school made her a strong candidate for the award.

“By joining organizations like Key Club, I was able to give back through volunteering while also meeting new people,” says Jena. “I was motivated to positively change my community and saw leadership opportunities as a vehicle for that."

I already have a sense of community at Smith because of Posse.

Last summer, Jena completed an analyst internship at BlackRock. As an intern, she shadowed professionals in the wealth advisory sector, gaining invaluable insights into asset management and the intricacies of the finance industry. Jena was able to gain insight into financial asset management, AI technology, and engineering before beginning her first year.

“It was a really unique setting for me,” Jena said, reflecting on her internship experience. “I feel like I learned a lot about the real world and how things are going to operate. I’m thankful I got that opportunity.”

Currently completing her first year at Smith College, Jena has continued to shine as a leader focused on building the campus community. She serves as class president, an all-campus senator, and the House Council’s first-year representative and social events coordinator.

“Posse really prepared me for Smith,” Jena said. “It cultivated the space to have important conversations about topics that are sometimes seen as taboo. I already have a sense of community at Smith because of Posse.”

After graduation, Jena hopes to work in finance or business and continue to open doors for individuals from underrepresented communities.