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Posted 6.4.07

Weatherheadlines recently sat down with alumna Lynnette Jackson to learn more about her time at the Weatherhead School, various leadership roles and awards, and her commitment to service.

Q: What degree did you receive from the Weatherhead School and in what year? Did you have any concentrations?
I recently received my M.B.A. in May 2007. I have concentrations in marketing and finance.

Q: What brought you to the Weatherhead School?
First, I wanted to stay in Cleveland. Second it has a great group of accomplished and successful alumni near and far. I have friends who are graduates of various Weatherhead programs, and they all highly recommended the school to me. Two alumni even wrote letters of recommendation. It is also a great learning opportunity to be exposed to people from various countries and cultures, as the world is becoming more flat and business more global.

Q: Prior to attending the Weatherhead School, where did you work?
My first job right out of undergraduate school was as an environmental chemist for an architectural and engineering firm in town. I did that for almost four years, and then I went to work on Jane Campbell's campaign for mayor. I served in her cabinet as her special assistant and then as schools planning chief for about four years until I resigned to attend school.

Q: I understand you won the Scott S. Cowen Student Leadership Award. What does this award mean to you both personally and professionally?
It is a tremendous honor to receive the Scott S. Cowen Student Leadership Award from the Weatherhead Alumni Association. Personally, it is humbling to be acknowledged for work that my team and I did over the past year. It was a wonderful learning experience to be Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) president. I know we made a difference and we had fun. Professionally, receiving this award will aid with my growth and development. When I was preparing for the interview for the award it gave me an opportunity to reflect on individual as well as team successes and allowed me the chance to convey these thoughts to the panel. It is always good to practice your interviewing skills and I foresee them coming in handy in my career.

Q: How have you involved yourself in the life of the school?
As a graduate assistant in Student Services, I helped to develop the mentor program, an open house for prospective African-American students and various other tasks. In 2006 I traveled to South Africa with a delegation of Weatherhead students. Of course, I attended various school-wide events such as the Net Impact Case Bowl and Casino Night. From 2006-2007, I served as the president of the GBSA.

Q: In your opinion, was the most exciting aspect of being part of the Weatherhead community?
The access to the world whether through classmates, faculty or international institutes has been very exciting.

Q: Do you have any advice for current Weatherhead students?
Stretch yourself while you are at the Weatherhead School; it is a safe environment to push yourself and don't worry about grades. Take some of those advanced accounting and finance classes that you are not required to take; the knowledge you gain will certainly aid you in your future. Step up and be a leader.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I haven't had much spare time lately, since I was involved at the Weatherhead School and in the Cleveland civic community, serving on four nonprofit boards. I do, however, enjoy reading, traveling, and meeting new people.

Q: If you could invite any famous person/celebrity (living or dead) to dinner, who would it be and why?
Bill Clinton. I am a huge fan of the past president and would love the opportunity to talk to him about leadership in this country after having just read Lee Iaccoca's Where have all the Leaders Gone.

Q: Who or what has been your inspiration in life? Do you have a motto or tagline by which you live your life?
My inspiration has been my parents, Leonard and Micheline Jackson, and my faith. As for a tagline, I believe: "Life is like a game of tennis, if you never serve you will never win."

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