While economics and studio art may seem like an incongruous double major, it is not an odd coupling for Grace Janzow ’15, who believes her focus on each interest helped her land a job with the financial services firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Columbus, Ohio.
“Everybody says that art and economics are such a bizarre combination, but they worked both sides of my brain — my right side for creativity and my left side for logic and analysis,” Janzow said. “I believe that was something Chase valued: the ability to think about a situation from all sides.”
After graduation, Janzow assumed a position in the firm’s two-year development program, working as an operations analyst in the consumer and community division. She applied for the job because it incorporated the similarities between art and economics that she explored at Kenyon. “When studying economics, I was encouraged to look at a spreadsheet of data, process the trends in the numbers and tell a story through that analysis of what the figures mean and why they matter,” she said. “When I sit down to start a painting in my studio, I ask myself what I want to say and whose story I want to tell with a paint and brush.”
She accepted the post last year, after meeting with a JPMorgan Chase representative during an on-campus visit arranged through the Career Development Office (CDO). The company recruiter selected her for follow-up interviews in Columbus. She learned during the fall semester of her senior year that she was hired, easing her anxiety about post-graduate uncertainty. “It was a big relief,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that I had something this concrete lined up so early.”
According to Scott Layson, director of the CDO, Janzow is one of 150 seniors who received job offers before graduation. Another 45 to 50 students were accepted to graduate schools, he added. “Students are gaining more confidence in themselves and in their ability to compete in the job market, and they are gaining confidence in the job market having a place for them,” Layson said.
Janzow previously had linked her fields of interest through a summer internship at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the largest contemporary art museum in the U.S. In addition to establishing teen programming in a nearby impoverished community, she wrote grants to help secure financial support for the program. “It was a tremendous experience to not only identify a need for the arts in a struggling community, but to realize the crucial role that economics plays in empowering future generations of artists.”
A painter and designer, Janzow hopes her interest in business will benefit her future artistic pursuits. “Art will always be part of my life and identity, whether I am in the studio or in the corporate business sector,” she said. “I feel lucky to have experience in both disciplines.”