Jennifer Kerns is no stranger to success. Since she graduated from Fisher in 2001, she has launched a successful marketing consulting firm, JK Communications LLC, and now serves a wide range of clients in real estate, healthcare, agriculture and technology. From being recognized by Business First with its Forty under 40 award to helping organize TEDxColumbus, Kerns shares what graduating from Fisher has meant to her career and what it means to be a marketer in a continually evolving industry.
Graduating from Ohio State meant...
… that I had accomplished a huge goal. It also meant that it was time to move onto the next chapter of my life with many more milestones to hit. Becoming an alumna of Ohio State also showed me that my connection with the university wasn't over, it was just taking on a different meaning. I would forever be connected to this wonderful institution.
Tell us about some of your recent accomplishments.
After graduation, I immediately got a job at the marketing agency where I had been interning during school. After more than 10 years in the agency world, I decided to start my own firm, JK Communications. I have experience developing strategic marketing plans and managing all marketing activities for a wide range of clients including real estate, healthcare, agriculture and technology.
Every day, there are accomplishments for each of my clients. Recently, I helped one of my clients with their employee recruitment and retention efforts, which resulted in better employee morale, lower overtime pay expenditures and less turnover.
I have also had the pleasure of working with the TEDxColumbus team every year and organizing the entire participant experience. Each day is different, and that's why I love it.
I was extremely honored when Business First recognized me with their Forty Under 40 Award in 2006.
How has Fisher prepared you or made a difference in your career?
My business classes gave me a confidence boost in public speaking. I enjoyed learning how to become more organized and work in teams to figure out solutions to problems presented to us. It gave me a look into the future of working with co-workers and how to deal with different personalities.
My favorite Fisher memory…
I was lucky to enjoy the brand-new Fisher campus when it opened during my time as a student. It was amazing, and I'm so glad they developed such a great learning space for the students.
What service have you been involved in since you graduated?
I was a member of Alpha Xi Delta and will never forget the sisterhood bond that I was lucky enough to be a part of at Ohio State. We participated in many different philanthropic events, which exposed me to more community involvement opportunities throughout central Ohio.
Being fortunate to live in central Ohio, it gives me an opportunity to give back to the school that gave me the foundation to my thriving career. I currently serve on the Honors & Scholars Alumni Society Board, which gives me a chance to further my quest to stay involved with the Ohio State community and develop my skills professionally and personally.
What advice would you give to a current student or recent Fisher graduate?
I recommend doing internships to every student I meet. Working in marketing while learning about it at Ohio State was incredible. It made both experiences much more valuable to me. It doesn’t matter if you are doing menial or administrative tasks. Watch and observe, create connections with co-workers, learn from them and, most importantly, be invaluable to that organization. I also tell students to get involved with professional associations and network. I still keep in touch with people I have worked with in the past, including my former bosses when I was an intern. This has provided me with continuing learning opportunities as well as friendships.
What are your goals for the future?
It might sound cliché, but I am always striving to be a better and kinder person. As a mom of three young children, I want to set the best example possible and guide my children to be the best they can be.
I never want to stop learning. Marketing is constantly evolving and I want to continue my passion for it. Along with that, I want to continue to grow JK Communications and provide superior service to clients.