Karen JenkinsKari Jenkins grew up in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. In 2017, she completed a B.S. in Professional and Business Communications with a minor in Business Management at Rio.

What made you choose Rio? I loved that Rio felt like home. I wasn’t but 20 minutes from my hometown, but I felt like the whole village of Rio Grande was supportive of the school and its athletics. Being a full-time student-athlete, you start to recognize familiar faces that come to all the games. Then you get to know them and it’s like you have a whole support system of the entire community.

What was your favorite course at Rio…and why? I had to prepare an entire marketing plan for a business of my choosing for a project my senior year in my Social Media class with Dr. Darlington. I did marketing research, ran numbers, prepared a presentation and then gave the presentation to the class. Creating the entire marketing plan, myself and having to answer analytical questions about my findings and plans prepared me to do quality research, analyze the data and be ready to defend why my data was accurate. In my career path, presentations like that have paid its dividends already.  

What do you miss most about Rio?  I miss Zack and Scottie’s the most from my days at Rio – I should’ve eaten there more!

What advice would you give current students at Rio?  Make a name for yourself and your school. Don’t feel intimidated when you go into a job interview if you’re going up against others that went to a more notable school – or if the interviewer says, “Rio Grande? Where’s that?” Be proud of the education that you receive and the person that it’s shaped you into.

Where do you work now? What’s your job title?   I work at Nationwide Financial in Columbus, Ohio as a Regional Internal Consultant. I’m in charge of overseeing sales in the Southern Midwest of the United States.

What was your first “big break”?   Right out of college, I had a job as a marketing coordinator at a chiropractic office and that opened so many new doors for me as I became familiar with people and places shortly after picking up and moving to Columbus. It gave me a great base board of professional knowledge that I incorporate into my every day now.

What are some of your greatest or most recent professional achievements?  I was just recently promoted to a Regional Internal Consultant within Nationwide Life Insurance. I’m told that at my age, this is a big move.

What kinds of artistic, academic, or professional development are you doing now?  Nationwide prides itself on always developing their associates so we’re always a great resource to our advisors. I currently have a Series 6 designation under my belt and am working on several other financial designations to add to my resume.

What’s next in your career? 
My hopes are to become a virtual wholesaler in the next 5 years and then after that, go into leadership and coaching at Nationwide.

If you couldn’t have your current career, what would you do for a living? 
I would start my own business and podcast that would coincide with one another. I’d love to do that.

If you could spend the day with any fine artist, living or dead, who would it be? Andy Warhol

What is your favorite book: My worn and torn Bible

Favorite artist: Maya Lin

Favorite musician: Five Finger Death Punch

Favorite movie: Rocky III

Favorite food: Pancakes
Favorite quote: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

If you could move anywhere, where would you go?  I would move to a log cabin on the side of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, preferably in the winter.

Do you live with a spouse, children, roommates or pets? I currently live with 3 roommates, but am currently looking to buy my first house in the coming months!

What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you? A bucket list item of mine is to be able to sing Bohemian Rhapsody in front of a crowd while doing karaoke!

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