23-y-o Jamaican cops finance job at Johnson & Johnson
DEMARIO WAITE never imagined that he would secure a job as a financial analyst at an American multinational corporation immediately after graduation. But looking back, he credits his successes thus far to the value he placed on academic performance...
DEMARIO WAITE never imagined that he would secure a job as a financial analyst at an American multinational corporation immediately after graduation.
But looking back, he credits his successes thus far to the value he placed on academic performance and networking.
Waite recently graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Supply Chain Management, and come July, he will join Johnson & Johnson’s financial leadership development programme.
“In finance, there is a lot of talk about how to finance a company, whether it is with debt or with equity, but there is also another option, which is supply chain financing. It involves business and financing processes that lower costs and improve efficiency for the parties involved in a transaction,” Waite explained.
Waite attended Campion College and St George’s College for sixth form before migrating to the United States in 2018.
On his grandmother’s recommendation, he pursued an associate’s degree at Essex County College as it was a cheaper route to attaining his undergraduate degree.
“When I was networking and speaking to professors and people at Essex, they recommended that I go to Rutgers because most of the credits that I took at Essex would easily be transferred to Rutgers,” he said, adding that the university is also known for producing students with marketable skills.
Waite, who described himself as reserved, recalled that in the first few months he missed home, and just as he began to adjust to life in a new country, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“It was a pretty tough journey, but I think what really helped was sticking to the people I knew, and they opened a lot of doors for me, especially my friends. I joined the National Association of Black Accountants, and in my second year at Rutgers, I became the vice-president. That position allowed me to network with many companies across the United States, ranging from BlackRock, Blackstone, Credential Insurance Company, Johnson & Johnson, and so many others,” he said.
In his final year, Waite received a scholarship from EisnerAmper and noted that the diligence he applied each semester paid off as he graduated cum laude with a 3.6 GPA.
Waite’s tuition was mainly funded through financial aid and income he earned from working on weekends at a grocery store.
“One of the biggest challenges was balancing my job and school work. Being a part of the club was very demanding as well. The school requires that the club put on events and stay active to receive funding, and that was almost like a full time job as well,” he told The Gleaner.
He expressed gratitude to his parents for making sacrifices to ensure that he completed university.
“From when I was very young, my parents always prioritised school. They are very supportive. I can speak to them about any school-related matter, and when I didn’t have enough money for books or tuition, they were always there to help me out,” he said.
Waite used the opportunity to urge local and international university students to take networking seriously as there are many benefits to be reaped.
“A lot of students graduate with a degree but not a lot of students are able to find jobs after college. It takes a lot of networking and positioning yourself in the right places while in college to really secure that job right after college,” he said.
“There are many students at my school who graduated with higher GPAs, but they’ve never placed themselves in front of recruiters or companies. It’s important to start looking for a job in your senior year rather than after you graduate,” he said.
For 21 years in a row, Fortune has named Johnson & Johnson as a top 50 all-star on its list of the world’s most admired companies.
Waite is excited about commencing his finance career, and over the next five years, he will be seeking to grow his technical and soft skills to take on more responsibilities at Johnson & Johnson.
“I really hope to be at the senior level in my area of expertise,” he remarked.