Math graduate Edmaelle Augustin joining J.P. Morgan’s Chase Leadership Development Program
Edmaelle Augustin knew before she ever started college that she wanted to major in mathematics.
“Ever since eighth grade, math was always my strongest subject,” she said. “I was really good at it, and I knew going into college that I wanted to do something that I was good at. With math, I could do it, and there was always an answer to it.”
But Augustin still remembers all the people who tried to talk her out of it. Many suggested she look at engineering instead, thinking it a more practical – and employable – path. Others told her the only career option she’d have available would be to teach, which wasn’t something she had any interest in doing.
Everyone agreed it sounded like a lot of work without a clear professional reward.
Augustin didn’t listen to any of them. Rather, she followed her passion and did her own research on potential careers.
“Teaching is not the only thing that you can do with a math degree,” she said. “There are so many options out there.”
Augustin earned her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, walking across the stage Saturday morning in the first of two commencement ceremonies for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences. Now, she’s getting set to move to Columbus, Ohio, to begin work as an analyst in J.P. Morgan’s Chase Leadership Development Program.
The program seeks individuals with strong analytical, interpersonal and written communication skills, as well as technical aptitude. It puts them through a two-year program featuring three eight-month rotations to help them gain an understanding of the company’s products, services, strategies and customers across its different businesses, including auto, business banking, wealth management, mortgage, and marketing and communications.
They’ll be called on to use data analytics to measure operational effectiveness; develop business cases for new digital features and functionality; engage in conference planning and project management for brand, marketing and media initiatives; build dashboards to track key metrics; and assist with creating or refreshing website content.
Augustin is proud to have been selected.
“I was scared during the whole process because the majority of the people that I was interviewing against were Ivy League students, and I’m like, ‘Okay, I am not sure about this,’” she said. “But then, a few days later after my interview, I got the call that I was offered a job.”
At the end of her two years, Augustin will have the opportunity to decide which department she fits best with and can interview for a permanent role with the company.
It’s the type of opportunity Augustin has been aiming for over the past three years as she worked her way through school.
Augustin, who graduated high school at Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, has had a sharp focus since she started college at the University of Missouri–Columbia in the fall of 2020, only a few months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She had chosen to attend MU looking forward to the experience of being at a large state university, but she found it lacking amid COVID restrictions. That made it difficult to spend time anywhere other than her dorm room, dining hall or the library, as all her classes were fully online.
Augustin returned home to St. Louis in October to finish out the year and decided that summer to transfer to UMSL rather than return to Mid-Missouri. She has no regrets.
“I will definitely say the smaller class sizes have definitely helped compared to Mizzou, where there were probably 70-plus students in one math class,” she said. “Last year at UMSL, I took abstract algebra, and there were seven of us. If I need help, it’s easier to go to the professor and ask for help. I’ve seen as you get through upper math courses, the class sizes seems to go down and down, so it’s easier to connect with your teachers.”
She’s particularly grateful for the support she received from Associate Teaching Professor David Covert, who serves as the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Statistics.
The degree program has allowed her room to expand her knowledge into other areas while taking electives in finance and coding. She’s also learned about data analytics and gained experience programming using Structured Query Language and RStudio.
Augustin had earned a number of college credits while still in high school through the dual credit program at St. Louis Community College, and by taking 18 hours each semester and a couple additional courses each of the past two summers, she was able to graduate in only three years.
She is also fulfilling her goal of graduating debt-free thanks to a series of scholarships she received, including the Joseph and Mary Vogel Scholarship, Promise and Opportunity Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship, Community Partner Scholarship and UMSL Bound Dual Credit Scholarship.
Given her course load and work responsibilities – she’s been working a couple days a week as a medical scribe at St. Louis Heart and Vascular over the past year – she’s looking forward to having a little bit of downtime over the next two months before starting at J.P. Morgan in late July.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a summer off where I wasn’t taking any classes, so I’m definitely going to appreciate the summer before I start,” Augustin said.
She’s going to give herself a little time to adjust to the workload in the Chase Leadership Development Program, but she’s already considering pursuing a graduate degree through UMSL’s MS in Fintech program, a fully online, 30-hour master’s degree program launched earlier this year by the College of Business Administration.
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