Originally from New Zealand, Jennifer Wright, 19, is a Youth Ambassador at UNICEF and is head of undergraduate leadership consulting with Crimson. She’s also initiated a start-up selling solar-powered phone cases, all while currently studying Economics and Business at New York University. Many would agree, she’s already achieved more than most people do in a lifetime.
Jennifer’s warmth is immediately felt when speaking with her from her base in New York City. Her smile and positivity are infectious; being happy is a focal point of the ethos she lives by.
“…happiness and enjoying your life as you go along is really important … my advice for anyone is aggressively follow your dreams and your goals, but never lose sight of happiness.”
Jennifer’s academic journey began in New Zealand where she completed her International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of New Zealand’s standard NCEA Year 13 curriculum. But, despite completing the IB, Jennifer never planned on taking her studies abroad, it just kind of happened.
“Throughout high school I just kind of stumbled upon the Ivy program and IB. The purpose of taking it was not to study overseas, even though it’s a lot more international than the NCEA, I just heard that it was a course that prepared you really well for university. It was only after I received my exam results back that my dad said ‘hey, why don’t you come along to this careers expo and we can find out about going to university in America."
Jennifer accompanied her dad to a careers expo in New Zealand and that’s where she came across Crimson Consulting. Jennifer discussed her options for studying abroad and, after much debate, decided to make an early selection to attend New York University (NYU), a decision she is glad she made.
“I love NYU. During school semesters I’m based right next to Washington Square Park, which is so beautiful and there is always something going on … One day I was on my way to the library and there was a Black Lives Matter rally going on and I see Quentin Tarantino giving an impassioned speech … another time, I looked out the window and there was a mass pillow fight going on, feathers were flying everywhere, coating Washington Square Park in a sheath of white. It was amazing!”
To improve her candidacy for securing a place at NYU, Jennifer received a variety of support from Crimson when crafting her application.
“Crimson really helped me with my SATs and the elements involved in the application process. I think what they offered me, and what makes Crimson so unique, was leadership consulting. Up until that point I hadn’t had much leadership experience … with Crimson’s support, I organised a charity event for UNICEF. It was pretty incredible and it ended up doing to pretty well. We oversold tickets and had to rapidly expand the venue at the last minute, but we ended up raising $4000 towards UNICEF … that really kick started me in to the whole UNICEF sphere.”
Jennifer thrives on making a “tangible difference to young people both inside and outside of New Zealand,” and when she’s not inspiring people at Crimson, Jennifer offers a large portion of her spare time to UNICEF New Zealand as a Youth Ambassador for the Youth for Change program, an initiative Jennifer co-founded and directs, to promote the rights of children and young people around the world.
“I've been a UNICEF Youth ambassador for two years now and the ideas, people, and perspectives I've been exposed to are incredible! The potential and drive of the 400+ members never fail to motivate and inspire me.”
Jennifer says she feels most satisfied when she’s working on something that has the potential to make positive change on a large scale. Currently, she is working with UNICEF NZ to deliver a report to the United Nations that represents the issues affecting people under 18 in NZ.
“We interviewed around 1200 young New Zealanders and compiled their views into this one big document stating what they want to see happen in terms of policy and government changes in NZ. I've been very humbled and satisfied seeing the progress we've made on this over the last 10 months and it’s a great feeling knowing that the people who make the large scale decisions will read my words and will hopefully be influenced by them.”
While Jennifer began as a student of Crimson, she has recently evolved into one of Crimson’s many impressive employees. Currently, on top of her own studies, Jennifer works out of New York as both a tutor and leadership head with Crimson, a role that involves not only managing and recruiting consultants but also providing her own leadership advice to support students.
“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a student far exceed their initial goals and expectations,”
“there are so many aspects that are incredibly exciting to me about being a Leadership Consultant.”
Working for Crimson, Jennifer says, is like working with “this family of people with these crazy hidden talents and achievements that never stops surprising and amazing [her].”
“I don’t want to sound like I’m sucking up to my bosses,”
Jennifer jokingly remarks,
“but Jamie and Sharndre, the co-founders of Crimson, are my good friends, and I’ve gotten to know them more since becoming a tutor at Crimson. Their idea to help people is taking off and it’s such an inspiring story.”
Despite Jennifer finding inspiration in other people’s stories, it’s Jennifer who is constantly motivating and inspiring people around her. It was after childhood visits to Asia and Africa that Jennifer, along with friend and colleague Jason, initiated a start-up based around the lack of consistent and sustainable energy in the world.
“Last year, in December, we began work on a start-up that was looking at solar power phone cases. It’s called Bask and it was going really well, we were pitching in front of investors, but between directing the UNICEF club, studying full-time and handling my leadership position with Crimson, I unfortunately, had to make a big call to move away from Bask.”
Always managing to find a balance between work and hobbies, Jennifer has become an expert at dividing her time between doing things that make her happy and things that make the world a better place.
Hardworking, positive, passionate, driven, funny and, above all else, kind, Jennifer, at just 19-years-of-age, is one of Crimson’s many truly remarkable student-to-tutor success stories. Jennifer’s final piece of advice for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills and further their education: “Set a goal, plan, and take the risk!”