Jaden Baron

Heavener student wins award from Executive Leadership Council for excellence in business commentary

Heavener School of Business student Jaden Baron (BSBA ’21) is among the winners of the Executive Leadership Council’s (ELC) 2020 Award for Excellence in Business Commentary. Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, the ELC Award for Excellence in Business Commentary is a scholarship program open to high achieving undergraduate Black students attending a four-year college or university.

Baron, a finance major with dual minors in economics and sustainability studies, was selected as one of 12 awardees receiving a one-time scholarship ranging between $8,000-$14,000 to assist with educational expenses for the 2020-2021 academic year.

“I am ecstatic to receive the Award for Excellence in Business Commentary from the Executive Leadership Council!” Baron said. “Aside from being the preeminent organization for the advancement of Black executives, the ELC comprises a network of hundreds of Black CEOs and Board directors. As such, I was excited to join a dynamic community of accomplished professionals.

“Additionally, having spent most of my professional career in financial services, it’s rare to see representation in the senior ranks of many companies where I’ve interned. However, I’m optimistic about what the future holds for the Black community and the ELC’s part in combating that deficit.”

As part of the ELC Award for Excellence in Business Commentary, top undergraduate students were invited to compete in a national writing competition focused on business trends, issues and insights. Specifically, Baron was asked to elaborate on what he thought attracted the best candidates to employers, the business principles he values when evaluating companies and his long-term career aspirations.

“I focused my essay submission on aspects of the talent cycle I look at beyond talent acquisition, such as retention and promotion of Black professionals,” Baron explained. “I also talked about the topic of Sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Outside of Warrington, I have a sustainability studies minor, and I hope to combine my mutual interests in finance and sustainability to delve deeper into impact investing, an emerging field focused on generating social and/or environmental impact in addition to financial returns.”

While this scholarship is particularly beneficial to Baron, as he primarily supports his college expenses through scholarships, grants, and part-time jobs and internships, he said that the ELC recognition is more significant than just helping him pay for college.

“All recipients across the ELC’s programs participate in specific programming throughout the month of October focused on the professional development of high-achieving Black students,” he said. “We also get a chance to build our network with each other, which I found very appealing from a community-building standpoint.”

Baron’s professional interests are in investment banking and alternative investments, particularly focused on private equity and impact investing. In the summer of 2020, Baron interned with Bank of America’s investment bank in the Financial Sponsors Group.

On campus, Baron serves as the Programming Vice President of the Florida Cicerones, the University of Florida’s official student ambassadors. He is also a member of the SEO Career Program and a Career Prep Fellow with Management Leadership for Tomorrow. Within the Warrington community, he also serves as a Career & Peer Mentor for the Business Career Services office. Originally from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Baron enjoys traveling, reading historical nonfiction and practicing yoga in his spare time.