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Jamie Lewis '98

From Wall Street to Fashion Avenue to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Atlantic recently published an article titled ‘Why America's Business Majors Are in Desperate Need of a Liberal-Arts Education.” The article reported, “Students are clamoring for degrees that will help them secure jobs in a shifting economy, but to succeed in the long term, they’ll require an education that allows them to grow, adapt, and contribute as citizens—and to build successful careers. And it’s why many schools are shaking up their curricula to ensure that undergraduate business majors receive something they may not even know they need—a rigorous liberal-arts education.”

Former Management Fellow Jamie Lewis ’98 is a shining example of a successful, liberal arts educated business woman. Her DePauw experience provided the solid foundation in critical thinking, writing and the ability to understand the cultural and historical contexts so important in business. She graduated with degrees in Economics and Spanish, earned her MBA from Columbia Business School and built a stellar career in hedge funds. 

Jamie is currently based in New York City where she serves as vice president of marketing and investor relations for global long/short equity investment manager GMT Capital Corp. Even with her heavy hitting job, she finds time for volunteer work, exercise and an entrepreneurial endeavor called JLEW bags.

She starts most mornings with a boxing workout, and it was running from the gym to business meetings that inspired her to create JLEW bags.

“I was carrying multiple bags and appearing less than put together. I couldn’t find a true carryall sufficient to hold all of my workout and work gear that also looked fashionable,” she says, “so I decided to make my own.”

Six months and 70 self-made prototypes later she enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology to learn more about pattern making and bag construction. In class one day she looked down at the bag she was making and smiled realizing she had chosen a silver lining. That was her aha moment. She launched JLEW in January and began manufacturing her handmade products in Brooklyn. The hashtags she associates with JLEW — #bagswithasilverlining and #girlswithguts — represent the passion and hard work she has poured into the company and speak to the customer base she wants to cultivate.

Jamie says, “A former boss of mine used to repeat this mantra: ‘Love what you do and expose yourself.’ I find so much of my personal activities inform and influence and inspire my entrepreneurial spirit, which makes this process that much more fun.”

She loves to box, surf and travel with friends and says she finds inspiration everywhere. JLEW bags is sponsoring USA Boxing’s Mikaela Mayer, a 2016 Rio Olympic Games contender. And Jamie’s love of boxing also led her to Haymakers for Hope, a charity boxing organization that raises millions of dollars for cancer research. She serves on Haymakers’ advisory board.

Even with her busy life in New York, Jamie maintains a connection to DePauw. She has served on the advisory board for the McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship and volunteered with the The Fund for DePauw, her reunion committee and the New York Regional Alumni Council. Jamie has also been a regular supporter of The Fund for DePauw. She has also returned to campus on two occasions to participate in the McDermond Center Lecture Series on Management and Entrepreneurship.

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