2001 – Jennifer (Richey) Hammarlund
JENNIFER (RICHEY) HAMMARLUND ’94 is an syndications associate in the Bank Loan Syndication Department of National City Corp., the nation’s ninth largest bank holding company with assets of $94.4 billion.
In the short time since Jennifer Richey Hammarlund graduated from UW Oshkosh, she’s had two distinct and equally successful careers. A 1994 alumna of UW Oshkosh who majored in international studies, she was one of four named 2001 Outstanding Young Alumni. Hammarlund said she fully intended to stay in international studies until she moved to Washington, D.C.
“ Washington D.C. has a lot of well-educated people. When I worked at Chemonics, most people in the position I held had master’s degrees and significant experience abroad, even though it wasn’t necessary to do the job. There was a ceiling I couldn’t crack without going back to school. I decided to pursue an MBA rather than a master’s in development because of the versatility it offered.”
Hammarlund went on to get her MBA at the University of Maryland. She graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA, especially impressive since she had her first child as she began her graduate studies.
Once she graduated she and her husband made the difficult decision to return to the Midwest and become closer to family. So she was one of 21 graduates to enter National City’s management development program. She is now part of National City’s Bank Loan Syndications Department where she has worked on approximately $1 billion in syndicated loan transactions.
“The company is very family-friendly, and that was clear during my interviews,” Hammarlund said. “Everyone was so professional, yet people talked about their kids. That was a big issue for me since I wanted to be a good professional and a good mother.”
At National City, Hammarlund works with clients to meet the senior debt financing needs of companies in manufacturing, retail, leasing and service industries.
Hammarlund attributes much of her success to the education she received at UW Oshkosh and to her work on the Model UN team.
“In classes like Contemporary International Issues and Revolution and Development, Dr. (Kenneth) Grieb focused people on absorbing information and analyzing it. In Model UN, we wrote position papers of no more than one page on specific issues. These experiences enabled me to identify the most pertinent facts, synthesize information and present it in a concise and persuasive manner. What I have learned from Dr. Grieb has been invaluable to my professional career and I highly recommend his classes and Model UN to business as well as international studies students. Everyone can benefit from understanding diplomacy and negotiation.”
She definitely benefited, as this anecdote illustrates: A public company that leases technology equipment was trying to reinvent themselves as a business-to-business e-commerce company. But the company wasn’t giving the same message in its annual report and press releases.
“Anyone looking to invest in the company would have no clue what their strategy was,” she said. “And bankers won’t lend money if the business can’t articulate.”
So Hammarlund took all their information and synthesized it in a way that was logical and easy to understand. The officers of the company were so impressed that they offered her a job in front of her boss.
Hammarlund said she has no intentions to leave National City, but she does hope to advance within the organization. “ National City has started a talent assessment where every year managers look at people in their department and determine what positions would be appropriate for them in both the short- and long-term. I am told there are plans for me that I don’t know about yet. My concern today is to contribute at the bank based on my skills, and be challenged and learn.”
During her career at National City Corporation, Jennifer Hammarlund has worked in the Loan Syndications Group, in Debt Capital Markets, and as a relationship manager in the Structured Finance Group. She was named Manager of the Cleveland Credit Department, and served on the credit committee for middle market clients.
In April 2003, Jennifer Hammarlund was named Vice President and Manager of Investor Relations at National City Corporation, stepping into a senior management role at the Bank. In this capacity she serves as the primary contact for analysts, institutional investors, and individual shareholders.