Empowering Others: Jaylyn Williams-Boone ’18
Since his youth growing up in Flint, Michigan, Jaylyn WilliamsBoone has been recognized as a natural leader. During his time as a finance major at Michigan Tech, Jaylyn served as a leader on the Undergraduate Student Government and the Huskies football team. He also earned the honor of Outstanding Man in Business and was selected to represent his class as the student graduation speaker for the 2018 Spring Commencement.
In these roles Jaylyn found that his ability to motivate others through speaking transcended city lines.
After earning a business degree at Michigan Tech, Jaylyn accepted a sales position with Inteva Products, an automotive parts supplier in Troy, Michigan, where he is responsible for managing customer relations and internal teams. In his free time, he continued engaging in motivational speaking, including visiting his former high school, Carman Ainsworth, to meet with his former football coach and deliver powerful messages to the team.
Over time, his motivational engagements were growing larger in both attendance and impact.
Pairing purpose with passion, Jaylyn saw the potential to blend his speaking engagements with his entrepreneurial spirit. He looked for ways to continue improving, going as far as hiring a speaking coach. With time and practice, BuildWithBoone, a motivational coaching and consulting company, was launched. The mission: To educate, uplift, and empower individuals to live a purposeful life. Since starting, Jaylyn has conducted speaking engagements with schools, organizations, youth groups, and universities, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions with individuals looking to navigate a significant space on their journey.
Jessica Chlopek ’06 Promoted to William Blair Managing Director
Jessica Chlopek earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration/finance from Michigan Tech in 2006, graduating summa cum laude.
She currently works as a managing director at William Blair, a title she earned in 2019. Jessica started at William Blair as an entry-level sales assistant in 2007 and was promoted to associate within three months, then promoted again to senior sales rep in 2012. In her work, she interacts with some of the largest and most sophisticated hedge funds and mutual funds in the world.
Jessica maintains Series 7 and Series 63 licensing and has been involved in multiple industry-level events and panels, including the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN).
She has participated in philanthropic efforts for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the American Red Cross, and the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute, among others. She also sits on the board of directors for Ireland-based Killarney Brewing & Distilling.
While at Michigan Tech, Jessica worked for the School of Business and Economics in a work-study program. She was a participant in the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP), Phi Beta Lambda, and was awarded the Women in Promise award in 2016. In 2018, she was inducted into the esteemed Presidential Council of Alumnae.
She has been an active alumna, providing support to both the University and the College of Business, contributing directly to the APMP program. She has hosted multiple Michigan Tech student groups in Chicago at William Blair’s facilities.
Her husband Jason Chlopek also attended Michigan Tech, earning a degree in electrical engineering in 2007. He also holds a master’s from the Illinois Institute of Technology and works as an engineer for Sargent & Lundy. Jessica and Jason live and work in Chicago. The pair became proud parents, welcoming their new addition in 2020. In her free time, Jessica enjoys cross-training and practicing yoga.
Catching Up With Josh Rzeppa ’18 ’19
Josh Rzeppa, a native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, turned Husky, is currently working in Detroit as an associate consultant for INVENSITY Inc. Josh earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2018 before completing the TechMBA® in 2019 while running cross-country and track for the Huskies. He says the TechMBA® has advanced his career more than he ever thought possible. He leans on the MBA teachings every day in his work as an engineer:
“I was assisting an older, more experienced colleague with a business marketing strategy when I thought back to the customer experience map we created in Dr. Soonkwan Hong’s class for the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge project,” said Josh. “I pulled it up to see if it could help in my work setting. As soon as I showed my colleague, he was amazed at the quality and how systematic it was. We quickly saw the value of creating one for ourselves and got to work.
“The more experience I gain as an engineer, the more apparent it becomes that most workforce problems are not necessarily engineering problems. Creating and implementing a new process, meeting an ISO certification, or deciding what ERP system to use may start from the engineer’s side of the aisle and offer solutions for the whole company. However, if you want to see sustained success, you must take into account the economics, marketing, corporate strategy, incentives, and company culture—elements traditionally outside of the engineer’s sphere. The TechMBA® directly provided insight to these perspectives, allowing me to start out at a much higher level.”
If you or someone you know is considering the TechMBA®, which can be completed in as little as one calendar year through evening classes, alumnus Josh is happy to speak to you about the program and its benefits. Connect with him at Josh.Rzeppa@invensity.com or 313-505-1967.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.