Notable Graduates: Jeannie Smith JD/MBA ’23

Photo of graduate

Name: Jeannie Smith
Degree Program: JD/MBA
Hometown: Keyser, West Virginia

Fun fact about yourself: 
I have a twelve-year-old English bulldog named Tank. Safe to say we both enjoy naps!

Why did you decide to get your master’s degree?
I decided to pursue a JD/MBA because I believe that business literacy is important for client representation. Regardless of the type of law that I practice, I will be able to apply the skills I learned as an MBA to every client interaction, helping them better understand their needs. 

What was your favorite course and why? 
My favorite class was Operations and Supply Chain Management. Professor Senot was a patient and organized professor. She presented the material clearly and provided real world examples, which was especially interesting and highly relevant in light of COVID-19 and the supply chain crisis.  

Who is your favorite business professor? What made them special?
My favorite professor is Dr. Sherif Ebrahim. Dr. Ebrahim was my professor for two classes: Corporate and Cooperative Strategy as well as Management of Technology and Innovation. He is an incredible educator! He pushes you to understand the material beyond the reading. He taught us how to use the main ideas from each course in any career, making all of the information thought-provoking and significant. 

Did you participate in any extracurricular activities, community work or leadership roles at Tulane? 
I had the privilege of participating in activities both at the Freeman School and at Tulane Law School! At Freeman, I was the Graduate Admissions Liaison for the 2022-2023 Graduate Business Council. At the law school, I was the Senior Articles Editor for Volume 46 of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
One of the perks of living in New Orleans is that there is never a shortage of places to eat! I love to try new restaurants with my friends in my spare time.

What is your past work or internship experience? 
Last summer, I had two incredible internships. I was a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Judge Nakisha Ervin-Knott at Orleans Parish Civil District Court in New Orleans. I was also the Legal and Business Affairs Summer Associate for The Fourth Floor (soon to be The Fourth Effect), a company devoted to creating a platform offering more board seat opportunities for women.

What will you be doing after graduation? 
After graduation, I will be studying and sitting for the Louisiana bar exam in July, and then sitting for another bar, likely a UBE-jurisdiction, in February. 

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?  
The top two items on my professional bucket list are (1) becoming partner at a law firm and (2) becoming a mentor/advisor for law students working on a law journal or with a law clinic. 

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of, and why? 
I am most proud of being published as a Junior Member of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal. After a strenuous first year of law school, combined with the shift to online learning as a result of COVID-19, writing for the journal in the fall as a second-year and getting published in the spring was one of the highlights of my graduate school career. Hard work and tenacity truly pay off!

If you were talking to someone who was considering Freeman, what would you tell them? 
I would tell someone considering Freeman to apply and commit! Not only have I learned so much by pursuing an MBA, but I have made many valuable connections at Tulane that I do not believe I would have made elsewhere. My peers were an incredible support system, and I would not have had such great social and academic experiences without them. 

What are your favorite things to do in New Orleans? Do you have a favorite New Orleans memory? 
I love walking on Magazine Street – it is an incredibly long street, but there are sections of the street that have so many cute shops, galleries, and great places to eat. 

In terms of my favorite New Orleans memory, it has to be Mardi Gras related! My friend and I have created a mini tradition where we get together on Muses Thursday, wear a costume that matches the parade theme, order a ton of chargrilled oysters, and pray that we catch a shoe!

Where do you hope to be in five years?
I hope to be employed at a law firm or working in-house for a larger company. 

What are your tips for balancing coursework, work and your personal life?
I highly recommend making a schedule and taking study/work breaks when you can. However, as important as it is to keep up with your schedule and your coursework, it is equally important to treat yourself every once in a while by going out to eat, attending a New Orleans festival, or just getting out into the city generally.