Service-driven business major lands job at J.P. Morgan

Kristell Millan, a senior in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, will graduate this May with dual degrees in business (global politics) and finance. The hybrid major allows for students to complement business courses with political science classes, to blend the lines between policymaking and business practices.  

When it came time for her to begin thinking about college, Millan decided to follow the family tradition set forth by her two older sisters and become a Sun Devil. ASU was the only school that Millan applied to. The move from her home in California allowed her to remain close to her family, while still receiving a high-quality education.

“I wasn’t ready to go off on my own as soon as I graduated from high school, so I decided to stay close. At ASU I’ve been able to build strong networks and a foundation from which I can now branch out,” she said.

Aside from her studies, Millan says that one of her greatest passions is engaging in community service. Millan's mother was a single parent working to pay the bills and didn’t have the means for extras.

“If it were not for the help that we received, I wouldn’t have had a relatively normal childhood," Millan said. "One year a church group was giving away free Christmas gifts and it meant so much to me to be able to get a Barbie because it was brand new, wrapped and all mine.”

Millan has served five years on the Hispanic Business Students Association (HBSA), a group that holds monthly service opportunities for organizations such as Devils in Disguise and the Be a Leader Foundation. Millan says that being able to partake in the Be a Leader Foundation program, specifically, has allowed her to work with youth who may not have access to college.

“The foundation holds workshops for students in elementary school through high school who may not envision themselves going to college because they do not know anyone who has attended college or even the process to apply," she said. "I love being to share my experiences because a lot of times we come from similar backgrounds.”

Millan is also a mentor in the Barack Obama Scholars Program at ASU. As part of the program she is able to provide support to freshman students who are adjusting to university life.  

To strengthen her own skills as a leader, Millan applied and was accepted to the ASU Tillman Scholars program developed by the business school. She says that being surrounding by high-caliber students empowered her to succeed both professionally and as a leader in her community.

As a junior, her advisor in Barrett, the Honors College helped her land an internship with J.P. Morgan Bank in New York City working in the asset management sector. While she says the experience was challenging, she also found it extremely rewarding to learn firsthand about the finance industry.

J.P. Morgan was so pleased with Millan’s work that they offered her a full-time position upon graduating from ASU.

“I’m really excited to live in New York. It will be hard to be away from my family, but I’m going to be working with the top leaders within the company which is really cool,” she said.

Of her time as a Sun Devil, Millan says her most memorable moments have come from HBSA opportunities. She credits the association with helping her build a strong network of both friends and mentors. She also says that serving in different leadership capacities has helped her gain confidence in herself as a business professional.