Jenifer Herdin, CTP
Jenifer Herdin, CTP
Vice President of Corporate Treasury
The treasury and finance profession is powerful. Constantly advancing, expanding and evolving, treasury and finance are full of possibilities for anyone who has the desire to learn and achieve.
As part of AFP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Awareness Initiative, we’re featuring stories from financial professionals on how they got into the profession and advice for young financial professionals interested in careers in treasury and finance. In this interview, Jenifer Herdin, CTP, Vice President of Corporate Treasury, describes her experience entering the financial field and how she navigated her career journey.
AFP: Share your experience entering the financial field.
Herdin: I started in finance when I was just in high school! I was part of a program that targeted inner-city high school students to gain experience in business. As a component of the program, I also interned at an investment bank for two summers. It was a great experience that ultimately led me to decide that I would pursue a degree and career in finance.
During and after college, my internships opened many doors for me. I was more competitive than other applicants from top tier schools since I had real-life experience that I could leverage to succeed in the role. While working towards my bachelor’s degree in International Business at New Jersey City University, I also worked full time at an investment bank. After I graduated, I realized back-office administration work was not for me and started a new job search that led me to my career.
I landed a job as a treasury analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton. I was not even sure what treasury was at the time, but it sounded interesting and would require working on projects with teams around the globe. Like most jobs, the work was operational in the beginning. However, once I learned the ropes, I was able to work on various projects that gave me lots of exposure.
Within a year, I was hooked on treasury. I found my passion and it aligned with my skill set. This job ultimately put me on the path that I am on today. The company paid for my graduate school (I got two degrees since it was free) and even transferred me to work in their London office.
AFP: What advice would you give to young financial professionals just starting out in their career?
Herdin: Finance is a broad range of jobs that cover various sectors of a business. I would try to gain as much exposure in different functions within the organization to get a sense of what career path you will choose. If a door opens, always explore the opportunity — even if the job is not fit for you, at least you can rule out what areas you do not like.
In addition, networking is critical at all stages in your career but especially in the beginning. Do not be afraid to seek a mentor and leverage their help. When you are starting out, it is expected that you will not know everything, so the key to success is to demonstrate your aptitude and enthusiasm to learn and add value to the team and the organization.
AFP: What does the future of finance and treasury look like to you?
Herdin: The future of finance and treasury looks complex and challenging but filled with opportunities to make improvements that help drive organizations forward in this fast-moving and ever-changing landscape.
AFP: Did you have a mentor, or were you part of any groups or influenced by anyone as you navigated your career journey?
Herdin: I have had various mentors at different stages in my journey. I was also an active member and chair of a women’s affinity group at a prior job, which gave me a great network of strong and talented women who worked in different fields of the business. Currently, I am part of a leadership program and will be paired with an executive coach to assist me as I work to develop my leadership skills.
AFP: Have you accomplished anything big for your organization?
Herdin: Over the course of my career, I have had many opportunities to grow and challenge myself and each of those small successes helped develop my skill set. I learned from my successes and failures, and often the failures stayed with me longer and had a deeper impact.
I had my first child in 2014 and returned to work three months later. Shortly thereafter, I was asked to go to London and Amsterdam to help merge two divisional treasury teams into one corporate team. It was an amazing opportunity that I was excited for, but I was also hesitant to leave my then 5-month-old son. I spoke about my dilemma at a women’s group meeting, and someone suggested that I ask to bring my baby and a caregiver. My boss at the time was supportive and I was approved to take an au pair (aka: my mom). During those two weeks, I went to the office every day and got to know the team members, access their skill sets and determine process efficiencies. I also got to know the team outside of work and had my mom and son join us for a few dinners. At the time, I did not think I could manage such a task, but I did and I did it well. I learned so much from that journey, but the most important thing that I learned was that it is okay to ask for help.
AFP: What are some stereotypes of the finance world you would like to debunk?
Herdin: Non-finance people tend to think that we corporate types are stuffy and boring — they clearly have not been to some of the AFP gatherings! I have met so many interesting, smart and altruistic people along my journey.