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Jason Jin

Jason Jin

Consultant, Russell Reynolds Associates

In service of country and people

During a recent conversation, Jason Jin, a US veteran, revealed what he learned about leadership from the US military and working at PwC.

What were your early years like?
I was born in South Korea. Then my family immigrated to the US when I was in third grade. Initially, we lived in the Bronx and then we moved to Scarsdale, NY when I was in middle school—and I just moved back to Scarsdale with my wife and son during the pandemic.

After high school, you went to the US Military Academy West Point. What motivated that decision?
I remember watching a West Point graduation ceremony on television, with everyone throwing their hats up in the air, and thinking I want to do that. My dad attended the Korean Military Academy, so the idea was always there. But there was never any pressure or expectations. I just wanted to do something different from the typical college experience, and I gravitated toward what West Point offered.

How was your experience there and in the US Army?
It was beyond what I had imagined, and all for the better. It was exciting, surrounded me with extremely smart people, and offered incredible leadership opportunities at a very young age.

How long did you serve and where?
I never planned to make the military my entire career, as some might, but I saw it as an amazing experience that I wanted to be part of—and a great chance to learn. I served for six years, including one deployment to Afghanistan and two years leading four recruiting stations in Pennsylvania.

What drew you from the military to PwC?
I was drawn to consulting because it afforded me the opportunity to look behind the curtains of different industries and companies in a short amount of time. During my transition from the military, I talked to as many people as possible, mostly former service members and former academy graduates who were open to meeting a veteran. And, of those chats, the group that resonated most with me were those who worked at PwC!

How was your experience at PwC?
It was amazing. If you take the initiative to express your interest and you can demonstrate your ability, you can do so much there. I started on the management consulting side, aligned to the financial services industry. But then, after a couple of years, I was fortunate enough to take on the role of leading Veterans recruiting for the US firm. I think there's truly no more purposeful job than helping people, especially our nation’s Veterans.

You recently moved on to a new position at Russell Reynolds. Tell us about that.
Russell Reynolds is an executive search and leadership advisory firm focused on finding and shaping world class leaders, so it’s an exciting and fascinating place to be working right now. I joined as a consultant in the technology sector, and my main job is to help companies, small or large, private or public, find their next leaders and build or grow the leadership capabilities they need.

What’s changed for you since the pandemic?
I think the pandemic helped humanize everyone. And for me, personally, the prioritization of work-life balance has definitely shifted toward more of a work-life harmony. My wife and I recently had a son, our first child, and we moved to the suburbs. I have to admit I love being a suburban dad.

Reflecting on your achievements so far, what makes you the most proud?
My instinct would say it's the transition from military into corporate world. It’s not easy and it's different for every situation and every service member, but I’m proud of how I’ve navigated that.

To people who want to hire more Veterans, what would you say?
I’d say to focus on two things, with the first being reeducation—for civilians to be conscious of any stigmas and biases about Veterans and for Veterans to learn as much as possible before coming to the table and holding a conversation about a job. The second thing I’d say is to make sure you’re working together. Both sides should go out of their way to make the relationship work. A great example of this is getting involved in a company’s internal Veterans’ group – employees can volunteer for mock interviews and career fairs, while Veterans can tap into those groups for guidance and advice.

What helpful career advice can you offer?
Be intentional and think about your career in years—not days, weeks, or months. And ultimately, your career is about people. I went to West Point because I wanted to be surrounded by smart, high-performing individuals, and that’s what drew me to PwC as well. And once you’re part of PwC, you’re always a part of this strong network. If you surround yourself with the right people, the rest will figure itself out.

What do you think is most important in leadership?
If you want to be a good leader, you need to be a good follower first. You need to ground yourself, by thinking about what it’s like being on the other side of the table. Really, you need to genuinely care about the people who you're leading and build a human connection.

Contact us

Kerri Murphy

Kerri Murphy

US/MX Alumni Network Leader, PwC US

Sallie Hinson

Sallie Hinson

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

Weslee Yacker

Weslee Yacker

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

Heather Norbury

Heather Norbury

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

Amanda Ritchey

Amanda Ritchey

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

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