Alumni Spotlight

Shooting for Excellence

From Women’s Basketball Star to Rising Finance Professional

Jessica Romano ’10

Accountability, teamwork and perseverance - these are the valuable lessons Jessica Romano ’10 learned while playing basketball at Philadelphia University. She believes these lessons learned on the court have served her well in life and her work in the financial field.

Romano was recruited by PhilaU, which she knew offered a good balance of athletics and academics. That balance was exactly what Romano wanted, making the University the right choice for her.

Romano thought she could make an impact for the Lady Rams, and she did. Romano was the team’s lead scorer and the top rebounder in the 2008-09 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). Tom Shirley, Director of Athletics and Women’s Basketball Coach is proud of Romano’s accomplishments. “Jess Romano was one of the best to ever play basketball at Philadelphia University,” noted Shirley. Romano currently ranks 5th all-time in scoring with 1,852 points and 3rd all-time in rebounding with 1,062. “Her contributions were pivotal in leading the Rams to a CACC championship in 2008-09,” he said. “Jess was a terrific student, who graduated on time and was a CACC all academic selection, each of her four years.”

In 2010, she was presented with the President’s Award from PhilaU for her excellence in athletic and academic achievement. Romano stays in touch with her former teammates and plays in a summer league with a couple of them. Attending the alumni basketball game also allows her to catch up with her team. “As soon as we get together it seems like we never left,” said Romano.

After graduating from PhilaU with a degree in Finance, she took a job with SEI, a leading global provider of asset management, investment processing and investment operations solutions for institutional and personal wealth management. This August will mark her third year with the company, located in Oaks, Pa.

Romano is rapidly building a career for herself in fifinance. She has had two promotions since working at SEI. She started off as an analyst, 13 months later she was promoted to senior analyst and 10 months later was promoted to supervisor. In her role as supervisor, Romano was overseeing five members who had clients assigned to them. She was the point person for questions and making sure the work going out the door was correct. Recently, Romano was moved to another department. She is currently working on the conversion of existing funds to SEI’s platform. “This is pretty exciting because I get to work in a new department and I’m creating the processes and fifiguring out new ways to do things as they fifit the client’s needs and requests,” explained Romano.

Working in a new department has been somewhat challenging for Romano. At the time of the transition, she was doing two jobs. “It takes a long time for someone to get trained and up to speed,” noted Romano. “It was really hard making sure the work was getting done and making sure the analysts I was bringing to the new department didn’t get lost in the shuffle and they were comfortable with it.” As the leader, she wanted to ensure it was a move the analysts wanted to make. Romano truly enjoys working with the team at SEI, as she finds it very satisfying to work with them to solve problems for clients.

Romano has won two awards since working at SEI. She received a Shining Star for the quality of work and with her team for excellent client service.

In March, a group of PhilaU students visited SEI. Alumni working at SEI, including Romano, shared their experiences and offered practical advice to the students. Of the alumni that attended the event, Romano was the youngest PhilaU graduate. She talked to the students about transitioning from college to a career. “I remember when I was in that position; I would look at people and wonder how they would get from point A to point C. I wanted to know what happens at point B,” said Romano. “I feel like I’m at point B now.”

She gave them pointers that she found to be really helpful. Romano shared the thought process she had with her career progression and what she has done to be successful and earn two promotions. She strongly suggests people get involved and meet others. “Stick your neck out and volunteer for projects because the more people you know, the better name you’ll have for yourself and people are going to think of you when things pop up,” shared Romano.

Romano enjoys working at SEI and looks forward to new challenges. “I want to continue to grow with the company and continue to prove myself,” explained Romano. She also plans to obtain an MBA in the near future.