WEST CHESTER, PA — The West Chester University debut of Angela Wilsey ’06, M’19 could not have been more inauspicious. More fond of campus social life than academics, she flunked out — at age 19 and pregnant – as a sophomore. Undeterred, five years later, the 24-year-old mother of two pre-schoolers rematriculated. Working and attending classes full time, she earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting, magna cum laude, in just three years, even though her previous credits were wiped out.
Her career quickly took off. After five years managing advisory services client engagements for Big Four accounting firms KPMG and Ernst & Young, Angela joined JPMorgan Chase’s Card Services division in 2012. Today, she is a managing director in Corporate Finance who leads a large-scale global operations function.
Recalling her second WCU stint, the West Chester native says, “My professors knew I had a steep road to climb and they really helped support me in reaching my goals.”
Since assuming her finance operations role in 2016, she has expanded the function based primarily in New York to more sites throughout the U.S., Poland, and India. In the process, she transformed her staff from 10% to 49% female and from 8% to 43% minorities, all while improving efficiency and performance.
“Diversity is the essential ingredient for creating and sustaining high performing teams,” Wilsey explains. “We need to challenge the status quo and bring different perspectives to the table to ignite change.” Named the WCU College of Business & Public Management’s 2017 Outstanding Accounting Alumna of the Year, Wilsey is now on the college’s advisory board. Her message to several on-campus women’s groups: “Take risks, don’t fear failure, support each other, and apply for reach positions because our male counterparts do it and are rewarded with opportunities we are self-opting out of.”
Wilsey also has hired more than 50 WCU grads for Chase’s Delaware offices.
“I’ve been very impressed with the top-notch talent WCU is producing,” she says. “JPMorgan Chase didn’t recruit at West Chester. Now 15% of our finance analysts in Delaware are WCU grads.”
While again working full time, Wilsey completed WCU’s online MBA program last summer — with a perfect 4.0 GPA — in just seven months. Why? “I’m responsible for cultivating the next generation of business leaders, which requires me to be agile and remain relevant in a rapidly evolving market,” she says. “You need to be prepared to pivot because you don’t know where the future will take you.”
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