Hirsch has served in several roles, including the meeting head of the Investment Committee and two years as the chief operating officer. In a male-dominated field, she believes her experience in the club gave her important management skills.
“In my role, I was guiding the conversation around our fund portfolio to a group of mostly men, which was a leadership experience in itself,” Hirsch said. “Our focus for the past year or two has not only been trying to get female representation up, but also trying to make sure everyone from all backgrounds feels integrated and part of the club.”
In the past few years, the Alternative Investment Fund has seen an exponential growth in female participation. “I think we’ve made a lot of progress. The club now is 33% female, but there’s still room to run, as we say investing,” Hirsch said.
Hirsch also was involved in the founding of the Virginia Finance Institute, which gives every student, regardless of previous skill level, the opportunity to become financially literate.
“Clubs shouldn’t be exclusive, and access to information at a university should never be exclusive. That’s why Virginia Finance Institute provides a solid financial foundation for any student who wants to join,” Hirsch said. “In addition to helping with the initial curriculum, I put together a newsletter every single week that included business events, fun life lessons, and job and internship opportunities.”
McIntire professor Felicia Marston has taught Hirsch for two semesters, and has seen her lead a push for gender equality. “Jeannie is very passionate about supporting women in the workforce, and advocates for women to have the same opportunities as men,” Marston said.
Marston said Hirsch was an exceptional student in her “Advanced Corporate Finance: Valuation and Restructuring” course.