"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, March 31, 2014

61. Jennifer Helgesen

Larchmont, New York · Industrial and
Labor Relations

Every few weeks, Cornell '95 Faces features a profile of one of our class officers. This week, meet the Fund Representative.

Name at Cornell
Jennifer Wendling


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

My husband Chris and I spend a lot of time chasing our two very active boys who are 6 and 4. I am enjoying raising them in the town that I grew up in outside of NYC.

After many years in the field of HR technology, I redirected my career to allow for more flexibility. I founded a recruiting firm focusing on HR/HRIS positions. I have crossed paths with quite a few ILR grads who are in the field of HR. My office is a mile from my home, which is really convenient.

What are your duties as class officer and what have you enjoyed about the job?
I am the Fund Representative for our class. Initiatives have included campaigns to reconnect with former dues payers and increase participation as well as personalized thank you notes to fund contributors.

I really enjoy being part of such a dedicated group of Cornell alums. As we approach our 20th reunion, the excitement of the officers is quickly building as we collaborate on ways to maximize involvement and provide a high quality experience to attendees.

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

What I found most useful was the balance of the intimate and focused ILR program coupled with the opportunity to take many classes across the University—including graduate level. Being with grad students who had been in the "real world" already was interesting. I stayed an extra year on campus and got my Master's from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. There were quite a few '95 grads who stayed another year for a masters degree or dual major, including several close friends.

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

Not sure if it is surprising, but I can't believe how many Cornell grads are in my town! 4 out of the 6 kids in my son's toddler playgroup are children of Cornell alums—including Michael Koby, a fellow ILR '95. Several of my close friends are Cornell grads who I did not know on campus. We instantly bonded over shared memories regardless of our graduation year. Also, I sold my first apartment to a Cornell graduate. We made the connection at the closing table. But most importantly, I met my husband through a Cornell friend!

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

This will be the first reunion that I am able to attend. Can't wait to spend quality time on campus with close friends walking down memory lane as well as catching up on "today." Also looking forward to reconnecting with others who I have not seen in many years. Social media is great but nothing tops the in person connection. I know that the campus and Collegetown have both changed quite a bit so I'm eager to see what's new and show my husband around.