Interview with Jesse Ransford, Graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder

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    Interview with Jesse Ransford, Graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder

    Jesse Ransford is a recent economics graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder.  His studies primarily focused on development economics. He enjoys using quantitative analyses to pinpoint causes of economic inefficacies and find remedies that can improve economies and communities.

    The internships and sales roles he has been engaged in throughout college and as a young adult range from training paraplegics to regain movement to using design software to build beautiful interiors for clients to utilizing Excel spreadsheets to analyze clients’ financial holdings.

    From these diverse and varied pursuits, Jesse Ransford has learned the value of community, creativity, and interpersonal relationships.

    Jesse Ransford recently interned with the Neuroplastic Functional Institute, a non-profit that uses aqua therapy and self-speak to help paraplegics regain function.  

    During the internship, he connected with one patient, named Adam.  “When I met Adam, he could not move his legs and only had a slight function in his fingers,” explains Ransford, “but by the end of the week internship, he had gained significant movement across his body.  I believed we had only reached the surface of his rehabilitation. I continued to train with Adam directly, outside the realms of the non-profit. I organized a team to work with Adam throughout additional months of aqua therapy, and ultimately Adam was able to walk across the entirety of the pool.  It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.”

    Much of Ransford’s professional experience has been working in brick-and-mortar retail establishments such as West Elm and Theory, here he strengthened his communication skills and taught himself how to engage others, as well as deal with stressful situations and difficult personalities. Selling high- end goods is about building relationships and empowering clients and customers to discover products that will add to their personal and professional lives. 

    “Learning how to communicate effectively with customers and coworkers to maximize sales has been an invaluable experience,” says Ransford.

    We recently had the opportunity to connect with Jesse Ransford who was able to share some insights about his personal and professional journey.

    What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

    The toughest decision I was faced with recently was whether or not to move post-graduation.  I interviewed for jobs in California, Texas, Illinois, and New York. Many of these offices were in cities that I’ve always wanted to live in.  I still can’t wait to spend time in New York City at some time in the future.

    But as for right now, I’m not quite ready to leave Boulder, Colorado. I only attended the University for two years, one of which was locked down because of COVID-19.  It has been just this past year that I’ve really come to love the beautiful surrounding geography and the incredible people.  It would be hard to give up weekend ski trips and scenic drives, so for now, I am happy to stay right here.

    How did COVID-19 impacted you?

    During the winter of 2019-2020, I lived and worked in Aspen, Colorado.  Skiers from all over the world flew in to experience Colorado’s exceptional snow that winter.  This collaboration of cultures is what makes our town so unique.  However, it also created one of America’s first COVID hotspots. 

    In March, Colorado Governor Jared Polis shut down all ski resorts in Colorado.  Aspen became desolate overnight.  I left my sales position at Theory, a New York based clothing retailer. 

    Watching local businesses close and seasonal employees forced out of their homes was devastating.  I had never seen Aspen so bare.

    I did, however, take the opportunity to grow personally.  I applied to the University of Colorado Boulder to finish my degree in Economics.  I entered the University in September of 2020, knowing no one. Classes were held on Zoom, and I lived alone.  It was a tough beginning to what should have been an amazing experience, academically and socially.

    At first, this reality was extremely challenging.  It’s hard to transition into a new school and community.  It was ten times more difficult during the pandemic. 

    With patience, academic discipline, and my willingness to grasp every opportunity, I was able to graduate in May of 2022.  I am really glad I was able to persevere through some of the more challenging days at school, and I am very excited for the next great adventure.