Because of Bonaventure: Tom and Michelle Cullen, '00, share the secret to their success

Passionate about being a Bonnie: A conversation with Jennifer Kane, '03

A conversation with Jennifer Kane, ’03
Passionate about being a Bonnie

Pictured: Jennifer Kane, '03Even with a 160-character limit, Jennifer Kane made certain a particular word appeared in her Twitter bio: Bonnie.

A proud 2003 alumna with two degrees to her credit (a BA in journalism and an MBA in marketing), Jennifer is passionate about being a Bonnie and is determined to see that others are able to experience the extraordinary difference made by a St. Bonaventure education.  

After six years of marketing with Swiss Re, a global insurance company based in Switzerland, Jennifer has settled into her new role as an international marketing manager for Aetna’s North American region.  

Whenever she travels — and she has traveled a lot, across the globe and to nearly all 50 states in the U.S. — Jennifer wears her Bona’s gear, which invariably gets noticed by other Bonnies around the world. She marvels at the instant connection and genuine camaraderie between Bonaventure graduates, no matter if they have just met.

It is this special bond that brings Jennifer back to campus as often as possible — and fuels her desire to support her alma mater. Jennifer is one of the youngest members of St. Bonaventure’s prestigious Devereux Giving Societies. She also works with the Office of Alumni Services and volunteers her time to chapter work and sharing the good news of St. Bonaventure with others.

In between a busy work schedule and planning a move from Connecticut to Albany, N.Y., Jennifer made time to answer a few questions about her love of St. Bonaventure.  

Can you tell us about your career — what you went on to do after leaving Bona’s and how your time here helped prepare you?

After graduating, I went to work for a real estate firm for about a year and then landed my job at Swiss Re where I handled marketing for North America and other key projects. It was a great experience that I truthfully don’t think I would have had if I had not gone to Bonaventure. The role demanded marketing, analytics, and measurement on the business side as well as communication skills. I needed to know how to write, edit, and reach an audience. My degree in communications and my MBA in marketing really went hand-in-hand with that role. I was very successful there and loved my job. I got to travel the world, which is something I always wanted to do. I was there for six years. This past May, I began working with Aetna as the North America Regional International Marketing Manager. I am involved with marketing products and working with sales to drive growth.

Bonaventure’s professors, with their different backgrounds and cultures, really helped me to understand how to work with others who have a different mindset. Also, the professors didn’t stop being professors once I graduated. They remained in contact with me and have offered guidance on the next steps to take.

What about St. Bonaventure’s emphasis on Franciscan values — has it had an impact in your life after graduation, especially since you’ve worked in the global marketplace?

Oh, yes. I think Franciscan values really defined my character — who I wanted to be and how I wanted to brand myself. I was able to appreciate other cultures and other people. I treat everyone fairly, and I know that comes from the values instilled in me while at Bonaventure. Franciscan values weren’t just preached in classes, they were alive in the community.

You give back to St. Bonaventure in so many ways. Why is it important for you to do so?

Because that’s how I got to go to Bonaventure. It changed my life. And it changed my brother’s life, too. I really believe what Bonaventure stands for as a school. My father is a Bonnie grad and he always donated. I followed suit because of what Bonaventure means to me. I really see the impact the school has had on my life.

If you could make an appeal to fellow alumni about their role with the university and the impact they can have on the lives of others, what would you say to them?

I think that volunteering or any way you can give — whether it is money or time — is really important. Think back to your experience to Bonaventure and how you got there and how you survived. Whether you volunteer at a career fair or donate money for a scholarship, it is all impactful and it all helps.

by Susan Anderson


Work philosophy: Change is the one constant in the workplace.

Three tips for today’s students: Network. Maintain relationships. Stay true to yourself.

Favorite cities to visit: Zurich, Switzerland; Vancouver British Columbia, Canada

Treasured space on campus: Quick Arts Center, either in the atrium or one of the practice rooms.

Campus Activities: 
- Vocallusion - women's a cappella Group 
- Music Ministries
- Chamber Singers
- Concert Choir
- Musical Theatre Club 
- Public Relations Society 
- The Buzz 

Greatest Inspiration: Life. Live every day to its fullest.

Present screen saver: My toy poodles, Duncan and Abigail.

Twitter handle: @JenniferKane5