Industry Pro Jennifer Longnion Leads with Authenticity

By Silvia Osorio ’24

 

Jennifer Longnion joins the LMU College of Business Administration faculty this fall to teach “Entrepreneurial Leadership” in the new M.S. in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation (MSESI) program.

After starting her career as an academic advisor, Jennifer left higher education for corporate America where she spent 20+ years working for major brands like Dollar Shave Club, Coca-Cola, Motorola and Best Buy. She currently serves as Chief Impact Officer (CIO) for Flexport, a global logistics and supply chain company. But Jennifer always knew she would return to academia.

“Both of my parents worked in higher education so it’s been an integral part of my career,” said Jennifer. “One of my core philosophies is ‘to teach is to learn’ and I learn from others just as much as they learn from me.”

Jennifer has guest lectured at universities across the country including LMU, which led to an opportunity to serve as an executive-in-residence and advisor for the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship.

“I’d say I’m a practitioner-scholar,” said Jennifer. “I have many years of practical experience that informs the way I interpret the latest theory and research.”

Jennifer is looking forward to being on a college campus again, surrounded by eager minds in pursuit of knowledge and self-discovery. She hopes her students learn more than just a business concept, theory or model. She wants them to develop an intimate understanding of their own leadership approach and walk away with a career plan that inspires them long after the semester is over.

“I want my students to be able to discern what makes a brilliant entrepreneur vs. a successful leader vs. a top-notch entrepreneurial leader,” says Jennifer. “We will be meeting many entrepreneurs in this class and benefit from their stories, experiences and real-time case studies.”

One of the biggest reasons people enjoy working with Jennifer, as she’s consistently told, is because she’s real and stays true to herself.

“If there’s one thing I hope to impart on students it’s that leadership starts with authenticity,” says Jennifer. “I want them to find their source of inspiration within themselves and, through introspection and insights, figure out what type of entrepreneur they are.”