Donor Spotlight: Jason Kaye, ’19
By Eva Richards

jason-kaye-imageJason Kaye, '19, has made a commitment to support NIU, even as he begins his career.

For Jason Kaye, ’19, much of his success has come from first-hand experiences. Because of the significance of these opportunities in his own life, he has made a commitment to financially support current and future Huskies as they work toward their dreams.

Growing up in Round Lake, Illinois, Kaye enjoyed sports and reading, and decided to pursue a career in marketing and operations management after high school graduation. He homed in on nearby NIU because of its marketing and operations management and information systems (OM&IS) programs. 

“I chose to come to NIU because of the business school and the opportunities it offered,” he said. “Throughout my time at NIU, I was able to take advantage of many experiential learning opportunities that forced me out of my comfort zone. These experiences, in and out of the classroom, as well as through the various student organizations I was involved in, have played a huge part in setting a foundation for skills needed throughout my post-college career.”

While on campus, Kaye worked part-time as the assistant director of the NIU Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Impact, where he created a social media marketing strategy to keep students and alumni up-to-date on program news. He also engaged with external stakeholders and entrepreneurs to seek out strategic partnerships for the center and served as a liaison between the center and the Innov8 team building out the College of Business’ De La Vega Innovation Lab.

During his years at NIU, he also had the opportunity to intern in information technology for Abbott, a global company known for creating breakthrough life-changing technologies and medicines that help manage people’s health.

“In my internship, I supported the program team focused on integrating the St. Jude and Abbott systems into one ERP software system,” he said. “It was a really cool opportunity getting to experience the transition of St. Jude Medical into Abbott first-hand.”

While Kaye had a lot of responsibility in his student roles, his instructors and advisors were always there to guide him.

“The support system the faculty and staff throughout the College of Business provided was arguably the best part about being a business student at NIU,” he said. “Specifically, my experience within NIU’s Social Entrepreneurship program had a huge impact on me and helped shape the person and professional I am today.”

Additionally, Kaye was fortunate enough to be awarded scholarship opportunities as a student that changed his college experience, allowing him to focus on his studies and what would come after graduation.

“Being able to give back and help future students get the same type of support was a big motivator for me,” Kaye said.

After graduating with a dual degree in OM&IS and marketing in 2019, Kaye went on to work full-time for Abbott, first in the IT professional development program and then in the role of product security analyst focused on commercial and sustainability strategy.

“I love that I work for a company that is focused on making the lives of people better,” Kaye said. “I’m constantly motivated, knowing that what I do will help others at the end of the day.”

Kaye identifies with Abbott’s mission to help others, and that stance resonates with his own moral compass.

“I am an ambitious and dedicated professional, with a passion to make a meaningful and impactful difference in society,” he said. “I strive to be a dynamic and collaborative leader who encourages a diversity of thoughts and opinions in order to make effective strategic decisions.”

Giving back to NIU—and using Abbott’s matching funds program to make an even bigger impact with his contributions—is another way Kaye has opted to make a positive difference in the world.

“I took advantage of Abbott's matching funds program because it was an easy way for me to make an even larger impact on the students,” he said. “I hope that me giving back helps alleviate some stress from the students so they can focus on making the most of their experience at NIU and finding what it is they are passionate about.”