Monique D. Jefferson

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Corporate Vice President, Sr. Human Resources Business Partner
New York Life Insurance Co.
New York City
Age: 37

Monique D. ­Jefferson acted as soon as she realized that she wanted to leave public accounting for human resources. In 2003, she added a master’s degree in human resources management from New School University to the bachelor’s in accounting she had received at Bentley University seven years before. “I really understood the business as I was an auditor. I built relationships because they considered I’d ‘carried the bag,’ so to speak. I found out who the experts and mentors were and learned to understand the field,” she says. “Books will teach the disciplinary, lateral approach. While in the field, you will stray from book teaching.”

Now a certified senior professional in human resources (SPHR) Jefferson is the corporate vice president and senior human resources business partner at New York Life Insurance Co. She teaches a preparatory course at New York Institute of Technology for the Professional in Human Resources certification. She learned hard work from her father, but she acknowledges her mother’s “quiet strength and sacrifice” in assuring her a private school education. Among other supporters, she cites PricewaterhouseCoopers, “for taking a chance on me with no HR experience”; Merrill Lynch, “for considering me for their graduate HR associate program when I applied online and did not attend one of their core schools”; NYIT’s Professor William Ninehan, “for recognizing my interest and skill to teach and giving me a shot”; and her husband, “a man who knew I wanted children but understands that I am not the stay-at-home-mom type.”

Jefferson serves on the board of several organizations and mentors with Big Brother Big Sisters. She would love to visit Asia, saying “the people, culture, food, shopping — all aspects of it is exciting.”

Fun Facts
Favorite book: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Last movie: Red Tails
Sport you play best: Track and field