The Education of Jared Kushner, Trump's Golden Boy
Jared Kushner’s public persona has gone from zero to hero in the last 6 months, as the world around him started noticing his moves as the quintessential behind-the-scenes savvy operator who many have called the ‘second most influential person in Trump’s Presidential campaign,’ second only to the Donald himself.
But while Jared might be a newcomer to politics, and as such media’s attention, he has been operating savvily – and less so, some argue – in the business world for about decade. The 35-year old was born in New Jersey into the wealthy Kushner real estate family. He attended a very traditional Orthodox Jewish school there, before notoriously entering Harvard
College in 1999 (notorious because his father had recently made a $2.5m donation to Harvard, highlighted in this
Jared has been described as a slightly odd character while at Harvard, less interested in the usual student lifestyle – although he was a member of the exclusive Fly Club – and focused more on his personal business interests. By the end of his time at Harvard, he had made a handsome multi-million dollar profit from buying, renovating and selling apartments around Boston.
After graduating with a major in Government from Harvard, Jared enrolled in the joint business & law (“JD/MBA”) programme at New York University
. This is a rigorous post-graduate double degree offered by a number of prestigious institutions in the US and Canada (other examples are the programs at Stanford
and the University of Toronto
). While at NYU, he interned at Manhattan’s District Attorney’s office, and at the New York ‘white shoe’ law firm Paul Weiss.
It’s unclear if Jared ever had his eyes set on applying his law degree and internship experience to a legal career; during his time at NYU, his father was thrown in jail, convicted of a number of business-related crimes. This left a young Jared in charge of the multi-billion dollar family real estate empire, so perhaps his side-projects at Harvard rather than his NYU legal internships proved most constructive (no pun intended). And speaking of side-projects, while running the real estate business (with mixed success), Jared also purchased the media company New York Observer and successfully turned it around financially. Some of the contacts made and lessons learnt through his media venture were to become valuable as Jared – who is married to Ivanka Trump – joined Donald Trump’s campaign, in which he is said to have played a decisive role.
For more information about Jared’s role on the Trump campaign, the business inspired strategies he applied to it, and even speculation about Jared’s longer term personal agenda, see the articles listed below.
Forbes – Exclusive Interview: How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House
Vanity Fair – Are Ivanka and Jared Kushner Concocting a House of Cards-Style Game of Their Own?
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