Jani Smith is a multi-faceted, smart, talented young professional who isn’t afraid to take on new experiences if it helps her figure out where she wants to go in life. A native of Chicago and the oldest of 10 kids, she leads her siblings by example. On the track to achievement from a young age, she skipped the second grade; learned to play the flute, cello, and piccolo; and graduated from high school by the age of 16.
Looking for the perfect college experience, she attended Georgia Southern University, a public research institution. What drew her to the campus was its tightknit community and what she described as “an experience right out of a college brochure.” Majoring in industrial organizational psychology and minoring in music performance, she graduated with another lofty aspiration of going to law school.
Rather than be hasty, she decided to test the waters and spent a year working at a law firm as a legal assistant. While there, she coauthored policy with the HR team, corresponded with clients from the federal government and Fortune 500 companies regarding trademark matters, and managed workshops to train administrative assistants. Soon Jani turned her gaze to policy as a way to reach a broader population; she became intrigued by the policies needed to keep music and arts in public schools.
In a time when arts were on the chopping block for education, Jani began researching policy schools to fight for the arts cause that was so near and dear to her. She wanted to live in Washington, D.C., and was heavily influenced by the desire to learn from microeconomist Dr. Barbara Schone at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Jani was admitted to her dream school for policy and took Dr. Schone’s class, one of the hardest she’s experienced. Well worth the work, it was another dream fulfilled for this go-getter.
During her policy school summer, Jani gained invaluable experience by working at the International Trade Commission on miscellaneous tariff bills and research. During her last year of policy school, and of course graduating well ahead of schedule, LMI was lucky to have this dynamic and driven professional accept a job as a participant in our Graduate Fellows program. Jani spent her fellowship year as a management consultant on the NASA Human Capital team.
Now Jani leverages her creative, legal, and policy expertise as an analyst with LMI. When recently asked about her next career dreams and goals, Jani said she is focused on building skills and further discovering her unique strengths.
We have absolutely no doubt that Jani is just getting started. This superstar talent will continue to make big things happen, and we can’t wait to see how.
"With a creative background, I’m able to offer innovative perspectives to our clients every day. I enable them to think outside the box and promote thought leadership."