In my sophomore year at the University of Notre Dame studying business and playing on the ice hockey team.
When you graduated from high school, what did you think you wanted to be as an adult?
To play professional hockey. Unfortunately, a serious injury during a college game placed a damper on my dream.
Was there an event in the last 20 years that had a great impact on your aspirations and/or career path?
I learned a lot about the importance of product, company culture, and industry outlook/longevity while working for different companies. Ultimately, I determined that the higher education industry fit my aspirations perfectly.
Have you been mentored by (or had any significant interactions with) previous Forty Under 40 honorees?
I’m privileged to call a variety of previous 40 Under 40 honorees friends, business partners, and community acquaintances.
Where/what do you want to be 20 years from now?
To be as close as I am to my wife and three kids as I am today and to be serving in a variety of capacities that help drive economic development through improving the lives of others and helping communities grow and prosper.
President, Harrison College
Jason Konesco became president of Harrison College in February 2010. With 12 campuses in Indiana and Ohio, plus online learning, Harrison serves more than 6,100 students with a career-focused curriculum.
“Our vision is to be the global university of the 21st century,” said Konesco. “We’ve grown a lot over the last decade, and we’re continuing to forge ahead with new campuses and programs and credentials.”
Konesco joined Harrison in 1999 as director of admissions. Other administrative posts include education, financial aid and career services. He was senior vice president of operations before becoming president.
Under his leadership, Harrison has increased the number of online students from 300 to 1,800, restructured the financial services and business offices departments, and revamped career services to develop a community contact system to help students find work opportunities after graduation.
While he’s worked at the school 12 years, he’s had a connection with it even longer. His father, Kenneth J. Konesco, was president and co-owner of Harrison from 1987 to 2010.
Despite the family legacy, Jason Konesco didn’t expect to work at Harrison, much less run it. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in marketing, he worked in Minneapolis for Phillip Morris USA, then for Brightpoint Inc., in Indianapolis. Along the way, he earned a master’s in finance from Butler University.
By 1999, he was contemplating a career change, looking for an industry with a positive outlook and culture.
Konesco is on the board of IndyGo, the Young Presidents Organization (an international leadership group) and, most recently, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site board. He is also a member of the pastoral council at his church, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He and his wife, Jodi, have three children: Joe, 5; Rachel, 9; and Anabel, 10.
Konesco’s other passion is hockey. While attending Cathedral High School, he played travel hockey and then for an amateur level team, Indianapolis Junior Ice. He attended Notre Dame on a hockey scholarship.•