Jesse Ransford – Secrets to Managing Stress and Maintaining a Balance Between Work and Life

3 Mins read

A native of Aspen, Colorado, Jesse Ransford is drawn to the tranquility and wonder of the great outdoors. Currently residing in Boulder, Colorado, he spends a great deal of his free time skiing and cycling, taking time away from the hustle and bustle of modern living.

Ransford’s relocation to Boulder included stops in New Hampshire, for high school, and North Carolina, where he began his Economics degree at Wake Forest University. But for Ransford, the Rockies are home, and in 2017 he returned to Aspen. During a brief break from his Economics degree, he worked in high-end retail before interning at the Neuroplastic Functional Institute (NFI).

While at NFI, Jesse Ransford trained paraplegics in aqua therapy studies, resulting in 80% of patients regaining some physical movement. Using self-speak combined with aromatherapy to retrain patients’ brain-muscle connection systems, and thus rehabilitate clients with spinal cord injuries, was incredibly exciting and personally rewarding for Ransford. 

In the fall of 2020, Ransford returned to formal coursework in his Economics degree, this time at the University of Colorado Boulder. He graduated in the spring of 2022 with his Bachelor’s Degree. Since graduation, he has been interning with Quish & Co. in their Finance & Accounting department, creating monthly hedge fund accounting reports to optimize client returns.

Ransford’s formal education was focused primarily on development economics. He enjoys using quantitative analyses to pinpoint causes of economic inefficacies and find remedies that can improve economies and communities. He hopes to continue his career by having an impact on economic and financial distribution in the United States.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Jesse Ransford who shared with us his personal approach to maintaining an effective balance between life and work and his approach to managing the stress of all the things he is unable to complete.

Can you share your personal approach to managing an effective balance between life and work?

No matter your job, it probably comes with tasks that are less desirable and easily procrastinated. We often minimize the window, bury the paperwork, or avoid the boss until we absolutely cannot put it off any longer. I’ve tried to find ways to make these kinds of obligations slightly more enjoyable. Whether it’s lighting my favorite candle, camping out at my favorite coffee shop for the day, or even using colored pens, I’ve found that adding a little bit of fun to the mundane can help to ease the stress. 

What is your approach to starting a new project?

The first thing I like to do when starting a new project is research as I need to understand the broad scope or context of the problem I’m trying to solve. Who is my client? What are they known for? What do they need to fix? Once I can answer these basic questions, I am much better equipped for success. 

How do you manage the stress of all the things you are not able to complete?

As college students, we are tasked not only with learning computational and analytical skills but also with how to live independently and establish healthy social connections. 

During any given week of my time at the University of Colorado Boulder, I was assigned multiple books to read, papers to write, and tests to study for. At the same time, I attended club meetings and spent significant time socializing with my peers. More often than not, I simply did not have enough time to accomplish everything that was on my plate. 

The most important part of managing this stress was admitting to myself that I simply couldn’t do everything. This difficult, yet important, acknowledgment allowed me to then prioritize the most important and immediate tasks for any particular day.  

What is the one book that you recommend everyone should read and why? 

Back in the eighth grade, I read A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. This memoir tells the story of Beah growing up in Sierra Leone as a child soldier. As one of “300,000 soldiers hopped up on drugs and wielding AK-47s,” the story exposes the harsh truth of modern warfare in the developing world.  

As Americans, we are infiltrated with news about war and international affairs. Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Ukraine have all been at the forefront. These regions are central to the global economy and capitalism. However, Africa still remains a dark continent for many of us. A Long Way Gone helps us to understand the modern reality of African children that is, more often than not, overlooked.

What is your favorite movie and why?

I love The Big Short. The cast containing superstars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt is near impossible to beat. Furthermore, the book the movie was based on was written by Michael Lewis who is one of my favorite authors. 

They’re able to do something rare in The Big Short by turning a seemingly complicated and intricate financial problem into a story that is both funny and enjoyable for audiences of any education level to enjoy. To this day, I still use the movie as a baseline for economic papers that discuss the Great Recession. 


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