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JCSU student explores career opportunities at Amazon Conference

Justice Jackson at the conference

NASHVILLE, T.N. / February 13, 2020 - Justice Jackson ’21 attended the 2020 conference Beyond the Yard: Your Path, Your Future, sponsored by Amazon from January 31 – February 2, 2020.

Hosted in Nashville, Tennessee, the structure of the conference gave HBCU students opportunities to explore future careers, entrepreneurship and enterprise opportunities, and provided hands-on technical learning.

“I had the opportunity to map out my goals and learn ways to become an efficient leader,” Jackson said.

Being one of the many conferences she’s attended over the years as an undergraduate student, Jackson was able to network and engage with Amazon employees, as well as students from other HBCU’s, in a variety of sessions. These sessions covered a wide range of topics, including branding, finances and networking.

“These sessions provided me the tools to build my own personal brand, learn my audience, and make sure the product I put out is one that meets a certain standard,” Jackson emphasized.

Jackson, a rising junior majoring in Business with a concentration in Management, also learned the different qualities that Amazon looks for in applicants. Amazon representatives elaborated on skills such as ownership, customer obsession, and frugality, which are all leadership principles that make the ideal personnel.

“I was able to see Amazon as a nurturing company rather than just a brand. I could definitely see myself working in their Human Resources department,” she said. 

While at the conference, Jackson had the opportunity to meet Latasha Gillespie, Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Studios. Gillespie, an influential figure for Jackson, gave her some words of wisdom during their interaction. She said, “Your network is your net worth” and “You have not because you ask not.” 

Jackson also ran into Drew Emerson’18, JCSU’s first SoundArt graduate. “It was nice to connect with a Golden Bull; to see how successful his life has been since graduating just further motivates me as a student.”

Jackson applied for this opportunity through HBCU Connect, an online platform for HBCU recruits, current students and alumni.

“I can truly say this was one of the best conferences I’ve attended. The networking opportunities were endless, I hope to see more Golden Bulls in attendance next year,” Jackson added.

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