Jackson State graduate Jessica Alexander recently accepted a position in the area of workplace, design and connectivity as an event planner at the Nike headquarters in Oregon. She will be responsible for ensuring that the internal brand is durable and reflects the resilience of the external brand across 32 headquarter locations world-wide. Prior to accepting this job offer, Alexander was selected from a pool of 30,000 applicants to work at the corporation as a paid intern.
“My best friend forwarded me an informational email that she received from Nike regarding an internship employment opportunity,” says Alexander. “I remember her saying, ‘Go for it, you have to try.’ So, I decided to pursue the opportunity and after a very long process of about five interviews, I got the job.”
Last summer on her 21st birthday, the marketing and Spanish double major began working as an intern at the company. Over the course of three months, she worked diligently in the areas of operations, events and employee experience.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience,” says Alexander. “I was able to lead a lot of teams and use my creativity to spearhead projects with executives and employees from various departments throughout Nike. Now I understand what happens internally at the company and why it’s so great.”
While working at Nike, Alexander was most impressed by the opportunities provided to minorities at the company and hopes to represent her Historically Black College and University (HBCU) by exuding excellence in every aspect of her new position. The Woodstock, GA native elucidated that her upbringing in a predominately white high school left her “always trying to look and act like the people that she was around.”
At an early age, Alexander took interest in attending an HBCU specifically Jackson State because both of her parents are alums of the university. She recalls repetitively telling others that she would not only attend JSU but receive a full scholarship.
“I said it over and over and eventually it happened for me, says Alexander. “I got offered the JSU presidential scholarship. I then visited the campus and instantly fell in love with the university and the rest is history.”
The W.E.B. DuBois scholar further explained that her transition to Jackson State was “refreshing” and ultimately helped her gain a “sense of self.”
“After being here for a few months, I realized that I was excellent and it was okay to be outspoken and express who I am.”
In a touching moment, Alexander expressed gratitude for her parent’s infinite support, guidance and words of encouragement.
“My parents are very proud of me and they know this is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” says Alexander. “I am grateful that they understand the growth that comes from change. They taught me that change is good so I know I’m going to be okay.”
Reverting back to her new position at Nike, Alexander further acknowledged that this is an exceptional opportunity to create a pathway for others in her field of study. “When I go back to Nike, I just want to grow in this opportunity and be a positive representation for my community and for those aspiring to work in corporate America.”
Speaking with sincerity and persuasion, the 21-year old credits JSU for her new position at Nike. “Jackson State taught me to be certain in myself and my abilities. I plan to use those tactics to make the most of this experience and hopefully grow into something greater than I could ever imagine.”