Sydney Jones '10
Ask Sydney Jones ’10 where she’s from, and you might assume she’s
a history major. “I’m from Orange County, Virginia,”
she says proudly. “Orange was established in 1734 and was the home of James Madison,
known as the Father of the Constitution. Orange County is full of history, as it
is where the Wilderness Battle took place, and where the 12th president, Zachary
Taylor, was born. Orange’s population is just over 33,000 and is 67 percent rural.”
Surprise: Jones is a business/economics
major with an emphasis in international
relations, and a minor in ethics. “I
wanted a major in business/economics because I knew it would help me develop thinking
and quantitative skills necessary for future success,” she says. “Industry trends
follow economic trends, as I have discovered while working in the legal industry.
The understanding of economics helps me to target market trends, and the business
component helped me develop communication and logic skills. My knowledge of international
relations is also important, as understanding our global world is essential.”
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A Day in the Life
Jones puts in action-packed days at the McGuireWoods law firm in Richmond, Virginia,
where she works full-time as a marketing research assistant. She loves going to
work every day. “I am fortunate to be able to do exactly what I wanted to do right
out of college,” she says. When asked what a typical day at work entails, she laughs.
“Well, there are no typical days—and that’s one of the things I love about my job!”
Jones gathers client and potential client information, analyzes company and industry
profiles and maintains data lists used for business development at McGuireWoods.
A Bassett internship at the company at
the end of her senior year helped pave the way for Jones as she navigated toward
what she considers an ideal career. She credits R-MC’s
Career Services Department with helping steer her toward her goals.
“Cathy Rollman (director of career services) gave me career advice and helped prepare
me for the interview process,” says Jones. “She helped me polish my
résumé and secure the internship, which served as a foundation for my current
job. My supervisor at McGuireWoods set up meetings with people from various departments
in order for me to learn about the firm. With 17 offices and nearly 900 attorneys,
there was a lot to learn! The experience taught me how to network and develop relationships.”
Jones has been working full-time at the firm since graduation.
“The Career Center at R-MC was one of the main tools I used as a student,” says
Jones, who attended job fairs and checked the Career Center’s Web site frequently
for employment opportunities.
“My participation in Access CEO
also helped me to develop networking and professional skills that I now use in the
office.” Access CEO provides a venue for students to meet and learn from local executives
at the president and vice-president level.
Jones’ career was also buoyed by the skills she learned from her economics/business
professors. “During my sophomore year, Professor Barry Pfitzner said, ‘You come
to college to learn how to learn.’ He was definitely right.” Jones participated
in the college’s Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship
(SURF) program, something she considers essential to her career success. “I
worked under the guidance of Professor David Brat, and I learned research skills
that are very useful in my current job. Because of the great relationships I developed
with all of my professors, I can still look to them for guidance.”
Jones can easily connect the dots between her experiences at R-MC and her budding
career. “McGuireWoods is a place where I can grow every day. I am constantly learning
and I work with people who want to see me excel. Because I research facets of nearly
every industry, I am able to use my liberal arts education to the fullest and make
unique connections between different industries,” she says.
About the Bassett Internship Program:
The Bassett Internship Program is dedicated to providing a real-world backdrop for
future academic learning, as well as preparation for life after graduation. With
a history of placements in over 1,100 sites in more than 20 states, Washington,
D.C., and 11 foreign countries, students get an opportunity to explore the world