From W&L to Facebook Jamaal Jones '16 shares how his W&L education has shaped his life.
During this season of gratitude, which stands out more in a global crisis, I am thankful for my time at W&L and for the professional opportunities my education has made possible. What I love most about the W&L community is that it is so welcoming and accepting of a variety of backgrounds. Even as a graduate, it’s like coming home every time I drive through Lexington. That’s why I was considering W&L Law as my next step, but what happened next was an opportunity too exciting to pass up. I was offered a job with Facebook as a manager of privacy programs.
I like to think I thrive in fast-paced, high-growth companies that are technology-forward and data rich. I was thrilled to take this role with Facebook. In my position, I manage the privacy review process for new products and features and work with a cross functional team across the company to identify and collectively address privacy challenges. Once we reach a solution, I then ensure its implementation.
I can say with confidence that my W&L education prepared me well for my career overall. One course that stood out to me was Professor Hess’ Anatomy of Fraud, a forensic accounting class. It helped me find my career path in compliance. The course was aimed at identifying bad actors in an accounting environment and how to prevent negative impact. My career thus far has focused on putting programs in place to prevent non-compliant actions and poor audit outcomes.
There is so much about my W&L years for which I am grateful. W&L gave me some of my closest friends and best life experiences. I was able to travel the world and try things that I might not have normally done, like studying cooking in Italy or teaching a tax workshop in South Africa. These are things I just could not have done anywhere else. I even landed my first job with the help of a W&L alum!
As a student, I made the most of my experience and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, I was on the track & field team, I was a state delegate for Mock Con, and I performed with the University Singers. Choir Tours with the University Singers were my favorite W&L experiences. We traveled through the northeast, Texas and Ireland performing for local schools, churches, and most importantly alumni. I appreciated the opportunity to showcase what the school has to offer in the form of music education. The university has a proclivity for highlighting how successful its business school is, but we were able to shine a light on another outstanding department at W&L —the music department. While I was a business major, the music department played a critical role in shaping my experience at W&L.
My W&L education shaped who I am today, and I will always be grateful. Each year, I give back with a gift to the Annual Fund. In honor of my fifth reunion, I increased my gift this year and I was happy to be able to direct my support to the arts because choir meant so much to me. Directed giving offers alumni the ability to make a difference in those areas that influenced them most while at W&L. Knowing that the areas of the school I care deeply about are impacted by my giving — that’s a really good feeling. I give gladly, and I give with thanks, because I want to enable the same exceptional student experiences for those to come.
“Knowing that the areas of the school I care deeply about are impacted by my giving — that’s a really good feeling.”
~Jamaal Jones ’16