Hiring the HQ2

New Amazon headquarters provides opportunities for JMU graduates

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SUMMARY: Watch a video about JMU alumni at Amazon who are forging a path for future graduates.

By Amanda Christian 

With the addition of its new East Coast headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Amazon plans to hire 25,000 new employees. Some of those new hires are sure to be JMU graduates. 

JMU alumnus Brian Riley (’03), the head of recruiting programs and strategy for Amazon HQ2, recently returned to campus to talk with President Jonathan R. Alger, tour the College of Integrated Science and Engineering and meet with students at JMU X-Labs, a transdisciplinary curriculum in which students tackle problems that resist easy solutions. 

Watch the first installment of "ICYMI," a new video series:

Riley was impressed with the work the students are doing. 

“They are attempting to solve problems in the way that we would solve them,” he said. “When you're ideating on the initial solution to something, there's no glamorous way to do it. You're hacking things together. You're figuring out things as you go, and that's exactly what they're doing.”

Another Duke at Amazon, Austin Adams ('00), hopes to build a stronger relationship between the company and JMU. As a senior manager at Amazon Web Services in Virginia, Adams hopes to leverage the quality talent pool that JMU provides. He claims that some of the best people he has worked with at Amazon have been JMU graduates. 

“The work they're doing here, from an innovation perspective and from a customer obsession perspective, is exceptional,” Adams said. “It's certainly something that would serve students well in a workplace like Amazon's.” 

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Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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