For Jaimie Zhu, currently a software engineer for Facebook in Seattle, JA Business Week was the right JA program, at the right time, to help fuel her academic and career success. She participated in JA Business Week in 2011 and 2013 and says that the program changed her life.
“My JA experiences definitely played a role in both my college and career choices,” Zhu says. “JA Business Week opened my eyes to entrepreneurship and sparked my interest in business. And no matter where you go in life, you have to work with people; it’s such an important skill to develop, and that’s what JA Business Week is all about. In college, it helped me to be more confident in taking on leadership roles and understanding how to collaborate with others.”
As a young professional working in the tech field, Zhu is excited to make an impact.
She says, “It’s amazing to work in an environment [at Facebook] where we continue to harness the power of technology, while also understanding the great responsibility of doing so. I also recognize the importance of software and technology in everyone’s lives.”
Shawn Barker, who mentored Zhu and currently serves as JA Board Treasurer, shares, “It has been a pleasure to witness first-hand, through my mentoring relationship with her, Jaimie’s development from a highly intelligent, inquisitive, focused student with limitless potential to a successful employee in the tech sector with an equally bright future ahead of her. I believe the experiences Jaimie had with Junior Achievement reinforced her beliefs that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to and helped build Jaimie’s entrepreneurial spirit.”
Despite her busy schedule as a new professional, Zhu is already exploring ways to volunteer with Junior Achievement of Washington.
“I’m an example of someone who didn’t study or work in a traditional ‘business’ field, but JA helped me develop crucial skills that differentiate me from my peers,” says Zhu. “High school is a launch pad for many students, and while I definitely don’t have all the answers, I would love to share what I can and help teenage students gain confidence and knowledge in financial literacy and entrepreneurship.”