Handshake student stories

A Change Agent Launches Her Career at Amazon

James Madison University alum Avery Archibald shares her journey to management at Amazon.

We live in an age where an employer’s whole history can be laid out through a simple search. You can see their goals, campaigns, and even directly DM the company at which you want to start your career. Thanks to our easy access to technology and social media, there are multiple paths to explore for students across the country who are driven to find their next.

And through our own platform that celebrates students and their successful career paths, Handshake has connected another amazing agent of change to the job of her dreams.

In the summer of 2020, after completing her senior year at James Madison University remotely due to COVID-19 precautions, Avery Archibald received her diploma. Now, she’s ready to walk straight into a full-time job at Amazon. 

Journey to the job hunt

Until Avery stumbled across a listing for a perfect job in her area, the idea of applying to a huge company like Amazon had never crossed her mind. Now, after graduation, she’ll be working as an Operations Chain Manager–ready to get into the full swing of things in the office.

“I’m going to be leading people who are older than me, who come from different backgrounds. I feel so confident coming from JMU with the resources that they gave me. Now I can incorporate [what I learned] and get [my team] excited to work in the most effective way.”

Even though Avery didn’t discover Handshake until the beginning of her senior year, she leveraged its full potential. In her previous internship experience, Avery had worked in a big company with many driven young interns, and enjoyed what she learned from it. But after a fellowship trip to San Francisco–including a tour of Google, Stanford, and even Handshake–she knew that her heart wanted more than what she was going to settle for. 

“I realized that I wasn’t shooting for the stars. I was trying to find a comfortable job somewhere I’d enjoy living, but what [really] are my dreams?”

Discovering new dreams

By using the resources at her school and asking for help from professors, Avery began to see the full scope of what she wanted from her post-grad life. JMU’s deep collaboration with Handshake, which allows students to scrolls through jobs in their field of interest even without an activated profile, made it easy to discover open roles. And after reading through the student reviews of companies on Handshake, Avery was able to understand more about the work culture she was trying to get into. 

“I was looking for somewhere I could take this [leadership] experience I had and implement that into the workplace right away. That was something I was reading for in the [student] reviews of the companies.”

Based on all of Avery’s goals, it was an easy decision to begin her promising career at Amazon.

Avery is another powerful example of finding your own path through Handshake. With so many interesting opportunities available from more than 500,000 employers, students can easily explore jobs and employers to find work that excites, rewards, and motivates them.