Meet the Class of 2021: Jules Jones
College of Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” ― Edmund Lee
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Fun fact about yourself: I am ambidextrous!
If you participated in an internship, what company was it for and what were your job responsibilities?
In summer 2019, I interned as a Materials and Production Intern for GE Power in Greenville, SC. I led and organized pre-count procedures for physical inventory. I also introduced a warehouse management system both physically and systematically to improve inventory accuracy by 40%! Lastly, I explored lean manufacturing by assisting with a site-wide lean action workout and implemented a kanban system to convert parts to a “pull” rather than “push” system.
In fall 2019, I took a semester to co-op at The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, FL as an industrial engineering professional intern. In this role, I served on the line of business (LOB) team working to optimize food and beverage operations. During my time at Disney, I also conducted time studies for new openings including Star Wars Galaxy Edge, Rise of the Resistance, and the Skyliner. Also, I created applications for utilization studies to develop a standard mobile order procedure and reconfigured queues at client locations in two parks.
Despite a global pandemic in summer 2020, I interned virtually at Deloitte as a GPS Consulting Summer Scholar. As a Summer Scholar, I collaborated with an intern team to create an innovative solution to an existing problem in COVID-19. I learned about digital transformation, well-being, new technologies, blockchain, and much more!
Which faculty member has made the biggest impact in your undergraduate education and how?
Since my first year at Virginia Tech, I have worked with Career and Professional Development as a Peer Career Advisor. All of the advisors at the Career Center have helped me believe in myself and my potential in my personal and professional journeys. In particular, my advisor, Liz Wilson, has made the biggest impact on my undergraduate career. She has been supportive of all of my endeavors and has helped me make difficult decisions related my career. She is always positive, gives the best advice, and inspires me to be the best version of myself.
Aside from your classmates, what has been the best part of being an industrial and systems engineering major at Virginia Tech?
The opportunities are boundless, and the ISE community is extremely supportive! I have been honored to represent ISE at several conferences including annual national Society of Women Engineers Conferences, regional and national Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers conferences. Being an ISE Ambassador has been one of my favorite opportunities as an ISE student. I love sharing ISE with others while building our internal community through activities like the meme competition and Coffee and Conversations. I am a proud Hokie ISE major!
What club or activity excites you most at Virginia Tech and why?
My freshman year at Virginia Tech, I ran for the Class of 2021’s Secretary with my campaign, “Jump for Jules.” Becoming my class Secretary has been such a rewarding experience. I have been involved with designing the Class of 2021 logo, motto, and colors to represent our unique Virginia Tech experience. My role also plays a part in supporting Virginia Tech’s traditions including ring design and Ring Dance. These traditions are so special to me, my class, and the history of Virginia Tech. I spearheaded a #HokieAtHeart campaign amid COVID-19 to bring together the Hokie community. This role has allowed me to share ideas, work with driven campus leaders, and make a difference at Virginia Tech! The Hokie spirit is like no other and being a class officer has allowed me to amplify my love for Virginia Tech while ensuring a collective experience for my peers. Keep Jumping!
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your student career so far?
Perhaps one of my biggest accomplishments was being selected for the 2020 Virginia Tech Homecoming Court. My platform, Project JOY: Jumpstarting Our Youth involves introducing a peer-to-peer pen pal initiative with local elementary, middle, and high schools in the New River Valley. Additionally, Project JOY partnered with a local library to introduce a “L’il Hokie Book Nook,” to provide a children’s reading space. I am so honored to have had the support of my sponsoring organization, Sigma Kappa Sorority. I am still working diligently to execute my platform and to inspire tomorrow’s leaders through these initiatives in the NRV.
Did you get the chance to study abroad?
Yes! I did the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany in summer 2018. I learned about global engineering and how to be successful in an international professional environment. I gained a global perspective while navigating language barriers and adjusting to an unfamiliar environment. Studying abroad was so much fun and an experience I will always remember. Trying new food, exploring new places, and touring companies like BMW, Lamborghini, and CERN were some highlights!
What was your defining moment at Virginia Tech and how has it prepared you for your future career?
My most defining moment was the conclusion of the First-Year Leadership Experience (FLEX) program. As a shy, lonely freshman, I joined FLEX hoping to find my community and discover my purpose at Virginia Tech. I wanted to transfer several times during my first year to be closer to home. I could not envision myself as a Hokie. However, FLEX changed everything and helped me identify my purpose at Virginia Tech and in my career. FLEX has helped me prepare for my future career by instilling confidence in my leadership abilities, networking with campus leaders, and preparing me to seize opportunities. I learned about emotional intelligence, lollipop moments, vulnerability, gender bias, and much more! These things will help me to be successful in my career as a confident female engineer. FLEX enabled me to identify my mission to use my compassion and conviction to make a difference in my workplace and the world.
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be entering GE’s 2-year Operational Management Leadership Program rotating between roles in Manufacturing Shop Operations, Sourcing/Materials, Lean manufacturing, or Process and Environment, and Health & Safety.