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From Millsaps to Career: Jonathan Perkins

by Web on May 14, 2018

When Jonathan Perkins, B.S. 2018, walked across the stage to receive his diploma from Millsaps College, he had no worries about landing a job.

Before graduation, he accepted a position as a management trainee at Enterprise Holdings in Jackson.

“While focusing on my coursework along with preparation for comprehensive exams, I dedicated time to job hunting,” said Perkins, who received his bachelor’s of science on May 5 during commencement at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. “I had a lot of interviews in Jackson and Atlanta.”

He credits Dr. S. Keith Dunn, provost and dean of the College, with inspiring him, believing in him and encouraging him to set goals and plan for his future.

Perkins, who majored in biology and earned a minor in business administration, said the management trainee program he is joining is selective and a good avenue to gain valuable experience at the start of a business-oriented career.

“Every employee at Enterprise Holdings starts as a management trainee, and promotion is only from within the company,” he said. “I’ll be trained in customer service, sales, marketing, finance, and accounting, as well as overall management. After I work there for six months to a year, I’ll have the opportunity to take an exam in the area of the business I am most interested in and I can receive a promotion to management assistant and ultimately branch manager.”

A two-semester internship at NexTech Partners in Pearl provided business experience, and Tonya Nations, senior director at the Millsaps Center for Career Education, provided guidance in preparing a resume, Perkins said.

Perkins, who was born in Jackson, lived in Carthage for the first 10 years of his life with his mother, the late Brenda Summers. After her death, he lived in Jackson with his father and then in Atlanta.

“Millsaps gave me a sense of community from the moment I stepped foot on campus,” Perkins said. “The parking space in front of the admission office that had a sign with my name on it drew me in on my first visit. It was consistent with the theme of giving each individual student personalized attention.”

Perkins said he sought a college with academic prestige that would offer small classes, and that’s what he found at Millsaps.

“When I visited, I found that professors had time to interact with their students,” he said. “I liked that.”

Perkins participated in the Wellspring Living and Learning Community, which provides the opportunity for first-year students to live together with other students interested in community engagement and to volunteer on and off campus. He was also a member of the Black Student Union and the Diversity Club.