It’s a Tuesday morning, and Jamie Finney ’98 has been on campus since 9 a.m., doing one of the things he loves most: Advising students on how to stand out from the crowd when they’re looking for their dream job in law enforcement, intelligence, cybersecurity, emergency management and other similar careers.
On this day, Finney, who is a supervisory protective security advisor for the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has volunteered to talk one-on-one with students about their interests, their resumes, interviewing skills and potential career paths. He’ll be there “until the last student is helped.”
It’s not the first time Finney has done this, and it won’t be the last. He’s one link in Longwood’s vast network of alumni who volunteer their time to help students get started on their careers, whether it’s one-on-one, at a career fair or at an alumni networking event during Career Week.
Jamie took so much of his personal time on that day just to help a college student he barely even knew. That’s how much he cares.Ryan Spivey ’19 Tweet This
Finney has been providing career guidance to students since 2018, said Dr. Tracie Giles, Longwood’s emergency management coordinator, who helps arrange his visits and works closely with him.
“Jamie encourages students to get out of their comfort zones, to push beyond their limits and discover their true potential,” she said. “Students seem to appreciate his candidness—he doesn’t pull any punches. Jamie offers real-world examples and sound advice.”
Among the students he spoke to during his campus visit in September was a young woman interested in working as a forensic anthropologist with the FBI. “I could get you contacts in that area,” Finney told her, adding that he’d be happy to review her resume and provide feedback.
It’s the kind of thing he’s done many times before, and his guidance has helped several students land jobs.
Take Kelsie McLellan ’22, who graduated with a degree in criminal justice and minor in homeland security. She’s currently working for the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia as an intake specialist in the Consumer Protection Section, where she reviews and evaluates consumer complaints and redirects them to the correct jurisdiction for further investigation.
Then there’s Ryan Spivey ’19, another student Finney mentored. Starting his career as an emergency planner for the Prince William (Virginia) Health District, Spivey has been promoted to community engagement coordinator for the district.
McLellan described how Finney had gone out of his way numerous time to help her with her resume and interview skills.
“The first time he spoke with me he was traveling out of state for work. We talked on the phone for over an hour,” she said. “Another time over the phone, he performed a mock interview for me in preparation for my first in-person job interview that was scheduled for the next day. Jamie took so much of his personal time on that day just to help a college student he barely even knew. That’s how much he cares.”
Students interested in connecting with alumni for job-search advice should plan to participate in Career Week, Oct. 17-20. A full schedule can be found at go.longwood.edu/careerweek.