At this time last year, Christian Wilson ’21 was preparing to graduate and savoring the last moments of his senior year.
Now the communication studies major is working in corporate communications at JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York, where he has a great view of Midtown Manhattan from his Park Avenue office. It’s a very different perspective compared with downtown Farmville.
The adjustment from college life in southern Virginia to professional life in New York City wasn’t difficult for Wilson, who grew up in South Jamaica, a residential neighborhood in New York’s borough of Queens. Moreover, he said that he has come to appreciate his hometown even more after spending a good amount of time on the road traveling during college as a captain of the men’s basketball team.
We recently caught up with Wilson to find out more about his career and work life a year after graduating from Longwood.
Tell us about your current job. What do you do?
I am a communications analyst at JPMorgan Chase in New York City. I started this job in November 2021, and it’s my first official job since graduating from Longwood. In my role, I support executive and internal communications for the Consumer and Community Banking business of Chase. The Consumer and Community Bank serves people, families and businesses by helping them bank, save, invest, make purchases with credit cards and finance homes and cars.
On a daily basis, I help to create and develop content that we push out internally through newsletters, intranet websites and town halls. I also support executive communications for some of the firm’s senior leaders. No two days are ever the same, which creates a sense of excitement and ultimately pushes me to be more creative.
I learned to not define myself by what my degree says but instead build a skill set that will be transferable to many parts of the field.Christian Wilson ’21 Tweet This
What do you like most about the job you are doing now?
I really love the people that I get to work and collaborate with on a daily basis here at JPMorgan. My communications team is composed of many talented, diverse and selfless individuals. Even though this is my first job, I’ve learned that who you work with is more important than what you are actually doing day to day. They have supported and pushed me to be my best since I stepped in the door, and that’s all I can ask for.
How did your experiences and education at Longwood prepare you for this job?
My major was communication studies with a concentration in public relations. It’s always interesting when I reference my major because I am actually not working in PR but rather internal communications. I think this is a testament to the comm studies program at Longwood. I learned to not define myself by what my degree says but instead build a skill set that will be transferable to many parts of the field.
At Longwood, I was able to take a little bit of wisdom from all of my professors. Whether it was Dr. Hosterman’s focus on the Associated Press style manual, Dr. Naomi’s innovative lectures or even Dr. Waggoner’s lessons on how to be more inclusive through communication. I can truly say that every comm studies professor I had helped me get to where I am today in their own way.
What I will say is that, whatever I end up doing in the long run, it’s important to me that I continue to impact lives along the way. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.Christian Wilson ’21 Tweet This
What is your ultimate career goal?
I just turned 24, so I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what I want to do at this moment in my life. For perspective, I never even dreamed of being where I am today. I still have so much to learn and accomplish in the short term. What I will say is that, whatever I end up doing in the long run, it’s important to me that I continue to impact lives along the way. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
What advice would you give to Longwood seniors who are preparing to graduate and enter the working world?
My three pieces of advice to those who will soon enter the real world are: 1) Take the pressure off of yourself and simply control what you can control. 2) Exhaust your resources and be open to every opportunity, you just never know! 3) Most importantly find time to enjoy life and know that with hard work and persistence, things will always work themselves out.