Graduating senior seizes every opportunity at the University of Miami

Graduating senior seizes every opportunity at the University of Miami

By Michelle Tulande

Graduating senior seizes every opportunity at the University of Miami

By Michelle Tulande
From scholarships to internships, Jamie Williams-Smith leaves a lasting impact.

Born and raised in Blue Bell, Pa., Jamie first traveled to Miami to interview for the Ronald A. Hammond Scholarship at the University of Miami. This trip marked the beginning of her relationship with the University. Shortly after the interview, she was offered the scholarship, and her interviewer, Ellenmarie "Ellen" McPhillip, former assistant dean of undergraduate business education at Miami Herbert Business School, became her mentor and a guiding force throughout her academic journey.

The warm and welcoming ’Cane spirit Jamie felt on her visit made her decision to attend the University of Miami an easy one.

“I knew this environment would be supportive and challenging,” said Jamie. “From the moment I stepped onto campus, I was struck by the incredible opportunities that lay before me. As a freshman, I felt a deep sense of responsibility to make the most of my time at UM.”

As Jamie prepares to be the first person in her family to graduate from college on May 12, her long list of on-campus and off-campus activities and accomplishments is a testament to the sense of responsibility she felt on her first day on campus.

Since she was pursuing a degree in business technology, Jamie joined Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity at Miami Herbert. She also served as a Miami Herbert Ambassador, a “Titan” on the Hyperion Council, and a team leader for the global management course for freshmen.

She looks back on her time with the Hyperion Council fondly. Founded by her mentor, McPhillip, the Hyperion Council focuses on helping micro and small for-profit as well as not-for-profit enterprises in at-risk communities improve their business practices. With the Hyperion Council, she traveled to Belize and educated elementary students on financial literacy alongside other ’Canes and faculty.

Outside of the business school, Jamie also took on several opportunities available to her. As a sophomore, she joined the Student Government Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council as a diversity training officer and consistently worked to not only create safe spaces for people, but also serve as an example to her peers that they could also have a seat at the table. As a junior, she served as the vice president of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. As a senior, in true “go big, or go home” fashion, Jamie served as the 64th Student Government president.

Representing over 12,000 undergraduate students as Student Government president was no easy feat, but Jamie views her tenure as president as the highlight of her time at the U. Her presidency is filled with never-before-seen initiatives centered around the student experience.

(De)Stress Fest, a finals week mental health event and the first of its kind at the University was led by Jamie. With her team, she also worked to open a syllabus bank, installed a headshot booth at the Toppel Career Center, had cameras placed throughout a few campus parking garages, and even introduced a treadmill and walking pad in the Shalala Student Center.

Outside of class, Jamie was consistently investing in her professional development. Through her mentorships, campus activities, and hard work, she earned several internships. Her resume includes positions with Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Comcast, and Deloitte.

‎“As I embark on the next phase of my journey, I ‎‎am confident in my ability to succeed in ‎any environment, ‎‎thanks to the skills and experiences I have gained during my ‎‎time at the University of ‎Miami,” she said.‎

Jamie’s perseverance and fervor to make the best out of every opportunity will make her legacy at the University of Miami a difficult one to replace. Upon graduation, Jamie will combine her love for strategic problem-solving and communication as a strategy consultant for Deloitte in Atlanta, Ga.