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Amber James ′09

Hometown: Bellevue, NE
Major: Business Administration
Awesome! When Amber first came to Rhodes, she was convinced she would be a Psychology major. Half-way through sophomore year, she did a complete 180 and switched to Business Administration!

Why did you decide to attend Rhodes?
Actually, when I first started evaluating schools, I didn’t want to consider Rhodes at all. I figured that if I hadn’t heard of it, it couldn’t be that good, right? Clearly I was wrong! I applied to one school in Omaha (Bellevue is a suburb) as my “default,” but I really wanted to move away from home. My mom, a native Memphian, urged me to at least look at Rhodes, especially since it was included on the list of Best Buy Schools for 2005. During my senior year, I visited Rhodes twice and I was hooked. I didn’t come to college to slack off, and being at Rhodes has pushed me to my limit and made me realize how much farther I can go.

How have you gained practical experience in your major?
I’ve been interning for Deloitte & Touche, an international firm that offers auditing, tax, consulting and financial advising services to clients all over the world. This is only the second year that Deloitte has allowed college juniors to intern for them, so you can imagine how honored I was when I was offered the job on the spot.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of Deloitte’s clients, involving a small service industry, a small manufacturing industry and a large manufacturing industry over the course of this semester alone. Of course, I do a few of the typical intern jobs like making photocopies and running errands, but so much of what I do is exactly what any one else on the team would do—I actually perform some of the financial statement testing for the clients. I would’ve never guessed that I would be interested in accounting, but I love it! After graduation, I hope to return to Deloitte full-time...hopefully they’ll hire me!

Have you ventured into any other areas since you’ve been at Rhodes?
During summer ’07, I participated in Rhodes’ Institute for Regional Studies where I worked with a team of students assembled by Professor David McCarthy. Our goal was to research and write about a set of photographs that were published in the Memphis World, the first African-American newspaper in Memphis that circulated from the 1940s to the 1970s.

My essay centered on the recurrence of black professionals and the social elite within the Memphis World. I became intrigued that only this facet of black life was given front-page coverage. The photographs will be part of an exhibit opening at the Brooks Museum of Art in August 2008, and an excerpt from my essay, which was published in the Rhodes Historical Review, will be included in the accompanying catalogue. I’m not an art person at all, so having something I wrote published by the Brooks and the Review is definitely one of my proudest achievements to date and something that I would’ve never imagined myself doing.

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