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Earning dual honors degrees in Mass Communications and English, Geniesse was the top Mass Comm graduate of his class in May 2011 with a GPA of 3.93. According to one of Geniesse’s faculty mentors, Yan Jin, it’s no surprise that Geniesse has been offered a position to work for Amazon.
“He always went deeper into the books,” Jin said. “His interests were not just knowing what to do and how to do it, but also why we are doing this and what’s the next level.”
Working nearly full-time hours during his undergraduate studies, Geniesse transferred in his freshman year from the University of Richmond to VCU because of the school’s strong Mass Communications program and its flexible course offerings.
“VCU allowed me to pursue a blend of courses that offered unique and interesting challenges. I was even able to take a year off to study English literature abroad at University College London,” Geniesse said.
Along with his English degree, Geniesse’s second degree in Mass Communications, with a concentration in public relations, allowed him to enhance his professional opportunities.
“I was able to work with a diverse group of people and get real world experience in the PR program,” Geniesse said. “The advantage of the PR program is that it puts you face-to-face with people to build real solutions for clients.”
Taking his education to the next level, Geniesse decided to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Virginia (UVa) where he is currently studying Commerce, with concentrations in marketing and management.
“No one’s coming into this program as someone who has studied business before, so we’re in it together that way,” Geniesse said.
Geniesse said he believes UVa’s business program will help him develop skills that are important to know when making critical decisions.
UVa also led Geniesse to the opportunity to work for Amazon. After interviewing on grounds at UVa, Geniesse interviewed at the corporate headquarters in Seattle and was offered the position of Associate Retail Manager.
Looking back at Geniesse’s undergraduate experience, Jin said she thinks the match of the company, team and position fits very well.
“His leadership was very organic and he was very compassionate,” Jin said.
Geniesse said he hopes to grow as much as he can from this experience.
“I plan to stay with Amazon as long as they will have me,” said Geniesse.
Although Geniesse cannot characterize Amazon in any particular way, he said his past experience working in several internships and jobs led him down the right career path.
“I think it’s imperative to get experience whenever you can because it will help you to determine what you like to do,” said Geniesse. “If you know what you like to do, and find a place where you can do it, it’s a win-win situation for you and your employer.”
As Geniesse prepares to move to Seattle in July to start work at Amazon, he will first take a trip abroad to study the global market in context.
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Updated: March 22, 2012