Jeffron Smalls went from serving as Mister North Carolina A&T State University 2016-2017 to working as a Channel Operations Manager at Microsoft. After walking across the stage of college a new rhythm starts. The normal routine of studying, attending class, and meeting with professors suddenly ends for those entering straight into the careers of their choice. Smalls can attest to that as he went from being a student leader in Aggieland to adjusting to a new lifestyle in Seattle, Washington.
Each step became heavier as life decisions depended on it. “I started to look at the details of what actually mattered the most to me in terms of career and personal development”, stated Smalls. Smalls went from comfortable surroundings full of people who look like him to being pushed out his comfort zone. Suddenly his perspective was opened to new possibilities because he was for sure not in the south anymore. The world was big and small at the same time. While Jeffron quickly noticed the differences in ethnic makeup, spirituality, and ways of life he still had a connection in a city so far away from home. With a good network of friends from his home university the move was made even better.
Graduating from NCAT, Smalls left with no regrets. Giving it his all, Smalls focused on leaving a legacy and empowering as many students as possible. “I recommend that all students explore every opportunity in college and take advantage of them. I would rather say I did it or tried than regret not doing anything,” stated Smalls. Eventually the goal is to obtain a Master’s Degree and focus on the passion of uplifting others who are finding the way to tap into their fullest potential.
Xbox is a household name that many individuals can relate to. Its either a product that we own, use to own, seen through advertisement, or know of someone who is interested or have ownership of. Smalls has the pleasure of working on all Xbox products for its Supply Chain.
Looking back at the opportunities that were presented while a student at North Carolina A&T, Smalls feels fortunate for the hand he was dealt for he capitalized on every opportunity given. Close friend Brandon Harris says that a difference he has noticed from college to now is, “Jeffron has a different mindset, a better understanding of who he is, and what’s really important.” Personal expectations where definitely surpassed. The result of becoming Mister A&T through the election process along with the term not only prepared Smalls for the workforce but enhanced his leadership and communication skills. The time spent in college goes by swiftly and if not spent wisely a resource that is provided so easily is hard to come by once in the real world.
Once accepting an offer with Microsoft, the good news continued to come towards this HBCU grad’s way. Re-assurance came wrapped inside the next surprise. Smalls found out that two of his closest friends also accepted offers to join the Microsoft team. Brian Oulds and Brandon Harris had so much in common with Smalls. Three best-friends, HBCU grads, fraternity brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, taking on a new horizon at the same time was quite unusual yet comforting in a career thrill that will set a working tone for the rest of all their lives. With Harris having a few years of living in Seattle under his belt Oulds and Smalls took advantage of that.
Coming together the trio decided to rent a house. That put them at a better place to pay off student loans, make investments, save more money, and learn from each other. There in the same household lived accountability partners that could motivate each other well because all are like-minded.
Smalls still finds the time to make a difference in the community that he is in. Microsoft is a company that motivates its employees to get involved through extracurricular activities. Smalls made it a point to get involved early and often with volunteer efforts. The mission of Microsoft is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Smalls is continuing his legacy of making a difference by getting involved with different opportunities within the company that aligns with his personal goals, missions, and values.
Getting out of our comfort zones enables us to grow. Smalls now prays more. Listening to TD Jake’s podcast is a morning starter. Since moving he has found a church home that he is comfortable with. Complacently is not present as Smalls continues to grow professionally and personally. As this eagle soars he relies on God to use him in making a difference to change lives.
Prioritizing time and staying organized goes a long way. The papers, events, appearances, test, and assignments that Smalls once had eventually shifted to bills, job tasks, and personal development. Oh the places you will go might not be what you imagined but offer more than anything you have imagined.