Ja’Mel Reed: Associate Consultant
- Class of: Col ’ 21
- Current job: Associate Consultant, Bain and Company
- Bodo’s Order OR Favorite Charlottesville Spot: My Bodo’s order is tuna on a salt bagel with sprouts, butter, onion, and tomato. Chef’s kiss!
Tell us your UVA story. What did you do during your time on Grounds? What were your favorite memories?
During my time on Grounds I met some of the best people in my life, tasted the best food, danced until I couldn’t anymore, sang (depending on who you ask, some may call it screaming) till I lost my voice, stood for what I believed in, learned from phenomenal professors, faculty, UVA workers, and students, was mentored by the kindest, most genuine people, and mentored some of the most amazing people. I drove around aimlessly with friends listening to the best music, mourned the loss of an amazing friend, became an RA, Vice Chair, and Co-Chair for housing, survived a pandemic and got vaccinated, took my family on a tour of grounds, gave tours at Monticello and UVA, became a probational chair in guides, did bad at school, did really well at school, learned how to be a better friend, learned how to love myself better, laughed till I thought I was going to hurl, cried a lot, and smiled enough brightness that I think I made the sun jealous.
All of this to say, I don’t think I have favorite memories. When I think back on my UVA experience I am flooded with emotions because each second here mattered so deeply to me. There are so many more things that I did and loved while at UVA that I couldn’t fit on this list, but every single moment here on these grounds helped shape me into the person I am today, and for that I am forever grateful.
What’s next for you?
I will be moving to New York City to work for Bain and Company as an Associate Consultant.
What makes you say Wahoowa?
I feel it the strongest during do-nothing days spent with friends in or around Charlottesville, watching UVA play in sports, or while participating in an event an org is putting on. Whenever I think of the best times I had while at UVA, I’m constantly in the presence of people who have made this experience once in a lifetime.
Wahoowa evokes a sense of camaraderie, so it’s only fitting that I feel it the strongest with those I love from my UVA experience.
What’s the biggest way in which you hope alumni can impact UVA?
I would love to see alumni connecting with current students. I think building those relationships can help strengthen the connection between students and alumni. I’ve had the amazing chance to find mentors in the alumni base and think that everyone should have a chance to do so. Plus, I think it’s pivotal for alumni to have a connection to the University that allows them to understand the current climate of UVA and its direction going forward.
Pick a pillar that best captures your life today:
Why does that pillar speak to you?
Serving speaks to me the most because that’s what I feel my time at UVA has manifested itself in. Throughout my time here, I let myself be guided by my passion to better communities. With service there’s this flexible quality to it that allowed me and others to discover how to help communities in ways that were unique and individual to us. Through service, I took the best parts of the other pillars that are essential to carrying through my service, while also maintaining a great moral compass. No matter what situation I find myself in, I always keep in mind that making a situation, space, or person feel or be better is the top of my priority list. This allows me to remain steady in midst of difficulties or unforeseen circumstances. The importance of service and leaving a space better than when I found it has been something deeply ingrained in me from my parents, and I hope that I was able to bring that to UVA during my time here.