I Am Elon with Simone Jackson ’16
A member of Elon’s track and field team, Simone is open to making mistakes and learning from them—both on the field and in the classroom.
Simone Jackson discovered her calling in middle school. It was field day and she found herself winning all of the racing events. She realized that although soccer was her first love, she was most at home as a runner. “What makes running fun is the high you get,” says Simone, now a sprinter on Elon’s track and field team. “You exert your body so hard and so fast, which hurts, but afterward you have the satisfaction of completion. Pushing your body in ways that you normally don’t is exciting.”
A senior majoring in strategic communications, Simone incorporated athletics into her academic work through her capstone. She worked with Professor Don Grady to research the portrayal of women in sports fashion brands. She analyzed two years of Instagram posts for Nike and adidas. “It was interesting to me as an athlete to look at those brands with an advertising eye and evaluate their strategies. Women in sports are very multidimensional, and I think they portray that well,” she says.
Simone is an internship ambassador for the School of Communications, promoting internships by speaking to classes and advising younger students about the value of real-world work experience. In the summer of 2015, Simone interned at Ogilvy & Mather in New York City, an experience she calls intense but wonderful. “What I learned is that advertising is an industry where you must have thick skin and take criticism,” she says.
In competitive track and field, especially the individual races Simone runs, accountability is key. “You’re responsible for winning or losing—you control your destiny,” she says. “Being open to making mistakes and open to learning cannot only make you better as an athlete, but also as a person.”
By Kim Walker