Myricia Amey

Cal State LA marketing student wins dream job with Nike

She was determined to honor her late parents and complete her degree in four years

Myricia Amey

By Jillian Beck | Cal State LA News Service

Myricia Amey lost her mom as a junior in high school and her dad a year later, just a month shy of graduating. She says it would have been easy to give up.

Some friends and family, and even a high school counselor, told her she should give up her dreams of attending a university. It would be impossible, they said, to earn a degree in four years.

“I wasn’t going to let them determine my future,” Amey says.  

The 22-year-old Anaheim resident will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an option in marketing from Cal State LA’s College of Business and Economics. Soon she will start a full-time analyst position at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

“For me to go to college, finish within four years, and get my degree despite everything that I have gone through means I can achieve anything moving forward,” she says. “This degree means from here on out, whatever I continue to put my mind to, I will continue to get it done—there is no stopping after this.”

With the support of her three older siblings and a deep motivation to make her parents proud, she moved south from her hometown of Manteca in Northern California to Los Angeles, determined to succeed.

An academic counselor at Cal State LA helped Amey discover an interest in business and marketing and declare her major. Outgoing by nature, Amey was drawn to the creativity in the field and its connection to people.

Growing up, she expressed herself through mastering new hobbies, like skateboarding and dance, and through styling and fashion. She sees similarities in marketing and fashion: how a strategy informs both an advertising campaign and how to style a dancer for a music video or a model for a photoshoot. Amey styles her own outfits now, putting her own unique spin on trends, and always with a pair of Nike sneakers.

At Cal State LA, Amey developed her knowledge of marketing through her business courses, fascinated by how companies can use consumer behavior to know more about the people behind the purchases—what they like, what might be going on in their lives, and how to connect them with products they’ll love.  

Amey found support from the university’s Career Development Center, receiving help fine-tuning her resume for internship and job applications. She was also supported by professors in class and during office hours. Amey praised faculty, like Terri Horton, for how welcoming they are to students and for teaching valuable lessons about business and life.

“I felt like Cal State LA was always trying to go above and beyond to give the students what they need to have a successful college career,” she says, “and I am very thankful that I chose this university to attend.”

In between classes and studying in the library, Amey worked as a sales associate at a Nike store in Orange. In her position, she loved connecting with customers and pairing them with the perfect piece of footwear. The experience provided valuable knowledge about the company, which helped her land an internship last summer.

The internship with Nike at its Oregon headquarters pushed Amey out of her comfort zone. As a strategic enterprise capabilities (SEC) user experience and project management intern, she mined data for insights to help the team developing an internal software program for Nike. She loved the experience and was determined to get everything she could out of it, speaking up in meetings with leadership and being the last to leave the office.

A few days after her final presentation at the end of the summer, Amey got a call—an offer for a full-time job after graduation. “I couldn’t believe it,” Amey says. “I began to cry.”

In July, she’ll make the move from California to Oregon to start the next chapter of her life as an SEC analyst for Nike. In the future, she hopes to continue striving for bigger and better goals, including director and vice president-level roles in the company. “I am definitely aiming high,” she says.

When Amey looks at all that she has been able to achieve, she is proud, and she knows her parents would be too. Her siblings, she says, tell her that her mom is watching over her now, jumping up and down with excitement.

She hopes her story can be an inspiration to others, especially those who have been counted out or are dealing with the loss of parents or loved ones.

“I know how difficult it can be to go through milestones in your life while not having your parents there, and wanting to say forget it and just give up,” Amey says. “I want them to know that you can still achieve all of their dreams, no matter any sort of obstacle that comes in your way.”