James ’96, Marketing Management
account planner for UniWorld Group in New York City
, Jean-Paul “J.P.” James has roots in the Inland Empire
. After graduating from Upland High School , he entered
Cal Poly Pomona through the Educational Opportunity
Summer Bridge Program in 1991.
“The Summer Bridge Program was my introduction to university life,” says James. “It not only showed me the ropes for college success, but it also changed my life.”
At Cal Poly Pomona, he was actively involved in the campus community. James was instrumental in reviving the university's Advertising Club, a student branch of the American Advertising Federation (AAF). He and his fellow club members represented Cal Poly Pomona at the AAF's National Student Advertising Competition, achieving second place to the reigning national champion, UCLA, in regional competition in 1996.
Prior to completing his undergraduate degree in 1996, James received on-the-job advertising agency experience through several internships, which prepared him for his first entry-level position. As he gained expertise, he rose steadily through the ranks, but decided to increase his educational payload by earning a master's in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University 's Medill School of Journalism in Illinois. Degree in hand, he moved into his current position in New York City .
Despite the hectic pace of the advertising world, this alumnus continues to reach out to the community. James has partnered with Cal Poly Pomona's Educational Equity Services as a volunteer for Summer Bridge . He served as a role model and mentor for students, sharing his experiences in the same program and encouraging them to work hard and find their own educational successes. When James moved out of state, he continued to support the program financially, which inspired the program to name a scholarship in his honor. The J.P. James Community Builder Award is presented to Summer Bridge participants who encourage an atmosphere of cooperation and unity among their peers. James' advice to current and future Cal Poly Pomona students is meaningful.
“Cal Poly Pomona was the springboard that made my dreams a reality, even though the odds were against me,” he says. “You, too, can find your dreams at Cal Poly Pomona.”