DSC_0908.JPG.download On February 12th, Reinhardt University welcomed Atlantic Records’ Executive Vice President Amir Windom to campus, where he spoke at a SAC event in honor of Black History Month. Windom is one of the top players in the music business today. He has worked at Bad Boy Records, Def Jam Records, and is now the youngest VP in Atlantic Record history at the age of twenty-eight.
Windom was an all-around athlete throughout high school. He planned to continue his football career throughout college at Florida A&M University, but something stopped him. The summer after his freshman year, he was awarded the amazing opportunity to intern at Def Jam Records. After a summer at Def Jam, Windom had made a significant impression on his managers and the CEO. Instead of returning to school in the fall, Windom decided to take a full-time position at Def Jams Records. At nineteen years old, Windom was the youngest member of the team and was making an even greater impression on the leaders of the company. Shortly after joining the company, Windom was promoted to manager. He realized that the employees working under him didn’t respect him due to his age. At this point, Windom discovered the importance of purpose vs. power. Instead of acting like he was the boss, Windom tried to make connections with his employees. He says that by doing so he was able to manage his team more efficiently.
In 2006 Windom felt the need to return to, and finish, school. He approached his boss with the idea of returning to school while working full-time, and his boss approved. Windom returned to A&M and began his path to graduation. He took classes Monday through Friday and worked Thursday through Sunday. Taking 21 hours a semester, Windom graduated in two years. At his graduation ceremony in 2008, the CEO of Atlantic Records announced that Windom would be the new Executive VP.
Windom has some words of advice for students seeking internships, jobs, or just trying to succeed in the world. Windom says to present yourself as courageous and ambitious, not just another student. Making yourself stand out is the key to success. Windom also wants students to know that “no success is obtained without struggle”. He has worked very hard for the position he now has, and says students need a great work ethic to succeed.
Windom has one major piece of advice for students trying to succeed in the business world and in life: “Strive to be more than successful. Be Significant.” Windom defines success as having the money, the fame, the awards. For him, significance is making a difference in other people’s lives. As a member of various organizations such as 100 Black Men of Dekalb County’s Leadership Academy, and as a board member of YMCA Atlanta, Windom is actively making a difference in people’s lives. He is both successful and significant.
Reinhardt is grateful to have had such an influential man come to speak as part of Black History Month. Thank you, Amir Windom, for your wise words.
Candice Bailey, Staff Writer