Deonte Watson is off to Nashville to job-shadow for an Allstate insurance agent after earning a bachelor’s degree in business management at UT Martin. After he receives his license and learns the ropes, he wants to start his own independent agency one day.
It’s a years-long pursuit that required hard work and was nourished by the academic environment at Jackson State Community College, where he enrolled in 2016. His ACT score of 15 made him ineligible for four-year colleges, and he needed a solid start at a community college after graduating from Gibson County High School.
Watson, a resident of Rutherford, said the culture at Jackson State helped him succeed, and he ultimately transferred to UT Martin to finish his degree. He credits faculty members, such as Dr. Liz Mayo, Dr. Billy Wesson and Dr. Andrew Kelley, among others, who made him feel at home.
“As a student, I felt great,” Watson said. “I was really comfortable there. Jackson State really prepared me well.”
He joined the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Chi Omicron Chapter at Jackson State – which, as a 5-Star chapter, enjoys the highest rating the organization bestows. He helped the group win first place at the organization’s regional competition in Nashville in 2018.
Watson was a history major at Jackson State but switched to business management at UT Martin because he wanted a degree that he thought was more versatile. Transitioning to a four-year school and a different major was difficult, he said, but the education he received at Jackson State gave him the tools to do it.
He said it was a great option for him to continue his education after high school. And now, he’s ready for a new career.
“If you’re considering Jackson State, go ahead,” he said. “It’s one of the community colleges I’d recommend to anybody. Know that there is family there outside of your immediate family.”