But a funny thing happened on her path to taking the bar examination.
"I fell into sales shortly after graduation and I can’t imagine doing anything else," said Jones. "I’ve never worked a day in a criminal justice career, even though my dream was to be an attorney. To sell is my calling."
Jones was recently named advertising director for the Mississippi Business Journal after serving in a similar capacity with the Clarion-Ledger for several years. She says she is elated to join the MBJ and direct its sales staff.
"I have always admired the product and consider it to be a valuable news and advertisement source for our state," said Jones, who grew up in Prentiss. "Just like in all media, we are faced with many challenges in growing revenues and increasing market share, but I believe the Mississippi Business Journal has a competitive edge. We have a unique audience and provide the state with news that is specific to the business to business world."
Publisher Alan Turner says Jones’ expertise will pay dividends for the paper and its readers.
"We’re pleased to welcome Tami to our management team at the Business Journal," he said. "We’re fortunate to have someone with her experience and knowledge of the market, and we’re confident that she’ll help to play a key role as we look to expand our presence and brand throughout Mississippi."
In addition to serving in the newspaper industry, Jones’ professional career includes managing two Jackson clothing stores and a stint as a supervisor with Kroger.
Jones and her husband Derrick reside in Clinton, where they raise three active children: Justin, Mia and Kayla.
Sales, she says, is an extension of her personality. Interacting with staff and customers is gratifying, and the opportunity to ‘grow’ the MBJ was an appealing factor in her decision to accept the advertising director position with the paper, said Jones.
"We are on a fast track with the Internet, and the Journal has positioned itself well with social media to be on the cutting edge," she said. "Our audience is unique, but we can deliver to our customers, potential buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy their goods and services."
Some of Jones’s goals as advertising director will be to meet all of the paper’s advertisers in the next 90 days and become more involved in the community. She also wants to help contribute to the Journal’s commitment to becoming a larger presence online.
"Aside from sales goals, I also want our staff to have fun," Jones added.