The Lowry family has been an avid supporter of the University and the community for years.
New York City is the home of gems like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building; however, it’s now also the home of recent UL Lafayette graduate, Joshua Jackson. Jackson ’16 recently moved to the “Big Apple” in order to pursue his career in fashion public relations. Originally from Shreveport, Jackson studied public relations and minored in business administration while at UL Lafayette. As a student, he always knew that his end goal would be to live in New York, but wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to get there. With a little hard work and perseverance, Jackson is now living out his dream and is ready to take the city by storm.
Jackson knew that UL Lafayette would be his home as soon as he stepped on campus for a campus tour. “It felt so welcoming,” said Jackson. He was a very active student on campus serving as Traditions Chair for the University Program Council and creating his own organization from the ground up called the Collegiate Fashion Association. CFA was born out of Jackson’s desire to create an outlet for students to express themselves with clothing. “I wanted people to know that you can express your style however you want,” said Jackson. Under Jackson’s guidance, CFA hosted several informational seminars, fashion shows, and even led to Jackson giving a Ted Talk on his experience creating the organization from scratch.
With graduation quickly approaching, Jackson knew that New York was still his main dream. He turned to his mentor, Professor Ericka Haynes, for guidance on his future. “She was a beacon of light to me,” said Jackson. In a turn of events, Jackson ended up accepting a job as an account executive at a digital advertising firm in Dallas right out of college. Here, he gained tons of experience working in the communications field, but knew that he still wanted to fulfill his main dream of moving to the city that never sleeps. After one year of working in Dallas, Jackson decided that it was time to take a leap of faith and to make the big move. “It was either now or never,” said Jackson.
Since arriving in New York, Jackson has immersed himself in the fashion industry. He currently is working as a sales manager at Michael Kors on 5th Avenue. Along with that, Jackson has been volunteering with the public relations agency that handles New York Fashion Week. Through this opportunity, Jackson has had the chance to see first-hand what it takes to put on an event of that caliber and watch a few fashion shows from some of his favorite designers in the process.
Even though Jackson no longer resides in Louisiana, he credits UL Lafayette for helping him adjust to the cultural difference of living in New York City. “New York City is the ultimate melting pot. Being a student on UL Lafayette’s diverse campus definitely prepared me for living here,” said Jackson. Jackson has also made it a priority to give back to the institution that helped shape him into the person that he is today. Currently, he is working on a scholarship program that would utilize fashion initiatives to create scholarships for minority students attending UL Lafayette. The program is set to begin in January of 2019.
Jackson may not have landed in New York City right out of graduation, but he believes that it is important to have trust in the process. “Moving to Dallas was never part of my plan. However, that experience helped prepare me for moving to New York City,” said Jackson. As he continues to live out his dreams in the big city, Jackson will always remember his Ragin’ Cajun family that guided him to where he is today, gave him the confidence to succeed, and encouraged him to take a bold risk that paid off.
Photo: UL Lafayette alumnus Joshua Jackson '16