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Meet Jaha Knight
Jaha is one of our younger employees, having joined us in 2019 as an intern just out of college before being converted into a full-time position. Ambitious and ready for all life has to offer, Jaha has already done some international travel, including an internship in London, with plans to visit more of our country and the world. She enjoys her creative role and is looking at ways to expand her creative outlets. Take a moment to get to know Jaha!
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Loudoun County, Virginia, graduated from Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn, VA and graduated with a BA in Journalism from American University in DC
What excites you most about your work as a Graphic Designer?
The unlimited opportunities that come with being a designer and a creative. Getting into graphic design has helped me find my true passion which is photography.
If you weren’t working in the field you are right now, what other job would you be interested in trying?
Full time content creation and modeling
What is your favorite hobby, what got you started on it and when did you pick it up?
I am the type of person who has a bunch of different hobbies for different reasons but if I had to name a few I would say gaming (Xbox and PlayStation), reading, film photography, and painting.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received was from Chair At Large of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Phyllis Randall, at my high school graduation where she stated “no matter how far you are, always remember to call home.”
What got you on the path to where you are now?
Upon graduating college in 2019, we were all hit with a pandemic that none of us saw coming. It was very hard for me to find a full-time position with a college degree that was fresh off the printer, so I ended up accepting a full-time internship with Science Systems and Applications, Inc. as a communications intern. At the time of me starting, our only social media outlet was LinkedIn. During my time as an intern, I created Instagram and Twitter accounts for SSAI and was tasked with creating content for all of our media platforms as well as getting employees onboard and more active on social media. Thankfully, after a year I was picked up full time as a graphic designer and I have been developing my design, coding, and photography skills since then.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
My internship experiences in college: NBC4 Washington, SiriusXM Radio, and Music Week Magazine in London, England.
Share something that not many of your colleagues might know about you.
At some point in my life, I would like to write a novel, probably a romance thriller.
What is something you’ve done in your life that makes you feel accomplished?
I studied abroad and lived in a whole different country (London, UK)
What’s your dream vacation location, and what is it about that location that makes it so special to you?
I have been waiting my whole life to go to Disney World and get my Mickey Mouse Ear picture in the Magic Kingdom. I know it sounds corny, but I was an avid Disney kid and I’m all for anything that brings back childhood nostalgia.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
This question stumps me because if I could get an apartment in a different city for a few months at a time before picking up and moving to the next city, that would be ideal for me. Right now, I’m at a place in my life where I want to see any and everything, not just around the world, but also in the United States, so I never want to be stuck in one place for too long.
Have you learned anything new during the pandemic?
I have learned that I really do not like adulting so I’m not quite sure why I was in any type of rush to grow up.
What is something you’d like to accomplish this year?
I would like to launch a photography business.
What is your claim to fame?
I started doing fashion, food, and comedy content creation on TikTok over the pandemic and grew all my social media accounts to a total of 20.4k followers with over a million likes.
What is your happiest memory?
My high school graduation and my high school graduation party because everybody who was closest to me showed up. My mom also surprised me with a slideshow video of my life at my party and there was not a dry eye in the house.
What is the most important lesson you feel you’ve learned?
If you are going to go to college, make sure you get in a degree in something that is marketable and don’t expect to get a job in what you went to school for; be flexible.
Who or what inspires you?
My mom inspires me because she has showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to with hard work, dedication, and consistency. She has showed me to be very independent and how to advocate and take care of business for myself, which is not only important for any woman, but it is especially important being a black woman.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?
I see myself being a fashion photographer, model, and full-time content creator.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Taking studio photography classes!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced is probably suffering and understanding my mental health this past year. Within a few months of each other, I lost two individuals who were very close to me, and I truly feel like that process of grieving altered my brain chemistry and sent me to a very bad mental space. Because of the severity of my mental health, I have become a huge advocate for people who struggle with the same things, especially individuals in my position where our first taste of post grad work was probably sitting in our living room and not moving to that dream city and making new friends like we thought we would. I am very vocal about my up and down battles with mental health on my social media platforms, which has allowed me to reach people from all over the world by just using my voice.
What’s the last picture on your phone?
A selfie with me and a steak quesadilla from chipotle
What is your most useless talent?
No talent is useless and usually the ones that people say are “useless” can separate you from others and open windows of opportunities for you that you never thought were there! I always tell people to explore all your talents and make one stick!
What fictional place would you most like to go?
Anything else you’d like to share?
Be you in whatever capacity that means to you because I promise your parents will still love you and if you go to sleep happy with yourself and what you’re putting out to the world every day, then you, my friend, have unlocked true happiness.
Thank you for talking to us Jaha, it was great getting to know more about you!