Korri Jones

A willingness to give back and connect with students is part of the Volunteer spirit that Jones carries with him.

- Alumni

For Korri Jones (MBA, ‘16), being a University of Tennessee Volunteer means impact. While researching Haslam’s MBA program in business analytics, Jones was struck by the impactful nature of the Volunteer spirit.

“The stories of students impacting their communities through philanthropy, boots on the ground volunteerism, starting companies focused on making a difference or even fighting for policy changes for equity and equality show the difference that UT Vols make,” Jones says.

Jones embodies this spirit, making his own impact as senior lead machine learning engineer with Chick-fil-A Inc.

“My days involve mental preparation, business-context building, prioritized goal progress, solution building and succession planning through effective documentation,” he says. “Some days it is heavier on relationships and planning, while other days it is heavier on the technical side, but I am grateful to have a job that each day is unique and the challenges are always exciting.”

A key part of Jones’ responsibilities is looking at business metrics from the previous day, such as sales, transaction counts and more, which has become more important due to COVID and the effect it has had on the restaurant industry.

Jones’ tactical work includes participation in agile stand-up meetings with partners in the Chick-fil-A Inc. IT organization, Digital Transformation & Technology. These meetings give him perspective on what the IT company is doing, so he can determine if there is any support he can provide as one of the key stakeholders/consumers of the work outputs they continuously deliver.

Jones says his functional work can be very technical in nature, and he often finds himself working on solutions that involve coding and research.

“Luckily, I get to collaborate with some great partners across the business to make sure we push the correct solutions out to stakeholders,” he says. “In my case, my primary stakeholders are our data scientists and master modelers. Once I finish solving a use case or a part of it, I take the time to document how to reproduce it so that folks less technical than me can pick it up and recreate what we did.”

As an alumnus, Jones encourages current students to engage actively with alumni as they pursue their chosen career path.

“Proactively engage alumni that have the job and/or title that you ultimately want in the field of your choice and ask them about their journey, pitfalls and advice they can give,” Jones says. “We all have career goals, and learning from those that have reached them can make a huge difference in how fast you are able to achieve those goals.”

A willingness to give back and connect with students is part of the Volunteer spirit that Jones carries with him.

“This spirit aligned with me as a person, and I couldn’t have made a better decision in retrospect of which alumni family to ultimately join,” Jones says.