‘Hey Alexa, call John Herd’

Berry College alumnus John Herd never imagined he’d end up across the country from where he grew up, but he sure is glad he did. Now calling Seattle home, John and his team design how people shop with Amazon’s Alexa.

Originally from South Carolina, John graduated from Berry in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with concentrations in design, film production and speech. He now works at the intersection of Amazon’s retail experience and the ambient computing technology called Alexa. “We are building the future of shopping with the hope of making customer’s lives easier with a helpful and intelligent assistant,” he says.

Thanks to his time as a member of the Berry College Forensics Union, John was able to hone in on his ability to solve complex problems within ambiguity and discipline. Taking this into his career at Amazon, he learned how to express those solutions in a way that all types of people can understand. This is all thanks to the influence of Randy Richardson, former Berry communication lecturer and forensics director, and Chip Hall, former assistant forensics director.

“Randy and Chip were my greatest influences during my time at Berry. They helped me navigate through school and social life with good humor and thoughtful insight. Through the years (and too many overnight van rides), I learned how to articulate and express my ideas, what it means to be an informed citizen, to appreciate hard work and how to dedicate myself to creating a meaningful career,” John says.


Written by senior Alexi Bell

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