Block plan prepared Volker for fast-paced job

As operations manager for Amazon in Madison, Wisconsin, Whitney Rose Volker ’06 draws directly on skills she developed as a student on the block plan at Cornell College.

“I love being able to execute large projects on a short timeline,” she says. “Learning how to think and execute multiple high-quality products and ideas in 18 days translates into a strong bias for action at the workplace. Think fast. Fail fast. Regroup fast.”  

Volker was part of the launch teams for new Amazon robotics buildings in Minnesota, Nevada, and California—futuristic facilities where hundreds of robots collaborate with humans to sort packages for delivery. The studio art major’s first job after graduation was merchandising for women’s clothing at Target headquarters in Minneapolis. She progressed through three more positions including a logistics executive team lead before moving to

Downtown Mount Vernon
Downtown Mount Vernon during Heritage Days.

As a Cornell student Volker says she enjoyed both the town of Mount Vernon and nearby Palisades-Kepler State Park. 

“The Pal is the best place to study, relax, cook out, decompress, and take long walks,” she says of the park that has been a Cornell student attraction for generations. “Cornell students are so lucky to have such a wonderful retreat so close to campus.” 

If she could give potential students advice, she says she would tell them this: “If you are already interested and looking for a small yet extremely involved campus, trust your gut and go for it! Cornell and Mount Vernon are magical!”