NACOGDOCHES, Texas - When opportunity came knocking on the door of Ana Romero, Stephen F. Austin State University Rusche College of Business alumna, she answered with a determined curiosity.

"My friend messaged me one day and said there was a position opening at Amazon and I should apply," Romero said. "I thought, 'I'll go for it. There's no harm in trying.' I had heard Amazon's interview process was brutal, so I didn't know what my odds were."

During the first round of interviews, Romero took preliminary exams to test her finance and sales skills. In round two, she underwent a phone interview then was flown to Amazon headquarters in Seattle for an in-person interview, which involved six back-to-back interviews with multiple people. That same evening, Amazon extended her an offer.

"I always wanted to do something big for the Rusche College of Business and one day become a distinguished SFA alumna," Romero said. "It makes me really proud and excited to know that among all Amazon's candidates they picked me, an SFA alum, and I get to represent everything the college has invested in me."

Romero said this is her dream job and that she has hopes to work at Amazon until retirement.

"Amazon has so many opportunities, and it is growing so much. It's going to be a constant challenge for me with new markets to explore and new things to learn," Romero said.

In early April, Romero relocated to Seattle to begin her new position as brand specialist in the lawn and garden category for Amazon.

"I help position my brand on the site, run deals and ensure their marketing is focused on the correct areas, while also working to improve sales and in-stock rates," Romero said. "I am the face of Amazon to my brand, and it is my goal to obtain 100 percent customer satisfaction within the lawn and garden category."

Romero has been a go-getter from the beginning. She was an honors student at SFA and was active in the School of Honors. She participated in a study abroad trip to Italy, Germany and Switzerland, where she visited many well-known companies. Romero also was one of the first students to study abroad at Group Sup De Co Business School in La Rochelle, France.

During an internship with an apartment complex in Nacogdoches, Romero helped the complex expand and market to tenants. She also interned with Kimberly Clark in Mexico City in the international commerce department. Additionally, she worked at SFA's Student Recreation Center's front desk and taught workout classes. After her 2016 graduation from SFA with a bachelor's degree in international business, Romero worked for Aon Hewitt, a human resource solutions company.

"I owe everything that I am professionally to the Rusche College of Business and so many people within it, including Dr. Grubbs, Dr. Lindsey, Ms. Henderson, Dr. Culpepper, Ms. Wittliff and especially Dr. Thornley," Romero said. "The professors in every department invested so much in me and took the time to share their knowledge and become my mentors. I'm really thankful and blessed that I crossed paths with everyone in the college."

Romero also credits SFA's faculty members with helping teach her how to achieve success.

"Dr. Thornley gave me meaningful advice. He said, 'Don't be afraid to take the first contract job even if it's not your dream job. Don't be afraid to take the first step because eventually your dream job will come around," Romero said. "This was really hard for me to hear because I wanted my dream job right when I graduated. He changed my perspective, and he was so right."