Graduate Spotlight: Jaime Ramirez on Developing Leaders to Fuel Organizational Success

Photo: Jaime Ramirez

As a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at Amazon, MSCJ alumni Jaime Ramirez will tell you that no day is the same. Overseeing loss prevention at over 90 Amazon locations, he could be investigating fraud one day, managing security infrastructure, or protecting the 9,000 employees and vendors who work in their buildings, the next.

Now with an MSCJ in hand, Jaime is dedicated to mentoring future leaders, so they too, can find success in their professional journeys. In fact, mentoring young leaders, he says, is the most rewarding part of his job.

Below, Jaime Ramirez discusses how he got started in the criminal justice field, reflects on his experience while earning an MSCJ and shares advice for prospective MSCJ students.

Tell us about your background and how you started your career in the criminal justice field.

Criminal justice can be a broad field, not just focused on law enforcement, corrections or the courts. My entire family is in law enforcement and I was destined to also follow the career path.

While completing my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), I was offered an internship at Boeing (Space and Defense Systems) in their Security department. This marked the beginning of my career in criminal justice as I was later offered a full-time position. After graduating from CSULB, I immediately began a career in loss prevention, landing my first management job with Target. After 4 years there, I was recruited to The Home Depot where I spent 13 years holding multiple positions at various responsibility levels in loss prevention and operations. Most notably, I was able to lead the Southern California Region for The Home Depot as the Regional Investigations Manager, where I led a team of loss professional professionals who were responsible for all the theft investigations, both externally and internally within the organization.

Approximately 2 years ago, while in the MSCJ Program at Bovard College, I transitioned to a new role as the Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Amazon. I am currently responsible for leading a team of loss prevention professionals in Southern California for Amazon’s Global Specialty Fulfillment Logistics department.

In your own words, what is loss prevention?

In general, loss prevention is responsible for mitigating the financial losses of a company, be it through investigating theft and fraud incidents, operational deficiencies, and physical security practices. It’s a crucial part of any business as they usually create and mandate the company policies and procedures around the many areas that affect financial losses, as well as, life safety and protection of the employees and assets of the business.

What does a typical workday look like as a Regional Loss Prevention Manager?

With Amazon, there is no typical day. There are many challenges that I am faced with that stem from investigating high-dollar internal fraud cases to on-the-road driver theft investigations. But there are many other tenets that I am responsible for other than just theft. On a daily basis, my team and I manage the security infrastructures of all our new Amazon Site launches, the complete physical security protection, access control, and data protection of our buildings, as well as the protection of our 9,000 employees and vendors that work in our buildings and on the road in the Amazon vehicles.

What are some of the key qualities one must possess in order to successfully execute their role as a loss prevention professional?

Building key partnerships with the many different stakeholders is one key quality one must have in order to be effective. Many areas of the business are dependent on your expertise with investigations, crisis management, criminal legal procedures, and having the business acumen to help the operations of the business maintain financial control. Building and maintaining those partnerships help the business operate with the least amount of financial loss while maintaining a safe and secure work environment.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your career so far?

I’ve enjoyed watching my associates learn, grow and become as successful as they can be. I’m at a point in my career where I believe I have the responsibility and ability to develop and mentor young leaders and help them achieve their goals through my past experiences, both professionally and personally. This in turn translates to highly motivated employees that deliver results at the highest levels for the organization.

MSCJ Alum Jaime Ramirez at USC’s 2021 Commencement ceremony. Photo: Jaime Ramirez

What were some of the most enjoyable topics you explored while in the MSCJ program?

Every topic during my two years at USC was great. But for me, the most enjoyable classes or topics in the program were ‘Criminal Justice Leadership’ with Professor Danko and ‘Organizational Change in Criminal Justice’ with Professor Cortez. Both of these classes were so relevant to the landscape of what is currently happening in the United States now with criminal justice. Collaborating with my classmates on the heated topics of today, where we are heading tomorrow, and how as leaders in the field, we are able to navigate, approach, and lead our organizations into the future, were by far the most impactful topics to me.

How has an MSCJ influenced the way you approach your work?

The MSCJ program has definitely changed my outlook, approach, and ability to manage and lead in my organization. The topics in the program were timely and relevant, covering the different sectors of criminal justice. I now see the large spectrum of challenges that both the public and private sectors are faced with. Through the MSCJ program, I have acquired more confidence and skills to tackle those opportunities within my organization.

You’re an Ambassador for the MSCJ program. What fueled your decision to give back to prospective students?

Just like in my career and in my current role at Amazon, leadership is a privilege. Being in the position I am now and after completing the MSCJ program, I feel that it’s my responsibility to share the experiences and knowledge that I have attained from the program with prospective students.

What advice would you give to prospective students who are looking to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice at USC?

Invest in yourself and be ready from the start to hit the ground running. The curriculum is challenging, but in a good way, so you must prioritize your time in the program against all your other commitments. What helped me to be successful in the program was to continually collaborate with my classmates, especially outside of class. I had classmates from many different career paths throughout the criminal justice arena, and the perspectives I gained from them were unparalleled. The professors in the program are elite, and I believe are the best in their fields of study. Reach out to your professors. They are dedicated to your success and the partnerships you gain from doing so will enhance your learning experience and immersion in the program.

Learn more about the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program.

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