How a 10¢ sticker landed me a Systems Engineering Role at Apple

Justin Reeves Face Sticker Evolution

In 2012 I left my job at an Apple Retail store to begin managing Apple devices for a small school district in Mississippi. In 2019 I decided I wanted to try something new, So I accepted a job 6 hours from home in Atlanta, GA to manage Macs for the Fortune 1000 company, Equifax. I knew a lot about how to manage devices in an education environment but found out quickly that I had a lot to learn in the enterprise field.

A couple short months after I started at Equifax, there was a major failure related to software update for macOS. I honestly had no idea how to fix it, but I knew it was my job so I had to figure it out. Luckily my current boss, Kevin, and our Apple Systems Engineer, Jorge, had so much faith in me that Kevin said, if I was able to fix this problem he would get a shirt with my face on it and wear it around the office. Being new to town and new to this company I was slightly embarrassed by this and for the most part accepted it as a joke. Within the week, I fixed the issue and luckily Kevin did not get my face on a shirt but often he and Jorge would joke about it.

A couple weeks later I see an ad for sticker mule saying I can get 10 custom stickers for only 1 dollar. I then knew what I had to do, so I grabbed a picture of myself and got my face made into a sticker. I then snuck a sticker onto Kevin’s desk while he was out. When he saw the sticker he thought it was hilarious and to my surprise stuck it on the back of his company issued MacBook. Kevin was meeting with VPs, SVPs, and C level executives at Equifax with this sticker of my face on his computer. It definitely sparked a lot of questions and I started getting recognized for it.

The next week Jorge visits from Apple. He sees the sticker and immediately asks me to give him one. He then does the same, placing the sticker on his Apple issued MacBook. Over the next few months, Many other major corporations Jorge covers see my face and ask about it, and unbeknownst to me, the same is happening with his bosses and coworkers. This even escalated to the point where I met Jorge’s boss at a meeting and the first thing he did was ask me for a sticker.

Fast forward to 2019. My dream job, Education Systems Engineer at Apple has an opening and it’s in Georgia. I immediately applied and so did 300+ other people. I started interviewing with low hopes thinking this coveted position would be awarded to someone else, but after 6 months of interviews I finally got the job. I was elated and within a week of starting my new boss told me that he “had my name on a list before I ever applied” and that he “knew who I was because of my face on someones computer at Apple.”

When he told me this, I was shocked. That’s when I knew that 10 stickers of my face wouldn’t be enough. These face stickers were helping me build my reputation without me ever opening my mouth. So I ditched my actual face on the sticker and created the Memoji version of my face sticker. I would hand them out to someone if they expressed that they were happy with my work or if I made a good impression on them. So when someone asks them about the sticker, they would promote me without even knowing it.

In the years since, I’ve joined a new team at Apple. My sticker is in Apple admin’s offices in both Education and Enterprise across the country. It still resides on Kevin and Jorge’s computers to this day and is even on my current boss’ daily water bottle.

I’m also now on v3 of the sticker which included the QR code to this site that I created to share my story. I hope it inspires you to promote yourself and always strive for what you want to achieve. ✌️

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