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January 12, 2021

Today I’m talking with Amy Tu, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Tyson Foods in Springdale, Arkansas. As you will hear, Amy has great responsibility as she oversees the legal department, ethics and compliance, corporate communications, government investigations, and internal audit. Amy is also the President of Tyson Ventures, a venture capital fund investing in companies developing breakthrough technologies. Amy attended Wellesley College where she studied economics. After graduation, she spent a couple years on Wall Street where she cut her teeth in the corporate world. She moved back to her native Arkansas with the hope that she would work on President Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. Amy then attended law school at the University of Arkansas. 

 

Towards the end of her law school career, she applied for a torts job at Walmart. But instead of interviewing for that job, she got a call from Walmart’s General Counsel who was intrigued by her Wall Street experience and asked her what she really wanted to do, to which she answered “international law.” Amy spent a few years at Walmart but attributes many of her career and legal lessons to her time at Boeing where she spent 16 years making a name for herself, building up her own practice, and going through experiences that would prepare her for her current role at Tyson. My takeaway from Amy’s story is that you must ask for what you want and do everything you can to make your goals a reality. That’s exactly what Amy did when she moved abroad while working for Boeing but before they had any attorneys outside the United States. Amy was diligent to create a place for herself in their London office. This effort took many months, a lot of relationship development, and unwavering drive. It’s one of Amy’s proudest accomplishments but just one example of what it took to get to where she is.

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