Hometown: Atlanta, GA
College: The University of Georgia
The University of Michigan, The Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Occupation: Unemployed. Building my future.
1. Describe your job [as a student] in three words: Challenging. Impactful. Uncomfortable.
2. Why is it uncomfortable? Everyday I am challenged to step out of my comfort zone. I am learning things that I have never learned and will be held accountable for and I am also collaborating with people from completely different backgrounds. I feel that I am always thinking and growing which is uncomfortable, but rewarding.
3. What has been your favorite class at business school? It has been my Management and Organizations class. It teaches us practical skills that we can apply in a business setting, like negotiation, motivation, and incentivizing people. Essentially it teaches you frameworks to help you get what you want in a business setting. Coming to business school I wanted to become a better leader and I feel the management skills that I am learning in this class are applicable in teaching me how to lead in my professional and personal life.
4. If you were a college professor and you had to teach one class what would it be? I would want to teach a class at an HBCU that teaches minorities how to successfully interact in a professional setting and build positive networks. Similar to my management course, but more centered on how race impacts the way in which you should maneuver in the professional world, how to build networks you can leverage later, and the importance of mentoring and mentorship.
Partially because I use to be a teacher and I realize how important it is to lift while climbing and to seek out people who can help you avoid their mistakes.
5. Tell me about a mistake you made, but looking back you are happy you made it. So something that perhaps wasn’t a mistake after all. In undergrad I was pre-med. I only decided to be pre-med because in high school that’s all I knew and it was the only career where I thought I could make a lot of money. Even after I graduated college, I was still set on going to medical school, but teaching changed my mind.
I realized that I really didn’t want to go to medical school, I just wanted to work in a capacity that helped others. Having a pre-med background, though, was the only reason that I was ahead of the curve as a teacher and was pretty successful. Though I regret not going into business earlier, being pre-med allowed me to be successful in my career and make it into a top business school.
6. Who or what has had the greatest influence on your current way of thinking? This is embarrassing, but when I was younger I was made fun of quite a bit because I had issues with my teeth growing in on time. So naturally I was an introvert and became very slow to warm up to people. However, toward the end of middle school I had a surgery that corrected my dental issues and boosted my confidence.
I think this experience is still embedded in how I think now. For some reason, I have a passion for the underdog and I get extremely passionate when I have the opportunity to help someone who I think wouldn’t otherwise have anyone. Now, I am not really motivated if I am not giving someone advice or trying to make people feel better about their situations. I am a bit of a pleaser.
7. Did your passion for helping people drive you to do Teach for America (TFA) after college? Was that it?
Yes that was the primary motivation. It was also a combination of me wanting to really figure out if medical school was in my future and wanting to experience living somewhere completely different. I think TFA was the perfect decision because it allowed me to understand what really motivated me to be successful outside of money and status.
8. What is your simplest pleasure? Taking a nap– preferably on a beach or on the couch letting the TV watch me.
9. Would you rather meet your great great grandparents or your great great grandkids?
My great great grandkids. I am one of two males in my family who carries my last name which is a lot of responsibility. I would hope that all of my hard work now will be reflected in my children’s children and I would love to see how effective of a parent and mentor that I would be in order to have an impact that far down the road.
10. In ten years you will be…
married hopefully with two children. I will be living in a nice house back in Atlanta pretty close to my parents. I would love to be in a high level capacity in a public school district or a marketer at a major media, entertainment or technology company. I want to be active in my church, community and at my children’s school. I also want to be a season football ticket holder for UGA and/or the Falcons.