Have Faith in The Process,
Trust Your Journey &
Be an Active Member of UAlbany’s Inclusive Community
The past four years at the University at Albany have been nothing short of life changing. Each year, I have grown academically, socially, and mentally.
As a freshman, I was thrust out of my comfort zone, which was quite an adjustment. Growing up in Long Island, I had the same group of friends since 1st grade. I had to actively force myself to engage with my classmates from various backgrounds and to not just rely on my stable friend group back home. I was also challenged by the new demands of time management – balancing my free time with my course load.
I didn’t quite find that balance until my sophomore year. I began to take more business-focused courses to further narrow down my future career path. Since I was a child, I always had a passion for fashion. Fashion not only granted me an opportunity for self-expression, but I enjoyed paying attention to unique fashion trends. I was even named “Best Dressed” in high school. I also had a dream of working in corporate America and being in charge of a company’s strategic business direction. Even though I had those broad dreams, I still had neither an idea of how those two passions aligned nor the steps required to get to that position. I then joined two great organizations, the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and Fashion Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs (FACE). Through the programming and mentorship provided from both organizations, I was able to learn how I could combine my passions for business and fashion through a career in retail and consumer banking. The individuals in these organizations also made me feel apart of a family that was pivotal to my experience here.
During my junior year, I began to see several personal advancements. At the end of my junior year, I was appointed as Vice President of FACE and Public Relations Chair of NABA for the 2017-2018 academic year. I also secured a finance internship with The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City for the summer going into my senior year. It is important during your college experience that you do not let any temporary setbacks, like a bad grade in a course, become a permanent setback. I remember being extremely upset that I couldn’t get a summer internship in the field I wanted after my freshmen year. However, two years later, I began a summer internship opportunity of a lifetime. This past summer, I was a finance intern at one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country, The Rockefeller Foundation. It contributed greatly to my professional growth and understanding of the financial sector.
As a graduating senior, I am happy to be in this period of transition and maturity. As I reflect on the past four years, I am certainly not the same person who stepped onto U Albany’s campus in August of 2014. This year, I have been focusing on my leadership roles in FACE and NABA, taking harder academic courses to prepare me for my future career and enjoying my remaining time with friends who have turned into family.
If I can state only one lesson that I have learned during my time at this university, it is that you should listen to your passions and let it guide to you a major and a career path. Don’t fret over not knowing exactly what you want to do. You should utilize the advice of the current students and faculty, participate in wide diversity of organizations on campus and be open to taking a large variety of courses to find your true calling. This university offers a lot of opportunity for personal growth, mentorship and career advancement. Be sure to become an active member within the university’s inclusive community, trust the process and have faith in your journey.