Want to learn more about the younger generation and prepare for future employees? Leading EDGE presents The Student Perspective blog series! In this installment, hear from TNPA marketing intern, Patricia Aniagba, on her takeaways from Pamela Taylor’s Career Day keynote speech, specifically on school, work, and life balance.
“I was prepared, I have been prepared because of what I learned in school.”
Pamela Taylor, SVP/Chief Brand Strategy & Communications Officer, Share Our Strength
Pamela Taylor heavily stresses the importance of a good education in her keynote speech during last year’s Leading EDGE Career Day Event. While on the topic of school, work, and life balance, she spoke specifically to marginalized communities and students of color by noting the “HBCU Advantage” (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and how the space and platform that HBCUs provide are unlike non-HBCUs. HBCU culture strives to foster a community built on black excellence and success, and as a Hampton University Alum, Taylor understands this firsthand. She refers to it as “the best decision I ever made in my entire life; for education and for academic growth and learning,” and the way it fulfilled her soul.
Taylor also emphasizes the importance of building a community through networking. Acknowledging how your “network is your net worth” can be the true clarification of your career path. For Taylor, networking opportunities shifted her focus from political science to public relations and communications as her new environments allowed for exploration.
As a Howard student myself, I too can attest to the plethora of opportunities made accessible for underrepresented students at my illustrious HBCU. Throughout my matriculation through Howard University, I have been able to put myself in spaces that allowed me to think outside of my major and my comfort zone. I learned about the nonprofit space and the careers within that industry as well as the entertainment industry and its push for black voices. The best part is learning about these industries from my peers and the community I have built around me because of everyone’s desire to watch each other succeed.
In your learning process and as you watch others succeed, you may begin to develop self-doubt or a case of imposter syndrome, but simply look at yourself. I continuously remind myself of who I am, what I am capable of, and how everyone’s path looks different. “Trust yourself,” is a phrase Taylor repeats to emphasize the importance of staying true to yourself. Understanding who you are as a person and your capabilities will position you to think of yourself more positively and escape your mind from the negativities of comparison.
Your time in college is short, and it is important to “fully absorb” each and every part like a sponge. Whether you attend an HBCU, Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), or a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), college is a time to learn about yourself and your passions, while gaining a new perspective on your goals and career desires.
For Employers: Read more about how to work with Leading EDGE students.
For Students: Writers needed! Contact Shelby Truxon, Director of Internship Experience, at email@example.com to write for the “Student Perspective” blog series. Read more about Leading EDGE internships and other programming.