School:Howard University Alumna (Washington, DC)
Major: Economics and Political Science
Expected Graduation Date:May 2019
Next-Gen Scholar Period / Chamber Division:Summer 2018/Congressional Infrastructure
How has your time as a Next-Gen Scholar impacted what you have done since?
My time as a Next-Gen Scholar inspired me to design Innovation Challenges for companies. I’ve also been a large advocate for targeted investment into minority talent.
What was your favorite part of your time as a Next-Gen Scholar?
My favorite part was getting to know my cohort! They are all brilliant individuals and excelling in their respective fields. I left the Chamber with a family, and I’m deeply grateful for it.
What’s one takeaway or thing you learned from your time as a Next-Gen Scholar?
Rick Wade, the Senior vice president of Strategic Alliances and Outreach at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has a wealth of knowledge I was able to learn from. He’s inspired me to continue challenging the business community to invest in minority talent in tactical and impactful ways.
Describe your experience in 5 words or a phrase.
Impactful and eye-opening.
What would you say to someone who is considering applying for Next-Gen?
I strongly encourage you to apply! The Chamber has several different departments and you will be able to find your niche. Even if you aren’t directly working for them, the Chamber has so many resources/people you can tap into.
If you have participated in other internship programs, what differentiated the Next-Gen program from others?
The Next-Gen program includes immersive learning experiences unique to the Chamber and its members. The American Gaming Association and the Chamber sponsored a trip for my cohort to go Las Vegas to learn about the various aspects of the gaming industry- from hospitality, to new forms of gaming, the technology behind casino machines, and more. It was an eye-opening experience made possible by the Next-Gen program.
What’s something that you wish you would have learned more about during your time in the Next-Gen program?
Although it was briefly discussed, there could be more formal instruction on the historical discrimination and systemic racism that has fueled the need for diversity and inclusion programs in the first place. As someone who studied Economics, I’m well aware of the categorical exclusion of black people from capital and employment opportunities. Having an in-depth understanding of the issues we expect companies to tackle helps us to frame the conversation and devise restorative solutions.