I’m excited to announce the launch of my new book, Mixed Bowl! Based on the premise that something as simple as food can bring people together, Mixed Bowl is a collection of conversations that use a love of many, ice cream, to spark dialogue about race and culture. The idea is simple, I ask someone to sit down and have a conversation with me over a bowl of ice cream, and we discuss that person’s relationship with their race and culture. Just like types of ice cream, the people and topics introduced range wide, hence, the name, Mixed Bowl. Since beginning the project nearly two years ago, I’ve been able to meet people from all over the world and am proud to share their unique stories. To buy the book go to http://bit.ly/2mQLS0u and to learn more about the project visit www.mixedbowl.com.
Check out my recent guest post on Corporate State University, a blog that helps students transition from undergraduate life into working full-time in Corporate America. I introduce the concepts of Corporate Kill, an employee akin to the professional version of road kill, and Corporate Trill, an employee that has managed to stay a combination of “true” and “real” (True + Real = Trill) to themselves while navigating their professional career.
April 21, 2016
Upon telling those currently working full-time in Corporate America that I am a junior in college and will be graduating in a little over a year, I cannot tell you how many times I have been met with the disheartening phrase “Enjoy it while it lasts”. With two internships under my belt already and another one set for this upcoming summer, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of employees. Some of which enjoy their jobs greatly, and some of which complain that their job is slowly killing them inside. I have actually split them into two groups: Corporate Kill, an employee akin to the professional version of road kill, and Corporate Trill, an employee that has managed to stay a combination of “true” and “real” (True + Real = Trill) to themselves while navigating their professional career.
From my observations, Corporate Kill often:
- Fail to spend time contemplating what it is they want to accomplish professionally – I believe a large reason for this, especially for Millennials, is that we are so used to having an endless supply of entertainment (Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, etc.) that we have lost the capacity to be alone in our thoughts. Out of stillness and solitude comes better understanding of oneself, and more of us need to take the time to unplug and have interpersonal dialogues that revolve around “What is it that I want to do with my life” rather than “When is the next season of my favorite show coming out on Netflix”
- Would rather stay unhappy in a role they have become accustomed to than pursue an opportunity that offers a greater reward but would bring with it a temporary period of emotional discomfort
- Have an “Enjoy it while it lasts” mentality that ingrains a belief that their most rewarding years ended with the completion of college
On the other hand, Corporate Trill tend to:
- Regularly take the time to envision their ideal professional futures
- Know their worth and are willing to pursue role changes or even jobs at new companies if their worth is not being recognized for its deserved market value
- Constantly work on mastering their craft on the job to the point that they genuinely look forward to their work– They know that the better they get at something the more fun it becomes, even if it was boring at first
As I approach graduation, and discuss with my peers about what is to come after we finish this run of four years, I cannot help but think about who will fall into each of these categories. Of course, work is not your entire life, but for most of us, it will be the part of our life that consumes the majority of our time. It is important to look at how that time can be maximized. I want to ensure that when I am 30 years old and talking with a budding intern that the conversation is not about the insane number of hours I work or how my boss is not giving me the credit I deserve, but rather that I can serve as an inspiration of what success can look like if you take the time to dedicate yourself to your career aspirations.
Here are some tips and resources I use that will help you excel in your professional endeavors:
- Read 10 pages a day. Many masters of their respective industries have written books about their professional careers, sharing their insights and highlighting mistakes they have made and what they could have done to avoid them. Start with Sam Walton: Made in America. For less than $10 and 10 hours of reading you can learn the key elements that made Sam Walton’s Walmart a corporation that now makes over $400 billion in revenue
- Take 10 minutes a day to be alone with your thoughts. I recommend starting out with a meditation app like Headspace to assist you through the journey of better understanding yourself in an environment of solitude
- Continually keep up to date with news and trends in the business community through a subscription to a news source such as The Economist. How do you expect to thrive in a corporate setting if you are not well versed in recent corporate developments?
To always stay trill.
I'm excited to announce the launch of my new multi-media blog, Mixed Bowl!
With racial and cultural tensions troubling corporations, universities, and communities worldwide, I saw an opportunity to investigate the issue through a series of personal conversations. Visit the blog at www.mixedbowl.com to see the project unfold as it turns into a source that both educates and entertains people about everything regarding race and culture.
Chicago and its people are like a $25 steak cooked medium. Expensive in taste, but not overpriced. Always classy. Full of tradition.
Despite being the third largest city in the United States, Chicago runs at a comfortable pace. Parts of it are slow enough for young couples to raise children. Other parts of it are sprawling with twenty-somethings looking for a new bar or the latest festival to check out. Either way, the city is tailored towards a diverse group of people, all of which value a hard week of work as much as a relaxing weekend.
This summer I lived right outside of Chicago, in a suburb called Deerfield, and was given the opportunity to intern at Discover Financial Services. Surrounded by like-minded college students at the company, I explored Chicago at will, taking every chance to go downtown and see new parts of the city. When not fighting wind or rain storms, a perfect day in the city is spent
A highlight for me was celebrating my 21st birthday at the Michael Jordan Steakhouse. It’s safe to say that the steaks there are as good as Jordan was in the fourth quarter.
At the end of the day, my time in Chicago was not marked by the places I saw, but by the company I was with when seeing those places. I was able to form meaningful relationships with other college student interns from Indiana, Illinois, Arizona, and Georgia, all while working for an organization that valued their employees. Great cities are few in number, and great people are hard to come by. I was lucky enough to find both this summer.
Check out my award winning essay below, in which I take an introspective look at what it means to be an African-American at a top university in the United States. Special thanks to the USC Undergraduate Writing Conference and the USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics for sponsoring the contest.