CHRIS HART-WILLIAMS | Editor-in-Chief
Black young professionals, working and excelling in the corporate world, shared their personal experiences with students on Tuesday night.
The N.C. State Black Business Student Association, BBSA, invited a panel of Black professionals to campus for a discussion and networking event entitled Young, Gifted, and Black in Witherspoon Student Center.
The seven panelists answered questions regarding their careers and life since graduation. “Remember why you came here,” said Christina Mass, an alumna of the Poole College of Management. “You’ll need it to keep going, go deep.”
Mass graduated from N.C. State with a degree in business administration and marketing in 2009, and she’s currently pursuing a graduate degree in Career Counseling Development.
She encouraged students in attendance, especially upperclassmen, to not give in to hardship while in school or in the corporate world, but to grow from challenges. “Y’all have to make it, you made it too far to give up now,” said Mass.
According to her there is much to gain from a job that is uncomfortable. “It took me two or three jobs to figure out what I wanted to do,” said Mass. “Gain as much as you can from that experience and grow.”
It doesn’t matter where you come from, success as a professional is attainable, said one of the other panelists Otis Ricks a senior in the Advisory Services practice at Ernst & Young. “At N.C. State there wasn’t a gift that was given to us,” said Ricks. “Aim to be the boss, not the employee.”
Panelist and PNC Arena Assistant Vice President, Business Relationship Manager Christopher Fredrick, said two things he regrets not doing while in college was studying abroad and interning.
“Try out any internship opportunities you are interested in so you know if you like it or not, said Fredrick. “It may change your life, it may change your major.” “Keep in mind the type of reputation you put out because it starts now,” said Karen Bestman. “I never knew what it was going to do,” said Me’chelle Degree, a senior consultant for Sciquest a software company. “People like to talk and people like to help you. Talk to the people that are out there actually doing it.”
Degree stressed the importance of relevant work experiences for students and the purpose of networking. “You don’t know who knows who – people network all the time. You definitely want to have an internship, you need internships. Everyone is graduating now, the pool of looking for a job is different now. It makes it even better if you’ve already had exposure to different things.”
Building relationships can help navigate your career choices, said Fredrick. “Even if you don’t like the job at your internship, make sure you do your best, and make friends.”
Nia Doaks | Managing Editor
Again. Yet again we hear about a killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer- except this time, the entire incident was caught on video.
This time, the officer who shot this man was charged with murder and is facing the death penalty.
In light of the recent events in Ferguson and New York, the shooting of Walter Scott is causing a buzz in communities across the nation.
For those who don’t know, on Saturday Walter Scott was stopped by a police officer in a traffic stop, attempted to flee from the officer, and was shot eight times in the back from many feet away.
Afterwards, the officer orders unconscious Scott to put his hands behind his back. In a later statement, the officer claims that Scott had his taser – which is not what is seen in this video.
Why is deadly forced used so often on people of color? Why aren’t these biases addressed before police officers step out onto the field of duty?
How many fathers, brothers, and sons have to be buried before this issue is taken seriously?
This particular incident hits very close to home – just one state away, in South Carolina. I am speechless at the continued violence and injustices that plague Black communities across the nation.
I hope that justice will be served, this time, in the case of Walter Scott. I am wondering what it will take for our society to appreciate the Black men that have been placed on this earth, rather than trying to take them from it. Something has got to give.
We need a change in our society. We need for things to be different, and for the continuous injustices like these to stop being excused and ignored. We can’t breathe.
CASLEE SIMS | Staff Writer
Who would’ve thought a former teacher in Junior High school English teacher would be a reason why Alexis Perry has became a very decorated hurdles and long jump champion on many different circuits.
A junior on N.C. State’s Track and Field team, Perry has accomplished outstanding feats including being a regular on All-ACC teams and medalling at many other competitions, stringing together a very impressive career.
Before clearing hurdles and extending her jumps, Perry lists her mother as one of her biggest motivational factors. “My mother most definitely is my biggest fan and biggest motivator and is always there to pick me up “.
Perry was a winner at the prestigious Penn Relays this past year in the long jump; she says it’s her favorite site she has competed at.
“It’s such a big meet because of all the professionals, the crowds that come to see the races and the people I’ve had to race against there.”
Though she’s an All-ACC performer both on the track and in the classroom and a holder of a plethora of school records, it is her gold medal at the 2013 Junior Pan-American Games that has made Perry the proudest. She’s also a two-time silver medalist at the USA Junior Championships in the 100m hurdles and the long jump.
“I won, so that was definitely a great moment because I had the USA uniform on and I was representing my country.”
An ACL replacement surgery along with a concussion, all suffered in high school, tried to slow Perry’s progress as an athlete, but to her, it was all a blessing in disguise.
“I was unsure about my potential in track, but it all seemed to work out because my career got better from there”.
So what is race day like for Alexis?
“I tend to think about a lot of different things, who I’m competing against, the race itself and thinking about everything I’ve done in practice to help me accomplish my goals”, Perry says. Like most athletes she follows a strict race day regimen that includes laying her uniform out “all the way down to the socks and the particular shoes”, and making sure that she eats Chicken minis to fuel her before a race.
A big part of her arrival here at NC State was due to her coach, Chris Coleman. Her and Coleman developed a close relationship while she was in high school.
“He was really the deciding factor”, Perry says. “I just got that feeling that I didn’t get at other schools”.
Other than performing on the track and in the classroom, Perry dedicates her time to being a Peer Mentor, a member of the Kappa Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee where she helps deal with legislative changes in the NCAA that affects her, her teammates and opponents as athletes.
A vigil will be held on Monday, Apr. 6, at 7:15 p.m. at Harris Field. Olivia Spurlock is to be to honored by students and friends who will share their memories, stories, and poetry to bring closure to our campus and honor our dear, friend and colleague, said National Society of Black Engineers, NSBE President Yasmine Connor in an email. Spurlock was a member of the organizationVigil program |Welcome Hosts Welcomes Everyone for attending and provides a smooth transition into our next segment. 7:15 PMSpeaking of Olivia Stories, poetry, etc. of the memories of Olivia 7:23 PMGeneral Information About Coping Info University Rep from the Counseling Center to gives information about different ways to cope and to also share the different campus resources available for students 7:43 PMMoment of Silence In honor of Olivia. Light CandlesInteractive Activity to help to promote community amongst students. 7:48 PMClosing Interfaith Prayer: Individual to be secured by MEP
7:53 PMYasmine Connor is the student who is in charge of the event from the College of Engineering.