NIA DOAKS | Managing Editor
Tensie Taylor, a 2009 graduate of N.C. State, has been steadily achieving success and making strides since her time at the undergraduate level.
Along with earning her master’s of education and moving to California, Taylor has had the opportunity to network with many A-list celebrities, be on the Wheel of Fortune, and work in higher education.
Taylor majored in communication with a minor in psychology. While at N.C. State, she was active in many organizations and worked as a Resident Advisor and a Chancellor’s Aide.
“This has history to me, because both my brother and sister attended State and were Chancellor’s Aides,” Taylor said. “I continued a legacy, and this really opened me up to how determined I was as an individual. I was able to interact with the Chancellor’s guests and really network.”
Throughout her undergraduate career, Taylor held four different internships in corporate America. During her freshman year, she was a corporate communications intern for Nortel Network. The other internships that she held as an undergrad were a marketing consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield, a technical writer for IBM, and a marketing consultant for Progress Energy.
Currently, Taylor is the manager of the Black Alumni Association at the University of Southern California. She also occasionally assists with hosting Red Carpet events.
“I got involved with that because of networking,” said Taylor. “When I get someone’s business card, I follow up. I met a woman [in the industry] at an event, and I reached out to her. She asked me if I wanted to attend events and do press releases for her, and [it continued] from there.”
Taylor has met a number of A-list celebrities, including Magic Johnson, Kevin Hart, Michael Ealey, and Angela Bassett.
“Even though education is my passion, I wanted to get into the entertainment industry,” said Taylor. “If I get more status, I could really be a voice and help others.”
Taylor hopes to start a school and various internship and scholarship opportunities for students in the future in order to give back to her community.
Most recently, on October 9, Taylor was featured as a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune. Taylor has hoped for a chance to be on the show since she was five years old, and she applied for the show every day (365 times) in 2013—to no avail.
“I was determined to be on Wheel of Fortune,” said Taylor. “When I moved to California I was focused on completing my masters, but I still applied every day in 2013 and heard nothing. Seven days into the new year, 2014, I got an email saying that I had been selected to audition.”
After several rounds of auditioning, Taylor was selected to be a contestant on the live show, which receives around 15 million viewers per night. She was able to meet Pat and Vanna, and came in second place. “I think that I could’ve easily won, but it’s all a game of chance,” said Taylor. “I was one wedge away from a million dollars, and then I hit bankrupt. I was disappointed that I wasn’t a big winner, but I still got to take home what I won and got the chance to be on national T.V.” Taylor enjoys mentoring others and hopes to be able to give back to the community of higher education in the future. She stressed the importance of networking and perseverance.
“Never give up, be persistent, and be patient,” said Taylor. “This applies to everything in life- don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. If I had listened to the negativity and the doubters I would have never reached my goals. There will be a lot of doubters and naysayers, but use that as motivation to prove them wrong.