Nissan is committed to serving the needs of historically Black colleges and universities. The automotive behemoth has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to HBCU students and to support the schools’ STEM programs.
Twenty-two-year-old MBA candidate Jada Stills witnessed firsthand how that support significantly impacts HBCU students. Her UNCF scholarship jump-started her career as an intern before she joined Nissan as a full-time employee.
Where are you currently in your journey under Nissan’s initiatives?
Right now, I’m a finance analyst. But my next step is to be promoted to analyst two. We have the chance to rotate to different departments, but I haven’t figured out exactly where I want to go. Especially since I’m working on my MBA, my plate has been pretty full. My mom is also a finance manager, so that’s a big thing to carry out her legacy.
How important is it for top brands like Nissan to give back to our future leaders at HBCUs?
It’s definitely important for companies to support HBCU students, because we need the visibility, especially as minorities. We’re mainly seen as the minority under a certain stereotype, and not for our true capabilities and talents. From my HBCU experience … [we had] educators who [were] willing to provide more than just knowledge — they provide[d] support, and they actually want[ed] to help us start our career path. Like my alma mater, TSU’s College of Business. We always had opportunities for students to meet with companies on campus, and even had workshops for résumé and interview help. So they were always working to support us
What insight can you give someone who is making the decision to attend an HBCU?
Stay true to yourself. Be authentic. You don’t have to do things because other people are doing them. The biggest thing I have to say about college is do your work and go to class. People want to have fun and may not be thinking about class, but I went to class, stayed for the lecture and made it out with a 4.0 GPA.