Why did you decide to obtain an MBA versus pursuing another degree?
I decided to get my MBA because for us as Black individuals, Black women, and Black men, it’s hard for us to get into certain doors. We always have to have the one thing above the next person. For me, coming from an undergrad at Clark Atlanta University, it was about finding a way or making one. The MBA was my way to make myself seen as a leader, director and entrepreneur, so I think the one thing that people don’t realize is that having an MBA, there are so many different ways that you can go with that. It’s not just about finance and accounting, it’s about business. If you really understand your MBA, there’s a whole myriad of opportunities that you have at your disposal that you can do with this degree. It’s led me into being an entrepreneur, it’s led me into being in circles and networks like this, this association here where I’m around Black excellence. Without the degree, I wouldn’t have the opportunity that I’ve had on the West Coast. It’s hard to get into doors as Black people, so I just encourage people, if it’s not an MBA, if it’s not a bachelor’s degree, if it’s something to help level you up just a certificate, go get it, because at the end of the day, as Black people, it is really hard for us to get into certain doors without having extra leverage.
What is your strategy for building your network?
It’s being strategic about who you’re meeting with, and not looking at it as just a transaction, but looking at it as an opportunity for both people to grow either personally or professionally. For me, there are a lot of opportunities since I’ve been in this association, where I found a network, [a] community [of] people who love doing the same things that we do and business-minded folks who want to do more. I found business partners through this opportunity, I found friends and family that I talk to every week, and there’s a whole bunch more of them that I talk to across the nation.