It is hard not to feel energized and excited after listening to E’Mon Carson ‘19, MSB ’20 share her experience from the 2019 National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Conference. Carson was selected as one of five students from the MBA and Master of Science in Business (MSB) programs at the College of Business to attend the annual conference last year.
As part of the application, students were asked why they wanted to participate in the conference. “I wanted to participate in the conference to have the opportunity to be surrounded by Black excellence,” shared Carson. “It is a very different world for Black men and women going into a corporate world. I wanted the opportunity to meet successful Black business people and hear about how they got where they did and to be surrounded by their success.”
With a theme of “Transcend the Power of You: Empowered to Lead, Equipped to Succeed”, the conference featured numerous workshops, panel discussions, a case competition and awards. One of the stand out workshops for Carson was a Black Women in Business Panel. “There were high ranking Black women from large companies on the panel. The panel also included male participants, which seemed odd, but as one panelist explained that he recognized that people in positions of power have the obligation and responsibility to help others up,” shared Carson.
Another valuable workshop focused on how to communicate with different types of managers. Carson found this particularly helpful after starting her current position at as an Area Manager at Amazon in California. “In my current role I have managers with different leadership and communication styles. I learned that managers will always lead in their style, but by altering how I communicate with different managers I am able to be more successful,” said Carson.
“I walked away from the conference feeling completely different and motivated. I felt better about being Black and going into the world that I was going to be in.” Carson also reflected on the reality that there are so many “first Black” moments, such as the first Black president, first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
“Some people assume that Black students or Black leaders are only at schools or in their leadership roles because of affirmative action – but that is not the case. Take me, first and foremost you are going to see that I am a woman and I am Black, but I am also in my early twenties, have two degrees and completed an accelerated graduate program,” shared Carson. “This conference experience made me realize that I am all these things, but it was also a reminder that when we do succeed we need to look back. As the panelist said, when we succeed we need to pull others up.”
This year the 42nd Annual NBMBAA Conference and Career Fair will be held virtually from September 23-25. The College of Business is accepting applications from current graduate students to participate in the conference. Complete the online form by Wednesday, Sept. 16 to be considered for a National Black MBA Association conference scholarship.