- Hometown: Cookeville, TN
My drive is one of the qualities that sets me apart from others my age and is also crucial to my current success. While in high school, I earned my associates degree in general studies, graduated from Volunteer State Community College summa cum laude, and was appointed valedictorian of my high school graduating class. I am now a Haslam Scholar and a Peyton Manning Scholar here at the University of Tennessee. Additionally, I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and serve on the executive boards of the UT chapters of both Sophisticated Queens Unafraid and Driven and the National Society of Black Engineers.I first heard about IBEP during a week-long summer program called High School Introduction to Engineering Systems for Twelfth Graders (HITES12). At this point in my high school career, I was conflicted between pursuing business or engineering as an undergraduate student or even studying law in graduate school. I was under the assumption that these paths of study were all too different and that I would need to focus on just one. By the end of the week, I’d settled on majoring in industrial engineering but still wanted to somehow incorporate business into my collegiate studies. So when I heard about IBEP during camp, I was extremely intrigued. As a rising senior, however, I still had a couple of years before I could apply, so I put it out of my mind. Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school, when I was in a mentoring session with an attorney and an engineer who had graduated from law school. Because I plan on attending law school after graduating with my engineering degree, they suggested that I find something that would be a bridge between engineering and business or business and law. The description of the type of program that I was looking for matched IBEP almost exactly, so it was at the forefront of my mind as I entered college. After I arrived at UT and had become active in the Multicultural Engineering Program, I once again heard about IBEP in an information session. As this was my third time hearing about it, I took that as confirmation that I should apply, and I began working on my essays. I’m confident that the diversity in my undergrad curriculum through IBEP has opened infinite doors for me career-wise. My engineering background coupled with my business knowledge will help me to confront problems from a critical thinking mindset, which is invaluable in an any profession. I am considering taking a break between undergrad and law school to work, tentatively in supply chain management. Even though law seems to be a completely unrelated field, IBEP is giving me the tools to easily bridge gaps between careers.