Rachel Romain, a fourth-year international student majoring in Business Information Systems and International Management with a minor in Digital Business from Jacksonville, Florida, received the $10,000 Business Commentary Excellence Award from the Executive Leadership Council, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation . The Executive Leadership Council is a prominent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global black CEOs in C-suites, on corporate boards, and in global organizations. The mission of the Executive Leadership Council Scholarship Programs is to build a pipeline of black corporate talent by supporting academic achievement and the development of black undergraduate and graduate students.
What sparked your interest in working?
I grew up in a business oriented environment. My maternal grandmother is a retired entrepreneur, my mother is a financial advisor, and my older sister works in a private equity firm, so I naturally gravitated toward studying business in college. I love learning about different cultures and traveling, so international business was a perfect fit. I chose to double major in MIS as well, because I have been interested in computing and technology since a young age and am a very analytical person. So, the two disciplines are a great combination.
Tell us about the Coca-Cola Foundation scholarship you received.
The Excellence in Business Commentary Award, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, is awarded to outstanding black undergraduate students of African descent attending a four-year college or university. I had to answer six short general essay questions, along with two business-focused company essay questions for the specific scholarship. I also had to submit a transcript, a letter of recommendation, a resume, a brief resume, and a professional photo. To apply, one must be a US citizen, identify as Black, African American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino, or other African American, be enrolled in an accredited US college or university, and demonstrate financial need .
Specifically for the Business Suspension Scholarship Excellence Award, one needs to have a GPA of 2.8 or above, be a sophomore, junior or advanced student, and be in any discipline, but preference is given to students enrolled in business-related disciplines . The English Language Center offers several undergraduate and graduate scholarships that are open to high achieving black students attending an accredited college or university in the United States. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, and a commitment to community service.
What does winning this scholarship mean?
As a researcher at the English Language Center, I attended the Honors Seminar (almost due to COVID-19). The ELC Honors Seminar is a multi-day professional development experience consisting of a series of workshops and meetings that prepare ELC scholars to effectively contribute their talents in the workplace. It includes a series of professional development seminars and keynote sessions featuring prominent business and community leaders, virtual networking opportunities with other ELC scholars as well as ELC members, high-level CEOs and other prominent global black business leaders, and finally, opportunities to attend powerful virtual sessions run by black leaders across the Institute ELC for Leadership Development. These sessions include conversations not limited to but including navigating the corporate world as black leaders. I can network with other researchers and offer me the opportunity to secure an internship or work full time through corporate partners and companies sponsoring the scholarship.
What are your future plans in this field?
I am planning to continue my studies with an MBA here at RIT. Next, I would like to work for a global company that uses my two fields of study, business and technology. I hope to gain more knowledge and enhance my skills along the way through practical experience and working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
What do you like most about the courses you are currently studying?
I love the diverse opportunities that my double major offers. Gaining cultural awareness, learning about how global business is connected, and how technology plays a major role in business is interesting. I also think it’s really important in today’s world. We live in a digital world, so my minor in digital business gives me additional skills that will help me be successful in the future.