Generation Now: Ngozi Francis – The Overachiever
by Lou-Ann Jordan Dec 3, 2018
Generation Now: Global, Bold and Expressive
Interview with Ngozi Francis – The Overachiever
In this issue of Generation Now, Yello spoke with Ngozi Francis, who was recently selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar. Ngozi who resides in New York is of Grenadian descent.
The self-assured NYU student, talked about his NGO Gennovate, being selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar and being authentic. Here’s what Ngozi had to say:
What is Gennovate?
Gennovate was a non-profit organisation, which three of my friends and I started to introduce on-demand skills such as design thinking and to provide mentorship and instil a ‘go-getter’ attitude. We worked with over 100 high school students in New York City through project-based work, panels, workshops, and events.
What prompted the idea for Gennovate?
When my friends and I got to college, we realised there are many resources to grow professionally and students came into college prepared with knowledge of characteristics like networking. However, it occurred to us that there weren’t any of these professional development resources in our previous high school so we decided to bring it back to the students.
How did being selected and highlighted as a Forbes Overachiever Under Thirty come about?
To be recognised as a scholar, one had to embody the values of Forbes’ entrepreneurial spirit. I submitted an application in which I had to mention these values. I was also required to state how the summit would help accelerate my plans.
In what ways do you see the recognition being beneficial to your other projects?
The recognition has been beneficial in many ways. The most prevalent has been through this initiative I am currently working on. It is a platform connecting professionals from Caribbean backgrounds around the world to Form five and college students within the Caribbean. Many individuals have reached out to hear more about it and are willing to lend a helping hand.
In one of your interviews, you mentioned that one of the biggest takeaways from the Summit was the idea of running one’s own race. Why was this principle so impacting?
Growing up I never knew what I wanted to do, and I still don’t. I always looked to others for advice on what career I should pursue. I would always be influenced by what I saw my friends or other individuals doing. When it was mentioned at the summit that one should be running one’s own race it quickly resonated with me because it is something I have dealt with and still am dealing with. This advice was a positive reinforcement that I should be authentic and continue to trust my process.
You’ve stated you have a keen interest in investment banking and will be interning at Goldman Sachs next summer. What about this field interests you?
My interest stems from hearing about investment banks on the news and in my school, and not knowing exactly how they function, nor having an understanding of the financial services industry. I have a strong intellectual curiosity and have taken it upon myself to learn more about the field. I am most interested in the role financial institutions play in allowing businesses to grow and the global economy to expand.
Deciding on a career path can be a challenge with the main focus being to find a highly lucrative field. What advice would you give to other young people who are trying to make those kinds of decisions?
My biggest advice to young individuals is: you have time! We tend to get caught up in the stigma that you need to know what you want to do, or what career you should pursue. No! Don’t be pressured into making any of these decisions. If you have no idea what you want to do that is completely fine. Try various things that may be of interest to you or learn about it, after that, if you’re still interested in a respective area continue down that path. If you find you’re not, then try something else and repeat. Enjoy the process of finding yourself!
Who or what inspires you and why?
Two individuals inspire me: my mum, Shirley Francis and Gary Vaynerchuk. My mother is one of the hardest working individuals I know. She has faced many adversities while trying to raise me and has powered through them all like the superwoman she is. Many of my tendencies and values have been derived from her.
On the other hand, Gary Vee (Gary Vaynerchuk) is a motivational speaker who speaks to the hearts of millennials. He gives life lessons and nuggets, straight as it is with no sweet words. He believes in hard work and perfecting your craft until you are the best in your field. He inspires me because now I tend to use my adversities as a strength rather than dwelling on the fact that I have faced them.
Ngozi demonstrates the poise and the authenticity of the generation now spirit.
Yello wishes him success in his impending internship, and continued explorations.
Sources: Live Science