L.O.V.E College Survival Guide Series: Meet Kori Dean
I get so many emails, phone calls, and messages from ladies just entering college or in high school about college expectations. I tell everyone the same thing EACH PERSON’S COLLEGE EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT! I know many of you are starting college/heading back to college this month so I wanted to give you real college advice from five ladies with different college experiences, but all EXCELLED!
The first young lady I would like to introduce is Kori Dean aka the HBCU MVP. Kori is a recent college graduate of Morgan State University with a BBA in Information Science and Systems (so ya’ll already know I’m bias lol) and is currently an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Change is what college is all about! To learn more about Kori’s amazing transition throughout college keep reading.
As an incoming freshman we all have these expectations of what college life should be, how we are going to reinvent ourselves…etc. What were your initial college expectations and how did your actual experiences compare?
When I entered college I was very apprehensive . I didn’t feel like I was going to measure up to being a “college student ” I thought that it was going to be too hard and the workload was going to crush me . I couldn’t imagine pulling all nighters and spending 3+ hours on homework. In high school I was an Athlete and I put a lot of time into training for Basketball so I never really knew what it was to put all of my energy into academics. In high school I was a Solid B student with some sprinkle of A’s and an occasional C at least like once every 2 years of school. When I got to college my first semester I earned a 4.0 (all A’s) I was very surprised and it was then that I realized my full potential and gained a lot of confidence . Poly in combination with The Baltimore Youth Alliance prepared me well. I ended my freshman year with a 3.9 cumulative GPA and an Internship at a Top Insurance firm . Once this happened I knew what I was capable of and knew that the only thing that could stand in my way was myself and my work ethic.
Regardless of where you start , it is up to you how you finish. College was a fresh start for me . You could be as good as you wanted. Do do not be discouraged from your past!
What was your hardest transition from highschool to college?
My hardest transition from high-school to college was the difference in managing the relationships with my teachers/professors . In high school, you could question the teacher, have an attitude, challenge them…etc. In college it is not that way, your professors and your relationship with them can make or break your whole college experience. It doesn’t matter if you are the smartest person in your class if you are rude, disrespectful, late, or smug I can guarantee you will either fail the class or get 2-3 letter grades below what you would get strictly based on numbers .
You have to learn to be humble and how to work with people and their different personalities .
What advice/tips would you give your freshman self?
The advice I would give my freshman self is be humble, be kind, soul search for who you are as a person .
In your opinion, besides classes what was an obstacle you faced in college and how did you overcome it?
An obstacle that I had to face in college was supporting my sister while she was battling mental illness. This was a hard point in my life because I was so consumed with school, serving as president of my organization, preparing to leave for China for a cultural submersion, and moving to another state for my internship. I overcame it by praying and having faith that everything would be ok. I made sure to reach out for help from the counseling services at my school. This was important because the school counselor made sure to communicate to my teachers that I had a sudden family emergency and helped me to take my finals at a time where I was in a good mental space to do the best that could. Reaching out for help and having faith in God are the most important things to do when you find yourself in a place where you feel overwhelmed .
In life, there will always be hard times, there is no shame in admitting you need help to get through a situation. Sometimes you have to take a step back and reevaluate the things that are going on in your life. Don’t let the situation take you out. Mental and Spiritual stability are two keys to success.
Besides the degree of course, what is the most important thing you believe a person should take away from their college experience?
From college you should take away meeting people from all paths of life. You should learn compassion and understanding. There is no one path to success and success is personally defined for each individual. Do not measure your life on someone else’s ruler. You have to live your life. Be accountable for your own actions .Also always remember to whom much is given much is expected .
You were involved in many activities in school, how did you manage all these activities and maintain your grades?
I managed these activities by having an excel sheet that maps out every hour of my day. I planned out when I would do my homework, when I studied, when i had meetings, when I had class, when I slept , when I ate etc. This was instrumental. It sounds crazy but it’s not meant to be followed strictly , it’s to show you how many hours there are in a day and when and why you are spending them.
So you are finally finish with college and now transitioning into workforce. How is the transition going for you?
So far the transition is transformative for me. I feel like I have been afforded the opportunity of a lifetime and I am extremely grateful . Professional and Personal progress go hand and hand. You cannot grow as a professional if you have not grown as a person. The success that you will have is solely dependent on who you are as a person. Being your genuine self at all times is the only way to find success .