Sierra Brown, a junior human resources management major, is using her experiences at Wichita State University to inspire and help others by creating a career prep business for high school and college students.
“I feel that I have some essential learning experiences that would give my peers an extra boost,” she said.
These experiences come from Sierra’s involvement in programs and organizations that allow her to practice career skills and expand her professional footprint.
She gained valuable knowledge while involved in and working for the Professional Edge Program from the Barton School of Business, a co-curriculum program for business majors designed to provide personal growth and development skills. Through the courses, Sierra learned how to communicate effectively in interviews, refine her resume and build confidence.
Sierra is now the director of human resources for the Barton School Dean’s Ambassadors; serves as the 61st session deputy chief election commissioner for Student Government Association; is an ambassador for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; works as a fundraising associate for the WSU Foundation; and volunteers as a business plan advisor at Wichita South High School with Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas.
Last semester, Sierra traveled to five out-of-state interviews and received internship offers from JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, the Charles Koch Institute and Dominion Energy. She had the confidence to apply to such large companies because of knowledge built at WSU.
“While they were some of the biggest companies out there in the financial service industries, I decided to shoot my shot with it,” she said. “Even though I wasn’t coming from an Ivy League school, I knew I had the resources around me.”
This way of thinking is what Sierra hopes to instill in the students she works with. She especially wants to highlight this for high school students so they can get experience early.
“Whether it participating in group interviews at industry leading companies or doing video interviews and skill assessment tests, my sessions will ensure that my peers are prepared for any playing field they may enter,” she said.
In March, Sierra plans to share her business plan in Youth Entrepreneurs’ Big Idea Competition to gain more experience, exposure and, hopefully, some of the $20,000 prize.
“Through my efforts in the community and on campus, I have truly found a passion for getting individuals engaged in a manner that makes them feel significant and empowered,” she said.