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FLI in NY: Marketing Sophomore Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple  

Gloria at Facebook in NYC
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Gloria Akinnibosun at the NYC Facebook corporate office

Gloria Akinnibosun, a sophomore majoring in Marketing and African and African Diaspora Studies, recently toured several corporate offices and nonprofits on a professional-development trip to New York, hosted by the DDCE’s Fearless Leadership Institute (FLI) last January. We caught up with her to learn more about her experiences in the Big Apple and how it solidified her plans to enter the entertainment industry after graduation.

Taking a bite out of the big apple… “I’ve always somewhat envisioned myself in New York for my future career. I am an aspiring creative marketing director, so when I got news that FLI was taking a professional trip to NYC, I just knew I had to partake in it. New York is the ideal hub for careers driven by entertainment, the arts and the media. For that reason, I’ve always wanted to meet various companies that tailored to my interest in entertainment, so pursuing this goal alongside FLI was perfect timing for me.”

The beauty of uncertainty… “Ideally, I would like to work in a sector of business that encourages diversity. FLI gave us the opportunity to visit HBO, and that is where my love grew for the line of work I plan to go into. Of course, I envision myself working for an entertainment company like HBO, MTV, Roc Nation, or even Essence, but I believe a lot of beauty lies in uncertainty. I just want to be in a position to craft stories of Black people in the most proper way they deserve to be told. I’m not sure how it will happen, but I’m sure that it will. My ultimate dream job is to become a creative marketing director for entertainment, who eventually moves into filmmaking and film direction, philanthropy and possibly even acting.”

Building lifelong friendships…“I truly enjoyed making memories and newfound friendships with all the girls I met on the trip. I believe a huge part of what makes our experiences special is who we spend them with. It was truly liberating to witness other girls, Black and Brown, exploring their passions to the fullest on this trip.”

Finding a place to call home… “I have been involved with FLI since the very moment I stepped foot onto UT’s campus back in August 2018. At the time, I was heavily seeking a warm-hearted community that carved out spaces for Black girls like myself to just be who they are. I loved that FLI was just that for me—a safe space designed for Black and Brown women that encouraged healthy conversations around a multitude of topics such as personal relationships, mental health, colorism and childhood dynamics.”