November Man of the Month: Chuck

Published on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in , , , , ,

What dream are you currently pursuing?

I am in my third year at Harvard pursuing my law degree.  When I graduate, I will be moving to Washington DC to begin working as an Associate at McKinsey & Company.  Hopefully this job will expose me to various aspects of the business world and open a multitude of opportunities.  Ultimately, I hope to work somewhere where I can use my talents and resources to help my community.  I am especially passionate about finding ways to use various resources to improve the standing of black males and in turn strengthening the black community as a whole.

What are the first steps you took to follow your dreams?
First, I had great parents that ensured I had the foundation I needed to succeed.  Secondly, I think I committed to working hard and taking full advantage of the opportunities that came to me.  Overall, I still see completing graduate school as a first step.  I’m just getting started, and I hope to accomplish a lot more than just graduating from Harvard Law School.

What are some road blocks that you have come across?
I have always had a plan for my life, but it never seems to work out the way I plan it.  I was not able to attend my top college coming out of high school, but I ended up at USC, where I had four of the greatest years of my life.  Then, I did not get into the law school I was targeting, but, when I was waitlisted there, I got accepted to Harvard.  I’ve spent my law school years pursuing a big law firm job, but it never came.  Thankfully, that loss freed me up to pursue an opportunity at McKinsey that is better suited for my personality and future goals. It seems that every time one door closes, another one opens, and you just have to be ready for the opportunities when they arrive.  Learning to go with the flow and keep an open mind has probably been the toughest and most valuable lesson I’ve learned.

Who are some individuals in your field you admire and would like to work with in the future?
My family is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement.  My dad always knows the right thing to say to guide me in the right direction.  My mother is always a driving force pushing me to greater heights.  My two older sisters have always set the bar extremely high, earning multiple graduate degrees and setting great examples.  Without my family and God, I would be nothing.

I ultimately want to get into non-profit work.  Specifically, I would like to do something that focuses on the development of young black males.  One of my mentors, William Keyes, is the founder of a summer program that does just that.  He has inspired me to always think about what I can do to give back to my community. 

Is there anything that you’d like our readers to learn from you?
Life has a funny way of working itself out, so you shouldn’t stress yourself over the little things.  If you focus on being the best person you can be under your current circumstances and enjoy life, God will take care of the rest.  I believe the way to be successful is to keep God first, treat everyone with love and respect, work hard, and find joy in everything you do.

What are your future career goals and aspirations? How are you progressing towards those goals?
I just know I want to help people.  I am happiest when I’m helping others better themselves or doing something that can improve someone else’s quality of life.  If I can find a job where I am doing that on the largest scale possible, I’ll be more than happy.  Right now, I’m just taking the opportunities that come to me and keeping my eyes open for the career path that is going to make me happiest and make the greatest impact on the world.

What motto do you live by? 
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

How do you stay motivated to accomplish your goals?
I’m motivated in multiple ways.  First, I know how many people have invested in me to get me to this point, and I fear letting them down.  On a deeper level though, I am motivated by the problems that people like me face day to day.  It is tough to be a young black man in America, and I want to do all I can to make it easier on the next generation.  I know that starts with making sure that I am successful. Next, I have to ensure I do everything to support my family (when I have one of my own) and make sure my children are put in the best position to succeed.  Then that obligation spreads from there to include everyone else I come in contact with. But to help others, I have to make sure I am at my best, which motivates me to press forward.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?
In the immediate future, I hope to graduate from law school and pass the South Carolina bar.  After that, I am going to move to DC and try to be the best McKinsey Associate I can be.  At that point, I’ll just continue living my life, looking for the next opportunity to improve myself or to help improve the condition of others.  And through all of it, I will be enjoying my life, having as much fun as humanly possible.

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1 Response to November Man of the Month: Chuck

December 8, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Great interview...Chuck I am SO proud of you, keep it up! I've always known you to go far in life & I'm sure you will stay on that path to excellence!