We could hear all day long about people of color succeed in white dominated fields. However, nothing can be compared to actually meeting these successful people and interacting with them. Thanks to the initiative of Kaitlyn Rivers, a student at Oberlin, several guest speakers came to Oberlin to share their journey with us and give their advice to students from all backgrounds.
One of the speakers was an Oberlin alumnus and founder of what is now called Black Scientist organization. Today, she is a doctor and professor, and she had an incredible journey that she shared with us. She talked about being part of an experiment that consisted of bringing a number of black students to Oberlin and how hard they all worked and the numerous traditions they started at Lord-Saunders House. What I will keep in mind from her talk is the fact that having priorities and values to keep is very important in both our personal life and career, and it’s something to keep in mind.
The second speaker was a professor from Mount Holyoke College and his experience really spoke to me. Just like me, he was an international student and his talk about having a job, in addition to trying to fit in a new education system and having to deal with things like credit cards and taxes really spoke to me. He talked about how all of that affected his academic performance in his first year, that really made me feel like my struggles and feelings during my first year are valid.
This event was a great opportunity to know that every successful person have been through struggles and that learning is a journey that never ends.