My Experience at the NBMBAA Conference in the City of Brotherly Love, Philly
By Sentie Kironde MBA’18, BS’10
The National Black MBA is a non‐profit organization that is dedicated to the enhancement and development of educational and economic empowerment for African Americans. It is also one of the largest expos serving minority professionals. I was honored to attend NBMBAA’s annual conference that was held in Philadelphia from September 26th-September 30th 2017. This was my first affinity conference so it was interesting to learn and network with students and professionals from different fields and backgrounds.
The first day involved getting all our registration tags and settling into our hotel rooms as we prepared for the conference. I met a few Babson alums and we shared our experiences in the MBA program as well as what we expected to achieve from the conference. My plan going in was to network with fellow MBA professionals, as well as learn from their different management styles. As an entrepreneur in the financial industry, it is important to gain different perspectives and industry knowledge from peers that can relate to what you’re going through.
The conference offered a variety of training sessions and educational forums, but two of them piqued my interest the most. The first one was titled “Presenting Data Effectively” and the main objective was to show how to create effective communication visuals that express your point concisely, while separating you from the competition. I received useful information on how to use data to create an effective message and motivate my audience. I found this very helpful because I was in the middle of working on my tech project in Babson’s MBA course, “Global Connections Through Technology”. Our final deliverable was a presentation and this forum was talking about how managers can use technology to present their findings to their teams and upper management. I contributed to the forum by giving the group an example of using Tableau to create a dashboard to ease management’s decision making process.
The second forum that I found interesting was a presentation called “Bitcoin & the Blockchain: The Future of Money” by MBA graduate and founder of BitcoinBusiness, Taariq Lewis. He clearly and eloquently explained Bitcoin in layman’s terms, and how it is significant to the future of the global financial systems. I took a class on Money Banking and the Economy, as well as MaCBGIE, so all these banking concepts weren’t new to me. It was interesting seeing money from the perspective of Bitcoins and how this new trend will be the future of businesses once decentralized by the Federal Reserve.
The conference concluded with a career expo which had over 300 exhibitors from across the country. I got a chance to talk to companies like Johnson and Johnson, Google and Blackrock. With my background in investor services in an investment bank, it was an eye-opener for me to talk to companies within other industries outside financial services and figure out how I can possibly make a transition to another industry with my MBA experience.
Overall, I had a great experience at the National Black MBA conference and it was an honor for me to represent Babson, as an affinity scholar, and network with individuals with a similar background and career path. I learned a lot of invaluable management skills and have been using them in my day to day life at work and in my school projects.