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Alumni Spotlight: Brianna Sims

Our first alumni spotlight for October 2020 is Brianna Nicole Sims, a graduate of Dutchtown High School (2014) and of Howard University (2018); she currently works as National Sales Coordinator at Urban One Atlanta. Brianna says that 21CL gave her a foundation of what leadership really is and taught her what it means to be successful!

Paint a brief picture of what you are doing now.

After graduating from high school I attended Howard University and graduated in 2018 with a communications/public relations degree. After graduation I moved back to Atlanta and I currently work at Urban One Atlanta as a national sales coordinator. Through this role I’ve worked in ad sales and helped coordinate several events for the Atlanta urban community that have garnered thousands of attendees.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

21st Century Leaders introduced me to the field that I am now in and connected me with industry leaders as well as peers and colleagues that I still keep up with years later.

How did 21CL prepare you for your next steps? Going into college and taking on leadership roles, heading into a new era of professionalism, etc. What skills/tools/perspectives have helped you along the way?

21CL prepared me for both college and life after by teaching me how to network, cultivate professional relationships, and go after what I want. I learned the foundation of what leadership really is and learned a new outlook on what it means to be successful.

Which programs did you participate in, and when? What skills did you gain or improve through those programs?

I participated in G5, now known as the Summer Youth Leadership Institute (SYLI), at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School back in 2011 as a freshman in high school. This program was my first experience with networking with industry professionals who offered advice that has remained with me for the past 9 years. I also attended Leadership Unplugged: A CNN Experience (now the WarnerMedia Institute for Future Leaders) in 2012 which helped me land a project management internship with Turner Broadcasting while in college and introduced me to peers that I still keep in contact with today.

 What was a memorable or ‘aha’ moment in 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peers, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

One memorable moment for me was being able to network with professionals at CNN and hearing the ins, out, positives, and negatives of the field that they chose. That was the moment I realized I wanted to work in the communications/marketing field.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? if so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

21CL taught me that there is no one definition of what leadership is. I’ve learned that there are many ways to lead successfully and it starts by believing in your own abilities and understanding that your perspective, your background, and what makes you different brings something new and special to every table that you sit at.