Meet an Innovator: Diamon Lockett
Italia Innovation Program
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
School: UCLA Anderson School of Management
Specialty: entrepreneurship, general management, social service
1. What got you into your field?
I studied Psychology with a concentration in Management and Organizations in undergrad and am currently pursuing my MBA at UCLA Anderson with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. In my current professional role, I enjoy teaching management professionals about new technology and ways to optimize their day-to-day operations. Business is always evolving at a rapid pace, and not every business is privy to the resources available to ensure sustainability and competitiveness. I find great pleasure in consulting with managers and executives regarding strategies to ensure the long-term success of their business.
2. What’s a challenge you’ve faced?
I’ve come to a roadblock in the workplace in regards to career progression. Instead of becoming complacent in my current role at a Fortune 500 company, I decided to pursue further education to leverage my skills and create more professional opportunities in fields outside of general management. Choosing to go back to school enabled me to focus on my true passion, social entrepreneurship. I’m exploring career opportunities and business ideas in this field and taking full advantage of the resources available through my MBA network. Thus, what seemed to be a roadblock has actually opened doors for me and allowed personal and professional development.
3. What’s your proudest accomplishment, and why?
My proudest accomplishment has been starting a blog to encourage and inspire young people in their day-to-day lives. As a millennial, I feel that it’s my responsibility to give back to the generation after me. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so I intend for my blog to be a platform where young people can come to share experiences, gain perspective and seek advice. In life, we all go through similar challenges, success and failures. So, I think there is power in sharing knowledge and wisdom so that others might have the opportunity to avoid the same mistakes their peers have made. I have a few live posts currently, and plan to turn this online community into an 501(c) organization.
4. What’s something you’ve learned this week (or been surprised by) in Italia Innovation Program?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the “like-mindedness” of the IIP participants. Although we all have different origins, interests, perspectives, professional backgrounds, etc. we’ve been able to connect and relate via the goal of creating and living in a world that is constantly progressing. Status quo doesn’t seem to be at the core of any of our values as millennials, and over the past month, we’ve been challenging ourselves to think outside the box. I think this experience will transfer into our lives as socially-conscious citizens and professionals.
5. What do you hope to get out of the program?
I hope to gain an international business perspective. I’ve learned what values and principles are important to Italian companies, which contrast many companies in other countries. So, when scaling my own company or consulting with companies that have international locations, I understand how important it is to uncover the cultural influence of its operations. Also, I hope that I’ve created a domestic and international network of colleagues to turn to when I have personal and professional opportunities or needs.