Senior Charmaine Ejelonu looking forward to furthering education through travel
Charmaine Ejelonu is a 2022 business administration graduate who, as an undergraduate, has been involved with the African and Caribbean Student Association and KJHK Radio. She also has been a youth mentor for refugees at the Jewish Vocation Service Center in Kansas City.
After graduating, she plans to tour the country and move to New York to further her music career. Ejelonu also co-owns a restaurant in Kansas City called My Village-Grille and plans to further improve their operations.
Please share some of your achievements from your time at KU.
At KU I’ve gained the opportunity to work with amazing people from all walks of life. Because I’ve pursued a minor in French, I’ve learned to communicate with others bilingually and better grasp the beauty of culture. One of my favorite academic achievements was receiving a certificate of recognition in my French class. Some other certifications I’ve received include a Six Sigma certification in Government Studies and the Mark L. Morris New Venture Development finalist award for a music startup idea called “Versatile.”
I’ve also worked on events for KU’s African and Caribbean Student Association. My favorite was our celebratory event for International African Writer’s Day where we collaborated with Dr. Uzodinma Iweala, award-winning author of “Beasts of No Nation.” In my free time, I enjoy producing soundtracks for films, event planning and promotion for concerts, DJing, and other forms of music production. Additionally, I think it’s important to get involved in your community and fight for what you believe in; I practice this by attending protests, staying knowledgeable, and giving what I can.
What are you most excited about and looking forward to after graduation?
I’m looking forward to seeing the world. I plan to travel and gain new insights from people wherever I go. I want to further educate myself and learn as much as possible given my available resources.
What would you share with students who may be interested in an entrepreneurial path or even creating their own unique path similar to what you have done and are planning to?
I’m sure everyone has heard that life is way too short and unpredictable to not take risks, but it’s true. You have to do the things you love and take everything you do seriously. Whether that means holding yourself accountable or practicing, do the right thing, and don’t be afraid to learn from your past and others.
Tell us about your experiences at KU.
My experience at KU has been so eye-opening. I’ve met and worked on projects with amazing people. Whether it was getting to know the music scene by sharing playlists and speaking my mind on KJHK Radio, or sitting in on classes for majors I wasn’t enrolled in just to learn more, I’ve gotten to do so much. One of my favorite events at KU was witnessing Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, speak on her work for her community and her experience as a Black woman in the working world. KU has connected me with an amazing pool of people who have so much to share and offer; it’s an honor to be associated with this university.
How has the Multicultural Business Scholars Program (MBSP) helped you?
The Multicultural Business Program has connected me with one-of-a-kind unforgettable people who have provided me the resources to flourish and continuously challenge myself. Through MBSP, I’ve gained skills on how to better brand myself as an entrepreneur, manage my financial goals, and meet with a group of my peers who understand what it’s like to be a multicultural individual pursuing an educational career. My MBSP mentors have shown me the utmost kindness and have always been there to root me on during my educational career. I’ve learned to think outside the box, network with others in my community and never let my adversities get in the way of my success.
What is your favorite memory of or in MBSP?
My favorite memory of MBSP was getting to do the “icebreakers” at our monthly meetings. I love getting to know fun facts about people and learning a little more about my MBSP family.
What is a piece of advice that you would give to incoming students?
Be kind, help others without hesitation, and always be unapologetically you. Don’t be afraid to learn and be a free thinker with much love, curiosity, perspective, and generosity to give to the world.