Junior Zakiya Evans says the most rewarding part of being a Tuskegee University student is the amazing networking and career-centered opportunities that have come her way.
Starting off right
She says that, although she doesn’t come from a long line of Tuskegee graduates, she’s always been aware of Tuskegee’s nurturing college experience. The Huntsville, Alabama, native says Tuskegee’s culture and atmosphere made her feel like she was back at home, particularly during her first visit while in high school.
“When I first stepped foot on campus, I noticed that all of the students carried themselves a certain way –– they were all intelligent, humble and energetic,” Evans notes. “I knew at that very moment Tuskegee would be the perfect place for me to evolve as a young adult.”
She says so far, Tuskegee has done just that and has prepared her for life beyond the campus’ Lincoln Gates.
“I’ve had some great experiences here. Because of Tuskegee, I’ve learned the value of networking, and I have developed great communication and problem-solving skills that I can apply to my personal and professional life,” she explains.
Evans, a computer science and information systems major, says attending Tuskegee has also offered her valuable ways of staying connected to the corporate world.
“I’ve come across some of the most amazing networking opportunities, and being a part of the Tuskegee family has shown me a lot about myself and who I want to become,” she notes.
Lending a helping hand
Outside of her academics, Evans maintains an active campus and community profile. Currently, she is the community service chair of the Gamma Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. In this role, she works to help the community through numerous service projects –– including engaging the community in economic, political and educational forums.
“I am also the tutoring manager of the Tuskegee branch of ‘I Am My Brother’s Keeper,’ an afterschool program, through which I tutor elementary school students in math and reading, and I also recruit other Tuskegee students to do the same,” Evans explains. “I truly love helping and motivating others. I believe it’s one of my gifts from God.”
She also considers her determination and optimistic spirit to be gifts she strives to share with others on campus and beyond.
“I always aim to find the bright side in every situation, as I consider myself to be passionate about whatever goal I am pursuing,” she says.
Becoming a tech giant
Recently, Evans was accepted to participate in 2019 edition of the HBCU@SXSW, a conference and festival hosted by South by Southwest (SXSW®), held in Austin, Texas, during the spring semester. The conference allowed her to hear from some of the brightest minds in emerging technology and to connect with the leaders in tech, capital and culture.
“During the conferences, I met leading entrepreneurs, and I envision myself one day in their shoes,” she recalls. “This opportunity has made knowing about tech opportunities more accessible, not only for myself, but for other minorities as well.”
In addition to working with the program, Evans says she was able to discuss the importance of mentorship and how to foster meaningful professional relationships.
“I enjoyed meeting with recruiters from companies such as Capital One, Mailchimp, Microsoft and LinkedIn. Because of the conference and networking sessions I took advantage of, I’m more knowledgeable about how to make my resume stand out on applications,” she continues.
Evans says she hopes her participation will open the doors for more Tuskegee students to gain exposure in the tech field and to learn more about the technologies of tomorrow.
© 2019, Tuskegee University