JP Morgan Chase & Co. Advancing Black Pathways 2020

Like most other people, COVID-19 upended my summer plans of traveling and hanging out with friends. However, I still had the opportunity to intern at JP Morgan Chase & Co. as an Advancing Black Pathways Apprentice! It was a program exclusively for African-American freshman and sophomores, and it went above and beyond my expectations. Every morning, I watched seminars on different topics, including career development. In the afternoon, I was either working with my team on our “business sprint,” meeting with my mentor, or taking educational modules on the topics we were learning that week.

Presenting TOKEN Consulting Group!

I created a business plan with 4 other students for Liberty Bank and Trust, a black-owned bank based in Louisiana, and I loved the team I worked on! Even though we only had a bit more than 2 weeks to work together, we all meshed really well and were still able to get to know each other. Not only that, but I was once again reminded how small the world is. One of the girls went to Columbia and was really good friends with someone I knew from high school, and the boy on our team was a fellow Gates Scholar who I met last year at our conference. That just goes to say that you should really be mindful of your connections!

I didn’t have the luxury of going into the Plano office. Still, I felt valued through the different benefits and events they offered. They sent multiple care packages over the course of the program. Like any other college student who loves free stuff, I was over the moon! They also bought us lunch a few times using virtual DoorDash gift cards. Additionally, we had weekly socials through Zoom to meet each other and the other JPMC employees outside of the professional setting.

For 20 days, I was surrounded by 74 other aspiring young black students. It was so refreshing when it sometimes feels like I’m the “only” in a group. I learned so much about building relationships with peers and mentors, creating my brand, and carrying myself as a black woman in situations where I may or may not be that “only.” I am so grateful to JP Morgan Chase & Co. for making an opportunity exclusively for black students to excel. I can’t wait to see what doors it opens!

Oju Ajose

Oju Ajose

MAJOR: Computer Science YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Grand Prairie, TX PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @oju_theresa On campus I have been apart of NSBE since freshman year, and I'm currently the membership chair. Outside of Viterbi, I am the manager for the USC Track & Field team.