Justin Yancey Scholar Spotlight

Scholar Spotlight: Justin Yancey

Justin Yancey
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion spoke with sophomore Justin Yancey, one of ODI's Morrill Scholars, and asked him about his experiences at The Ohio State University.

What did it mean to you to be offered the Morrill Scholarship?

Being selected for the Morrill Scholarship Program meant and still means the world to me. The program's commitment to increasing inclusivity and diversity at Ohio State inspires me to better myself and my university every single day. The Morrill Scholarship Program has changed my life for the better, and it's hard to imagine where I would be without it.

What is your major? Why did you choose it?

My major is business with a specialization in economics. I chose economics because I believe I can do something to close the wealth inequality gap in the United States.

You had an internship in Houston with a marketing firm that works on government policy. Tell us about your experiences there.

I'd been interested in public policy for much of my educational career, so I searched for related internship opportunities in my hometown. I reached out to a public relations firm in Houston, Texas, and was able to set up a phone interview for one of their summer internships. The phone interview went well, and afterwards I was offered an in-person interview. Shortly thereafter, I began interning with the firm.

During the internship my main responsibility was to monitor and compile developing events in Texas politics. I also worked in Excel to keep a database of Texas legislation up to date. The most rewarding part of my internship was developing a research plan and collaborating with others at the firm to draft a public outreach proposal for a Fortune 50 client.

The internship gave me greater insight into the field of public policy and has helped me in deciding what kind of career I want for myself. Interacting with others professionally, throughout an entire workday, honed my interpersonal skills, and I am now much more comfortable in an office environment. I also had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of the firm and see how their business model operated from top to bottom.

Can you tell me about the JPMorgan Chase CEO for a day that you were invited to participate in?

The JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO for a Day Program is a very unique opportunity with the company. Being selected to participate in the program means I will get the opportunity to meet top executives at the Polaris Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and spend the day learning about their positions and roles. The program is designed to expose students like myself to the banking and finance industry and the vast number of careers that exist within it.

You also participated in the Bell National Resource Center Leadership Institute. What valuable skills and/or lessons did you learn there?

Through my participation in the BNRC Leadership Institute I learned that being a leader means more than receiving a title or accepting a position. True leadership means genuinely caring for the people you lead and bringing out the best in them.

When do you plan to graduate?

I plan to graduate in May of 2022.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduating from Ohio State, I plan to pursue a master's degree in Business Administration so I can continue to develop my management skills and learn more about the way businesses operate.

How do you envision making a difference in diversity and inclusion at Ohio State and beyond?

I will make a difference in diversity and inclusion at Ohio State and beyond by making those who feel unwelcome in any environment know that they do in fact belong and that they deserve to be where they are. I will do this through my participation in clubs like the Council of Black Students in Administration and will continue to stress inclusivity in whatever workplace I find myself in. It's very important for people to know they have a seat at the table, and I will do my best to make certain everyone can feel that way.