2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Sekai Kaminski, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Sekai Kaminski

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

“A dedicated student passionate about marketing, complex problem-solving, diversity, and finding the best restaurant in NYC!”

Fun fact about yourself: My name means “laughter’ in Shona, the native language of Zimbabwe, and “world” in Japanese.

Hometown: Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania

High School: Garnet Valley High School

Major: Marketing with a concentration in Strategic Branding

Minor: n/a

Favorite Business Course:

  • Marketing and the City: Tokyo, Japan
  • Business Communications
  • Branding
  • Integrated Marketing Communications

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • VP of Marketing for the Gabelli School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board from Summer of 2019 to Winter of 2021
  • Managing Consultant for Metro Consulting a pro bono, student run consulting firm that provides strategic recommendations for local Bronx businesses
  • Winner of the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition, Division 1, Twenty-Five Minute Presentation
  • Dean’s List Honors Recipient from Fall of 2017 to Spring of 2020
  • Research Assistant for Professor Ying Hong and Teaching Assistant for Professor LaMarque
  • Volunteer with the Restavec Freedom Alliance in Les Cayes, Haiti in association with Fordam’s Global Outreach Program

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Paratek Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, PA, Marketing Analytics Intern
  • W2O Group, New York, NY, Account Management Intern with tWist Marketing
  • IBM, New York, NY, Account Based Marketing Intern with IBM Services

Where will you be working after graduation? IBM in New York, NY as a Marketing Professional with the IBM Services Divisio

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned from studying business is the importance of community. The past four years at the Gabelli School of Business have provided me with a great network and community of peers, professors, and administrators that I will value for the rest of my life. While studying business can seem ultra-competitive and challenging, it is not a solitary endeavor. Working with others is critical to business success. Building a solid community to support and encourage each other allows for each individual to thrive.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My advice is to consider your interests and evaluate your skills and capabilities to determine what area of business you want to pursue. Business school can be very competitive and ostentatious. It is easy to fall into a major that promises the most money or status without you having any genuine interest or required traits. While financial security is an admirable goal to strive for, studying a business discipline that genuinely excites and interests you will serve you best!

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could do one thing differently in business school, I would get involved more. I had the lovely opportunity to immerse myself in several clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities. From each one, I gained valuable experience, learned something new about myself, and met the most exciting, interesting people. Had I been even more involved with my business school, I could have achieved and grown so much more as a young professional.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Winning Best Speaker at the 2018 Gabelli School of Business Consulting Cup is my most proud achievement. Being recognized for my dedication to improving my public speaking skills was such a tremendous accomplishment and pushed me to compete in more intense public speaking events, case competitions, and consulting activities. This accomplishment led a group of team members and me to win First Place in the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition in Los Angeles. It also encouraged me to become involved with Metro Consulting, a pro-bono consulting firm dedicated to assisting local businesses in the Bronx. Winning Best Speaker of the Consulting Cup was a massive achievement on its own, but it also sparked a series of future accomplishments I greatly value as well.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire Kristopher Alford dearly. Not only is he a lovely friend of mine, but we had the incredible opportunity to work on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board together. As President of the DEI Board, Kris led the Board through our inaugural year, organizing multiple events that increased the dialogue on diversity in business.

Alongside the rest of the DEI Board, Kris supported the Finance Diversity & Inclusion night. In this expansive event, young diverse Gabelli Students get intimate networking time with New York City’s leading financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse among many others. Kris also co-founded KnowTern, a non-profit which provides resources necessary for financially disadvantaged students to succeed in remote learning. These resources include laptops, wifi hotspots, and financial scholarships. Post-graduation, Kristopher will be working as an Investment Banking Analyst with JP Morgan Chase in New York City.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? If I could thank anyone for my success, it would be my parents, specifically my mother. As a first-generation immigrant from Zimbabwe, my mother always stressed how privileged my sister and I were to be born in America and have the resources we did. She instilled in me a work ethic and dedication that has guided me throughout my life and my past four years at the Gabelli School. I am so happy to have made both my mother and my grandmother in Zimbabwe proud by succeeding through college and securing a job at IBM. I hope to continue through the rest of my career, making my parents and the rest of my family proud of me.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Have every CEO at each company I work at know my name
  • Work overseas

What are your hobbies? Reading, Chess, Traveling, and Exercising

What made Sekai  such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Sekai embodies what today’s world truly needs more of: dignity, grace, kindness, and integrity, wrapped in wisdom and intellect. Sekai is a commanding, elegant young change-maker. Her ability to use her research, intellect and oral communication skills to capture and transform her audience is extraordinary.

As a sophomore, Sekai came into my Business Communication 1 course—An Introduction to Business Oral Presentation with a quiet strength; she was attentive and always adding quality observations to class discussions. During our individual meetings, Sekai was fully present, arriving with constructive questions to build her oral presentation skills and truly hungry to be an excellent communicator.

Over the course of the semester, Sekai’s leadership skills emerged. She moved from being an excellent team member, the Rock of Gibraltar–always supportive, never imposing, to being a leader with purpose, execution, and grace. She navigated her team from a state of crisis to a state of success in their final oral class presentation competition, winning 6th place out of 90 teams. That year, Sekai was named Best Speaker by the entire sophomore class. It was amazing to witness Sekai commanding the room of 500 audience members, holding them in the palm of her hand, and communicating her research with such poise and elegance.

Kindness and giving back, is a large part of Sekai. For the last two years, by invitation, as a Communication Ambassador, Sekai has shared her wisdom and experience of communication excellence with students following in her footsteps. She spends quality time observing their presentations, offering constructive criticism and encouraging them to reach higher. Additionally for three years, Sekai has used her voice as the Vice President of Marketing for the Gabelli School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board.  It is through her voice that Sekai is making real change.

Sekai sets a high standard of personal excellence. She is a woman of her word. She is dedicated, driven and extremely mature for her age. Her quiet, confident, professional nature balanced with humility is her greatest gift. In short, Sekai is the kind of person you want to be around. She has been a gift to the class of 2021, a gift to Gabelli School of Business and a gift to Fordham. It has been an honor to have accompanied Sekai on this part of her journey.”

Kimberley LaMarque Orman
Clinical Assistant Professor
Communications and Media Management
Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business



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