Ryon Cairo Henderson
“I am a self-proclaimed R&B aficionado and a habitual line-crosser. Good thing I work in marketing!”
Fun fact about yourself: I graduated from George Washington University before graduating from high school.
Hometown: Washington D.C.
High School: School Without Walls
Major: Marketing and Business Management
Favorite Business Course: Social and Digital Media Marketing
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- President of The Blaxa (Georgetown’s Black Student-run media publication)
- Georgetown Athletics Marketing Intern
- Peer Career Advisor at the McDonough School of Business Undergraduate Career Development Center
- Strategist at the Georgetown Marketing Agency (GMA)
Where have you interned during your college career?
- Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) intern at Google (Android and YouTube Music)
- Digital Programming intern at ViacomCBS (Nickelodeon)
- Account Planner for the Marcus Graham Project
Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be an Associate Product Marketing Manager at Google
Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Ronald Goodstein because he is an excellent practitioner in the field of marketing and advertising, he’s hilarious, and he truly cares about the success of his students inside and outside the classroom.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? To be in business is to concern yourself with problem-solving. For students interested in majoring in marketing, I would advise them to strive to be as empathetic as possible. Empathy is one of the greatest skills a marketer can possess, as marketing is only the division of a company that speaks to and for the consumer. Marketing and branding are all about storytelling, and the more empathetic you are, the greater you can communicate a compelling story.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Truthfully, I entered business school knowing that I wanted to study marketing because I wanted to impact how the world saw people like myself. I knew I could reach this goal by working in the business of media and entertainment. as I figured content could travel further and faster than I ever could by foot. This conviction led me to be myopic at times, only concerned with how I could take steps to reach this goal.
However, looking back over my experience, I wish I could have opened myself up more to people, experiences, and courses that were outside of this mold I crafted for myself. Going to a school like Georgetown means being in the same classroom as the next President, senator, museum curator, FBI director – you name it. If I could go back in time, I would be intentional about getting to know other students outside of my immediate circles and exploring their passions, in addition to my own.
What business executive do you admire most? From Angela Ahrendts and Steve Stoute to Mellody Hobson and Bob Iger, there are a handful of business executives whom I would love to model my career and professional values after.
However, the businessperson I most admire is Netflix’s Chief Marketing Officer, Bozoma Saint John. Bozoma’s conviction, authenticity, passion, charisma, and intelligence are incredibly inspiring and I aspire to impact the marketing and advertising industry like Bozoma has. Her unapologetic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is a principle I hope to bring with me to any corporate environment.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being accepted to intern at Google and successfully completing the internship during the summer of 2021.
I applied to work at Google many times in the past and I was rejected just as many times. Initially, I didn’t understand what I had done to warrant my acceptance to the program. However, after receiving a full-time return offer from the firm following my summer internship performance, I felt belonging.
Additionally, I graduated from Howard University Public Charter Middle School, and Google was a sponsor of my school at the time. I remember dreaming of working there in middle school, so to now have the opportunity to do so feels like a full-circle moment.
Which classmate do you most admire? I have met so many amazing peers at Georgetown, which makes it challenging to select just one person to highlight. However, I’ve admired one peer since the day I met him: my roommate, close friend, and classmate, Love Victor. Love is tremendously disciplined, intelligent, and dedicated to improving his craft. We’ve been through some of the best times of undergrad together, from studying abroad in Barcelona to getting our full-time job offers before graduation. We’ve also been through some of the most challenging times of undergrad together (shoutout to financial accounting).
No matter what we were going through, Love always kept a positive attitude, inspired me to best student I can be, and motivated me to focus on the end goal. I cannot wait to see where life takes him next for these reasons and more.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I have so many people to thank for contributing to my academic, professional, and personal success, including my friends, mentors, career advisors — the list goes on. I am forever grateful to everyone I’ve encountered that helped me throughout business school, but I mostly want to thank my parents.
Since elementary school, my parents have laid the foundation that has led me to where I am today. From sleepless nights filled with running to and from sports practices, completing homework, and raising twins, my parents taught me the importance of discipline, education, confidence, and goal setting. The material a foundation is built on determines what it can be destroyed by, and without that foundation I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Short term—I’d love to be an AdColor Future and be recognized in Forbes or The Hollywood Reporter as a young rising executive in media. In the long term, I’d love to become the Chief Marketing Officer of a Fortune 100 firm and win a Cannes Lion.
What are your hobbies? I love playing sports (especially tennis and basketball), shopping, traveling, and eating – I love eating.
What made Ryon such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?
“Ryon is a really bright and motivated student, and he embodies our cura personalis mission at Georgetown McDonough. In each of my courses during final peer evaluations, I ask each class member to list three people that helped them in their learning during the semester. Ryon was listed as one of those three people in all three classes he took with me. Not only did he get A’s in all of my courses, but he also happens to be one of the nicest people in the program.
Ryon is going to make a very sound and successful CEO one day, but even more importantly, he will also prove to be quite a contributing citizen of the world, and that is exactly what Georgetown stands for.”
Associate Professor of Marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
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