Khailah Nichole-Robin Griffin, DMSB’22, is taking over our Instagram @damoremckim this week! Follow along for an inside look at her experiences at D’Amore-McKim!
Q: Why did you decide to enroll at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business?
A: I decided to enroll at D’Amore-McKim because of the learning, connections, and hands-on experience I knew I would gain as a student. After seeing how many opportunities the business school offered and the entrepreneurial spirit in the student community, it was an easy decision to make. Boston is also such a wonderful and fast-paced city with a “sky is the limit” attitude that I love.
Q: Tell us about your involvement with Northeastern Athletics. What has that experience been like?
A: I am the co-captain of the Women’s Varsity Track and Field Team (short sprinter/jumper), and it has been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve ever had. As a student-athlete, I have the privilege to be the competitor I’ve always been on the track/field while remaining just as driven in the classroom. My coaches and teammates are some of the most talented, hard-working, and inspiring individuals I know. We all dedicate ourselves to perfecting our craft while building a team that centers around our sport’s shared love and ambition for track and field. I can’t imagine my experience here at Northeastern without being a part of something great like this. Once we return to some level of normalcy, I hope to see you all out there in the stands watching my teammates and me, aka the world’s future Olympians, as we continue shattering school records and being beasts on the track!
Q: Tell us about the student athletic groups you’re a part of and why you decided to get involved.
A: I am the co-founder/advisor of the Northeastern University Black Athlete Caucus (NUBAC) and leader of the Northeastern Athletes for Equity Coalition (NAEC).
NUBAC was founded this past summer when my teammate Erica Belvit, DMSB’21, and I started brainstorming ways to impact the school. After many discussions, we decided to help change the racial and social injustices happening in our communities. With the support of other exceptional student-athletes, we formed this group and are focused on creating a space for all Black student-athletes to feel heard. In this, we hope to hold the administration accountable for providing the most inclusive programs while also contributing to the racial and social justice movements. Our mission is as follows: NUBAC seeks to represent the voice while simultaneously bringing exposure to the Black Athletic Community at Northeastern University. We are currently starting a fundraiser to support Black communities and partner with local youth programs to provide more positive exposure to younger students in underserved areas.
NAEC was also founded this past summer, led by another group of student-athletes and spearheaded by Men’s Rowing team member Louis Pratt. The mission is as follows: NAEC seeks to harness the power of our unique student-athlete network to provide an educational and community-building opportunity for student-athletes so that we can play our part in creating a more equitable society. We have an ongoing fundraiser in partnership with NUBAC designed to continuously support Black/POC communities across the nation and in our Boston backyards. The movement is more than a moment in time, so we hope to keep spreading the knowledge. Check out the NAEC website.
Q: Tell us about your involvement with the D’Amore-McKim Building Belonging Fellows initiative. What is it, what do you do, and why did you decide to get involved?
A: We are a group of student leaders working alongside the D’Amore-McKim Office of Student Engagement, Affinity, and Inclusion to establish an inclusive community for all students, where everyone feels respected, valued, and heard. Becoming a fellow has been life-changing because I’m making an actual impact in my community or what I like to call “the world outside of me.” This past summer, I got involved as we launched the Amplifying Black Voices series, which shared perspectives of the Black experience at D’Amore-McKim and suggested ways to ensure our curriculum is more diverse and inclusive. I believe this program is a huge steppingstone to improving diversity efforts at Northeastern and the business world while contributing to the social and racial change happening across the globe. I have the chance to facilitate conversations, share experiences, create plans, and have discussions with faculty, staff, and student leaders.
Q: What was your thought process behind a business administration major, business analytics minor, and pre-med track? How does it all come together?
A: My interests both in medicine and healthcare and business spurred my current studies. At face value, they can seem distant, but over the years, I learned just how closely intertwined these fields are and how business can and will improve our healthcare system, ultimately saving more lives. I love science and all the interesting aspects of human anatomy and how to treat patients. I am also intrigued by the new age of technology and how this affects companies/institutions. Data integration in healthcare and patient care will directly contribute to how healthcare professionals diagnose patients, carry out life-saving research, and strategize treatments. After graduation, I plan to attend medical school and use my business acumen to be a leader in my field and run a potential practice of my own.
Q: You founded UnorthoDOCx; what is it, and how did you come up with the concept?
A: UnorthoDOCx is a nonprofit explicitly designed for non-traditional pre-medical students who need and/or desire better support to help them succeed on their medical journey. “Non-traditional” is defined as any person who is not taking the conventional path to medicine, including but not limited to non-science majors, career changers, those who decide post-graduation to start medicine, and those 23 years or older pursuing medicine.
As the culmination of my undergraduate experience nears, the gravity of my experience as a nontraditional pre-medical student called me to do some deep and honest reflection. In doing this, I realized that several other friends and colleagues were going through the same predicament of feeling behind, lacking support, and wanting a program designed to help with the specific struggles of being non-traditional. This reflection is when I decided to take action and build the program I had always been looking for.
You can check out the UnorthoDOCx website and follow our social media pages to explore our wonderful services, such as our mentoring program, MCAT/Application prep, guest speaker events, scholarship opportunities, and more!
Q: Tell us about your other campus involvement.
A: My campus involvement includes being the public relations chair for the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students chapter (MAPS), former hall council president, and a Women in Business club member. These fantastic groups have inspired me to be the best version of myself, and the relationships I’ve made in the organizations will have a tremendous impact on me forever!
Q: Tell us about growing up in a military family.
A: My dad served in the Air Force for 24 years, so I experienced the world and all of its beauty at a very young age. We moved about every two to three years in and outside of the U.S, so it’s no surprise I learned how to welcome and appreciate change. Growing up as a military brat, I learned the importance of family and observing “the world outside of you,” which I try to remind myself of each day. In terms of life decisions, this has shaped me into being more open and ambitious as I witnessed how extraordinary the world is and what it has to offer. I love a challenge, and I don’t hesitate to speak up, stand up, and learn at all times.
Q: You were the first co-op in your department at Wayfair. What was that experience like, and what is your biggest takeaway?
A: Being the first business intelligence project manager co-op was so exciting as I was the blueprint for all others that would come after me. I learned a vast amount from my leaders and peers that I believe placed me in a high professional caliber position I didn’t imagine reaching at such an early stage. My biggest lessons learned: don’t be afraid to own the room, failing is critical in the learning process, and being passionate about what you do will take you far.
Q: You’re currently searching for a second co-op; what has that experience been like during the pandemic? Do you have any tips or advice to share with current students?
A: COVID-19 has undoubtedly made this co-op search experience unique, but just like all Northeastern students, we are innovators and adapt to change quickly! My best advice is to plan ahead with others more experienced (mentors are amazing) and stay organized. When everything is shifting so quickly, it can be worrisome to find the right position and company to work for. Having a checklist ready, preparing ahead of time, and making sure you go after what you truly are passionate about will lead you down the path to success!
Q: You’re doing a lot! How do you balance co-op, time with friends, athletics, academics, and time for yourself?
A: Learning how to prioritize has been so critical for me when balancing my personal, academic, and professional life (agendas/calendars are also huge lifesavers). Most importantly taking care of myself, having a great support system, and endless prayers have gotten me through the most challenging times. My advice is always to surround yourself with places and people that want you to succeed and to do the things that make you happy- no matter how busy life becomes.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to touch on or add?
A: Always believe in yourself! My parents instilled this, and it carries me to this very day. My mother founded her own clothing brand “Can Do 4 Real” to provide scholarships for low-income, first-generation students promoting the message that you can do anything with the right confidence, support and dedication. I plan to achieve many things in this life, but most importantly I hope to leave a positive, long-lasting impact in every community I’m a part of.
Q: What will you be sharing with our community this week during your takeover?
A: This week I will be taking you through some of my significant milestones here at Northeastern including my involvement with the Building Belonging Fellows, Northeastern Women’s Varsity Track & Field, my co-op experience at Wayfair, and discussing my nonprofit UnorthoDOCx! Can’t wait to see you there!