Women of Royalty Wednesday: Nia Batts

nia-12edit_bNia Batts is currently the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Social Impact for Viacom Inc., one of the world’s largest media conglomerates comprising MTV, BET and Paramount Pictures. In this position she oversees cause marketing and corporate responsibility practices while managing relationships with various partners and foundations to help the company leave a positive social impact.  One of her most successful cross- divisional projects was the launch of Get Schooled, a national education initiative created by Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Batts has always been interested in entertainment, programming and the impact that the screen can have on someone. Before joining Viacom, she worked at Warner Music Group and Def Jam, working with media powerhouse and record executive Kevin Liles. She got the opportunity to work on music videos, talent showcases and handling administrative responsibilities for Mr. Liles.

With a passion for social impact, Batts is very active in the community, as seen by her volunteer work with The East Harlem School and her position on their Young Volunteers Committee Executive Board. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Louis Carr Internship Foundation. Batts is very passionate about education reform and hopes to continue to focus on the need as she progresses in her career.

In an interview with Black Enterprise, she offered valuable advice to college grads: “You don’t have to plan your entire life at 22 but you do owe it to yourself to live presently and learn from the opportunities in front of you.”

Batts earned a B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University and holds a professional certificate in Film Producing from New York University, SCPS. In 2012 the 27 year old change-agent was included on Black Enterprise’s list of 40 Rising Stars Under 40: The Next Generation of Women in Power.

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Woman of Royalty Wednesday: Teneshia A. Warner

We love Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and even Beyonce Knowles — as each woman established her brand and continues to serve as a role model for young African-American women. But there are countless other women who are not recognized for setting examples on a smaller scale.

The purpose of Queen to Queen, Inc.’s Woman of Royalty Wednesday’s is to spotlight former HBCU Queens and African-American professional women who embody our definition of a Queen: an exemplary Black woman gracefully showcasing her beauty while making an impact from a professional standpoint as well as in her community.

Our first Woman of Royalty Wednesday spotlight is Teneshia A. Warner, a former HBCU Queen at Teneshia and marketing professional. She is the Founder and current Chief Creative Officer of Egami Consulting Group, a woman-owned, marketing firm with an expertise in linking corporate brands to urban consumers. Egami serves as the diversity marketing partner to the MSL Group, which is the third largest communications firm in the world. Together the dynamic force has created award-winning client work for some of the world’s largest brands including P&G Bounty and My Black is Beautiful, Verizon Wireless, General Motors, Western Union and more.

Not many people can say that they were mentored by media mogul Russell Simmons, but Warner established a close professional relationship with the industry- proclaimed Godfather of Hip Hop through her work at RUSH Communications before she started Egami in 2004. During her involvement there, she was a part of marketing projects that raised awareness about social initiatives including the ‘Get Out the Vote’ Campaign and ‘Hip Hop Reader,’ a literary initiative.

Warner’s presence can be felt in the community as well as in the media world.

In March 2013, Warner and the Egami Consulting Group hosted The Dream Project Symposium, which was an empowerment conference to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners with resources and contacts that can help propel their business.

Warner is also a motivational speaker and published author of the book, “Profit With Purpose: A Marketer’s Guide to Deliver Purpose-Driven Campaigns to Multicultural Audiences.” The book guides readers through the process of creating purpose- driven marketing strategies around causes that they are passionate about and initiatives that extend beyond the products or services they provide.

Warner won several business awards including Black Enterprise 40 Rising Stars 40 and Under in 2010, 2012, and 2013 and the Network Journal 40 Under 40 Award for U.S. African-American achievers.

Mentally Preparing for College Graduation

photoI vividly remember packing our car to capacity with items for my new dorm room at Howard University as I prepared to begin my freshman year in college. Fast-forward three years later and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for what my life will be like after I graduate in May 2014.

The countdown to graduation has begun for many students and if you are like me, I’m sure you can use every bit of advice to make the transition from a college student to a young professional smoother. Consider these suggestions as you mentally prepare for the next phase of your life.

1. Realize that you are graduating

After you triple check the graduation requirements at your university and confirm that you will be graduating, accept it. Envision what you want your life to be like after you receive your hard-earned diploma. If you haven’t already done so, sketch out your 5 year plan and your 10 year plan. Create an action plan and work towards it. Make sure you are not in denial about graduation because you don’t want the big day to come without being prepared.

2. Make the transition easy on yourself

Have a Plan A, B, C and D if necessary to ensure that you will have something lined up to further your professional career. Whatever plans you have for life after graduation, do your homework to try to have a smooth transition. If you are offered a job or accepted into graduate school, use your last semester to visit the area (if possible) and get familiar with where you will soon live, possibly even meet people in the area. The more prepared you are, the easier the transition will be.

3. Continue to build and maintain your network

You have established various personal and professional relationships since you began college so it is essential to plan for continuing those connections. You will no longer see all of people who you interacted with during the last four years on a daily basis so think about the relationships that you would like to maintain. Take the necessary steps to make sure you have their contact information to keep in touch. This goes for not only students but the staff at your university as well.

4. Be absorbent like a sponge

One of the best things that you can do to mentally prepare for graduation is to talk to recent college graduates, particularly people who graduated within the last 5 years, about their transition. Ask them about how they prepared for life after college and use their advice to help guide you. But keep in mind that their story is not your story so you may not have the same experience. However, their testimony will give you an idea of what life after college is like.

5. Enjoy it while you can

Soon you will no longer be inside the comfortable walls of your college campus. You will fully be considered an adult with adult responsibilities and adult consequences. So enjoy being a student while you can, as long as you handle your responsibilities first. Create a bucket list of things that you want to do before you graduate so you leave your university knowing that you did everything that you wanted to do, even if that includes having a water balloon fight on main campus. This is the year to maximize every opportunity, personal and professional, that you are presented with.

It’s important to understand that even with a plan and proper preparation, the transition from college to the working world will not be easy. But just like it took some time to get adjusted to college, it will take time to get used to life after college as well.

Former Queens, do you have any tips on mentally preparing for life after college for soon to be graduates? Current Queens, how are you mentally preparing for graduation?