Talking with Sekai Kaminski, BS ’21
Profiles , Stories Students | Feb 11, 2021 | Gabelli School of Business
Sekai Kaminski BS ’21 is a marketing major with a concentration in strategic branding. Throughout her time at the Gabelli School, Sekai has been a part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board, Metro Consulting, and worked as both a research assistant and teaching assistant. She also represented the Gabelli School – and won – at the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition in Los Angeles, and was named Best Speaker of the 2018 Consulting Cup.
A Dean’s List honors recipient, following graduation, Sekai will be working at IBM as a marketing professional with their services division.
What is your Gabelli School story?
I was raised in Garnet Valley, Pa., a suburb outside of Philadelphia, with my parents and younger sister. As the daughter of a first-generation immigrant who left her native country of Zimbabwe to attend college, my mother refused to allow me to attend University close to home. I knew I wanted to study business and marketing, and upon visiting Fordham and the Gabelli School of Business, I immediately wanted this beautiful campus and this competitive and promising business school to be my place of study.
What motivated you to be part of the Gabelli School’s DEI advisory board?
Workplace diversity and inclusion is something I’m passionate about. Getting the opportunity to work with the Gabelli School administration to develop tangible assets and resources to help diverse Gabelli School students was a challenge I was excited to tackle.
Over the last two years, serving as vice president of marketing, I’ve worked with the other board members to develop a foundation to promote, encourage, and create opportunities for Gabelli students. Seeing how much the board has grown and how many students we have assisted makes me so proud.
How has your perception about race in America changed in the last year?
After this year and the accompanying movement, I no longer limit my conversations of race and Blackness to exclusively all-Black communities or spaces. As citizens of America, a country with a racist history and a troubled current social environment, everyone in this country has a responsibility to be educated on and able to discuss race issues. If this conversation isn’t intentionally extended into predominantly white spaces, it will only serve to squander the necessary discussion of race in America.
What would you say to someone who wants to better understand issues of race, but doesn’t know where to start?
If you’re struggling with getting involved, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all. Dedicating yourself to reading one book a month by a Black author, listening to a podcast about race and race relations, or watching a comprehensive documentary on the Black experience are all excellent starting points.
Change in society and the workplace cannot occur if non-POC individuals aren’t involved and if they aren’t helping push the conversation about Black issues into the public discourse. Don’t allow fears of doing things wrong to stop you from learning and getting involved. No one expects you to be perfect; all one can ask is for you to try.
Is there a story or moment you remember that gave you a strong sense of what kind of place the Gabelli School is?
Orchestrating the Finance Diversity and Inclusion Night with the DEI Board truly showcased what type of business school the Gabelli School is. The event let alumni from leading financial institutions in New York City return to campus to network with rising, diverse Gabelli School underclassmen. Watching current students, alumni, and administration come together to promote diverse students’ advancement gave me a profound sense of the lovely place the Gabelli School of Business is.