CTK Alumna's Pursuit of Opportunities Paying Off

Nia Robinson has certainly reached for the stars since graduating from Christ the King in 2019. Her willingness to take chances and bet on herself has resulted in her graduating from prestigious HBCU, Howard University in Washington, DC last spring, and in taking part in internships in New York City at two of America’s premier brands, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Walt Disney Company (Disney). Not only has she built a strong resume, but also her self-confidence and belief that “anything is possible”.

When applying to colleges during the fall of her senior year at CTK, Nia was focused on schools she was likely to get accepted at and close to her Chicago home. She got a nudge from then College Counselor, Daniel Zundel, to stretch her college aspirations and consider applying to Howard. During her three years at CTK, Nia had been a strong, well-rounded student, as a National Honor Society member, Peer Minister, athlete, and Corporate Work Study Program student worker at CIBC bank. Her experience as part of CIBC’s marketing group helped Nia learn to adapt to a corporate environment, and opened her eyes to the possibilities available to her in the professional world. Another meaningful part of her time at CTK Jesuit was the focus on service and social justice. Two of her most memorable experiences at CTK were the Nazareth Farm West Virginia summer service immersion trip and the social justice advocacy trip to Washington DC.

Overcoming her self-doubt, Nia applied and was accepted at Howard. Nia shared her impressions on her initial visit to the school’s DC campus, saying, “I really felt at home there. Not only was I going to get a great education, but I enjoyed being around other black students who all desired to be successful and accomplish great things while there and in the future.”

Nia enrolled at Howard as a Psychology major, but eventually graduated with an Advertising degree, and a Psychology minor which better meshed with her career goals. She felt her CTK education helped her to adjust to the academic rigor of Howard, and thrive as part of the school’s inspiring culture of high achievement and success. She got involved in meaningful activities related to her major including working for the Hilltop campus newspaper in the advertising department, and writing for Her Campus magazine for collegiate women. Her desire to give back and help others, that had been ignited while at CTK, continued at Howard as a mentor to younger students, and by serving on the planning committee for the Alternative Spring Break program her junior year. This initiative matched up Howard students to service trips in areas in need of assistance throughout the US and abroad.  Nia ended up spending her spring break serving in South Carolina.

Nia took the initiative to pursue two significant internship opportunities that bolstered her professional experience. During her junior year, Nia learned about a summer fellowship program at the NBA headquarters in New York. She applied, interviewed, and was accepted as one of 50 interns. She was assigned to the NBA media partnership team working to support advertising on the NBA’s platform. This past summer, Nia participated in an internship program for college graduates at Walt Disney in NYC. She worked in Disney’s Advertising & Sales department focusing on measuring data associated with advertising campaigns. She summed up her NBA and Disney work experiences, “I met and learned from a lot of amazing people. The internships opened the door to future opportunities, helping me to know that if I work hard and apply myself, I can accomplish whatever I desire.”

Nia is back in Chicago and exploring potential job opportunities in the advertising and media industries. She offered up the following advice to current CTK students. “Be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone and pursue opportunities you may think are unachievable. I encourage you to go for it! You never know if you will get it unless you try.  And, you definitely won’t get it if you don’t try.”

Nia is a great example of someone who has been open to growth, and taken pursued opportunities that have continued to pay off for her.