CTK Alum & Loyola University Junior creating her pathway to a Business Career

Now in her junior year at Loyola University Chicago, Kamille Minor, CTK ’21 is fully immersed in college life. The Finance major is taking 6 classes, working part-time, playing intramural sports, and putting her business plan together to install self-care vending machines on Loyola’s campus. When she somehow found the time to be interviewed, she also shared that she had just been inducted into the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. 

Kamille decided to go to Loyola due to its strong business program, beautiful campus, and her familiarity with Loyola through her Corporate Work Study job at Lewis Library. The key factor, however, was being awarded a full ride, 4-year scholarship. Then College Counselor, Daniel Zundel made her aware of Loyola’s Cristo Rey Scholarship. After completing the application, essay, and interviews, she found out she received the scholarship in a phone call. “It felt amazing to hear the news, and to not have to worry about college costs. The scholarship sealed the deal.” As a Cristo Rey Scholar, Kamille is part of a cohort group of Loyola students from other Cristo Rey schools that have access to tutors, study groups, and social & service activities. Having the built-in peer group helped her transition from CTK, and the friendship bonds have continued over time. 

While living on Loyola’s Lakeshore campus, Kamille shuttles to the downtown Water Tower campus each morning for a typically full day of classes. It helps that she has connections at the Loyola’s Lewis Library to “hang out in the breakroom” or put in her 6 hours of work a week. Kamille started working in the Lewis Library while at CTK, one day a week for all 4 of her high school years. She valued that experience for the opportunity to network, learning to manage both her job responsibilities and schoolwork, and for the relationships she built with her co-workers. She is grateful for the support of her library colleagues throughout high school and now into college. They have witnessed her growth firsthand, and have helped her in getting access to the books she needs for her college classes. Kamille has also come full circle by now having the opportunity to work alongside and mentor current CTK students in their work study assignments.  

Kamille originally entered Loyola as a Business Management major with the goal of becoming a lawyer. Her focus shifted within the last year due to her involvement in an innovative summer internship program called the Greenwood Project. Named after the Greenwood community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also know as “Black Wall Street”, the program’s goal is to create career pathways into the financial services industry for Black and Latino students. Kamille joined with a diverse group of other high-achieving students for 4 weeks of financial literacy, coding, investment strategy, and career skills training, followed by a 6-week paid internship in the financial services sector. Kamille gained valuable experience at Charles Schwab’s Chicago office working as part of the financial accounting and reporting team. She also made a point of reaching out to people in other departments at Schwab for informational interviews to learn about their jobs and other opportunities in the industry. The experience helped her to discover her passion for business, and finance in particular, she said, “Working as an intern at Charles Schwab, I realized that I could really see myself working in the financial service industry, more so in a client-facing role as a broker or financial consultant.” 

The previous summer, Kamille had another meaningful work experience that made an impact on her. She worked with fellow CTK graduates, Mya Bragg and Summer Elam at the West Side food & beverage company incubator, The Hatchery. She valued the opportunity to learn the basics of being a small business entrepreneur, primarily working with the female owner of Carolyn’s Crisps a plant-based snack product, Kamille still helps represent the company at an occasional farmer’s market, giving her the chance to meet and talk to people. Working with a startup company triggered an entrepreneurial spirit and interest within her. In particular, Kamille identified an unmet opportunity on the Loyola campus. As she tells the story, “The idea came about during my freshman year. I’m living on campus, and I ran out of my curly haircare product, and the Target and CVS stores nearby didn’t carry the products that I needed. I did some market research and found out that other students had the same issues as me.” That started her on the path to developing a business plan for implementing vending machines on campus that carried self-care hair, skin, and body products. Her vending machines would cater to the needs of all students, including Black and Brown, and be accessible day and night in Loyola’s student center. 

Kamille has already started to pursue her dreams at Loyola. She ultimately hopes to combine her career passions by working in financial service in a client-facing role, while also running her own startup business. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for Kamille.