Imani James joined UpTurnships in the summer of 2015. Immediately, she felt a connection with the organization and her coaches. Through the program, Imani learned how to carry her confidence and formed professional relationships that helped her land multiple paid internships during college. After completing her summer internship through UpTurnships, she completed an internship with the marketing agency GdB during her senior year at Gustavus Adolphus College.
At that time, she began having conversations about grad school. “I was talking to my mentors and wondering when I should go to grad school because I knew that I wanted to be a professor,” Imani says. Ultimately, she decided to first join the work in marketing recruiting and later the Air Force National Guard with the goal of attending graduate school and earning an advanced degree without building additional student debt. In 2020, she was accepted to Texas State University where she is now in pursuit of a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies.
For current UpTurns considering going to grad school, Imani’s advice is to not be intimidated. While the process can feel scary at times, she says to, “Remember that you
have already learned how to be a student and in grad school, you will take that up a notch.”
According to Imani, the encouragement and guidance she received from her coaches and peers at UpTurnships helped her feel like she could accomplish anything. “UpTurnships provided me with so many skills and opportunities that helped me early in my career,” Imani says.