Magazine - Summer 2021



work. The third was applying to graduate school, understanding that, although temporary, it would be a sacrifice of my personal time. Finally, it was choosing to change careers in 2021. You have to leave the comfort of familiarity in order to pursue your destiny. Q: We believe that our personal expressions should translate into how we navigate as business and community leaders. We call it “Bringing Our Authentic Self” into any situation. How do you ensure that you are authentic to yourself and your work? In order to be authentic to yourself and to your work, it is key to have strong work beliefs in any role. In order to develop these beliefs one needs self-awareness, and self-awareness is developed by audit- ing oneself. For me, my audit came from doing 360 assessments, reading leadership books, seeking feedback, participating in leadership development programs and taking personality tests, leadership assessments, and strengths assessments. Once I had a firm grasp on my person- ality, leadership style, strengths and emotional intelligence, as well as an understanding of the broad assortment of others, I developed confidence being my true authentic self. Coupled with this, I am transparent, honest and I allow myself to make mistakes, grow and learn. Q. What advice would you give to students and young professionals? Pick up a book, read, write, take a class, research, shadow those who inspire you, seek feedback, apply to programs and always strive to learn. SEIZE A LL OPPORTUNITIES TO BETTER YOURSELF . DO NOT SPEND YOUR TIME OFF IDLY .

LET'S CHOP IT UP! Q: You have an amazing career thus far, from achieving numerous awards for your work in STEM and to most recently being honored as a Southern University 40 under Forty alumni. What was the defining moment that inspired you to become a STEM professional? Beryl: I have been fascinated with STEM ever since I was little girl. In fact, it is engrained in me with a Chemistry Teacher for a mom and an Accountant for a dad. They encouraged my sisters and me to be actively involved in STEM at school. Whether it was math club, science club, field trips to the museum or participating in science fairs, we were there! Solving problems using the scientific method has always fascinated me. It fosters a natural curiosity and provides a methodical way to solve many issues. Q: What did you gain the most from your HBCU experience? Beryl: Attending an HBCU provided a solid foundation for my career. In addition to a quality STEM education, I was able to drive cultural confidence in who I am and establish high expectations for success Q: What is the most difficult decision you've had to make to pursue your destiny? Beryl: In pursuing my destiny, I continuously have to learn to be uncomfortable and learn that it is okay to be uncomfortable. To grow and pursue opportunities meant leaving comfort zones. There are four distinct times leaving comfort zones that come to mind. First, fighting through homesickness to finish my undergraduate degree. My father passed away in the middle of my junior year. I wanted to remain close to loved ones at home after, but I understood I had to finish my degree, and that my father would have wanted me to finish. Second, was applying to a manager position at work, trying to overcome “imposter syndrome” and adding more to my plate at

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