Bringing Your Whole Self to Work — Amherst and Williams Alumni Share Experiences and Advice
Amherst and Williams Colleges have partnered to present our inaugural Diversity Career Day on Wednesday, October 21. Following the virtual afternoon Meetup between employers and students, please join us at 7:00pm EDT for this alumni panel discussion on the topic of "Bringing Your Whole Self to Work."
In this discussion, student moderators Jeremy Thomas (Amherst ‘21) and Essence Perry (Williams '22) will invite alums from both schools to share experiences from their own career paths, as well as advice for current students. This event is open to all, but primarily targeted towards current students who are navigating the job search, hiring process, and entry into the workplace as diverse candidates and hires.
Our panelists' and moderators' bios are as follows:
PRINCESS ADEDOYIN (Amherst '19) is an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company and has been working in the firm’s Boston office, though now remotely, for over a year. At Bain, she serves as Diversity Lead for the Amherst recruiting team and the Volunteer Engagement Officer for its social impact consulting group, Inspire. This summer, Princess led a virtual, six-week Consulting “Summer Camp” for Black women at Amherst College, meeting weekly to prepare for the upcoming recruiting season and going through resumes, cover letters, case prep and how to obtain an offer. During her time at Amherst College, Princess was involved in a number of activities: she co-ran the popular AC After Dark Program, was heavily involved in the African and Caribbean Students Union (ACSU) as Senior Chair, was a Resident Counselor, worked as a Questbridge Telementor for 4 years, and also ran and founded her own hair braiding business to service the Black community in the Pioneer Valley.
VALERIA CUETO (Williams '09) is a first-generation American from Miami, Florida. She is the eldest daughter of Cuban and Nicaraguan immigrants and a first-generation college graduate from her alma mater, Williams College. Cueto is the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) at Illinois College (IC). She also holds membership in Culturally Integrated Education for Latinos Organization (CIELO), Springfield Dominican Anti-Racism Team (SDART), and Sacred Heart-Griffin High School Board, and she is treasurer of the Springfield Advocacy Network (SIAN). In these positions, she has organized rallies in downtown Springfield against the inhuman treatment of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. Cueto is committed to journeying with immigrant communities and fighting against systemic racism. Cueto advocates for local immigrant families; has written and delivered speeches; published op-eds in the SJR; and appeared on the local radio and television for immigrant advocacy. She lives in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband and two daughters.
ASHLEY J. FINIGAN (Amherst ’08) is an upper school History and American Studies teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School. In addition to teaching, Ashley is also a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Chicago, where she is currently at work on her dissertation – an organizational history of the National Council of Negro Women. While at Amherst, she double majored in Black Studies and History, worked as a Resident Counselor, served as a telementor, was a member of the Black Students Union and sang with the gospel choir. Building on her experiences in the Reading, Writing, Teaching program and Inside-Out Prison exchange, Ashley chose to pursue a career in education, and after graduation returned home to New York City to work as a high school global history teacher through the Teach for America program. She then moved on to earn an M.A in African American Studies from Columbia University and eventually relocated to Chicago to pursue further graduate study. While at Chicago, Ashley led summer arts education programs housed at the Smart Museum of Art, in partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority, and served as a mentor with the Minds Matter program. In her current position at the Berkeley Carroll School, Ashley has developed courses in African American and Caribbean history and served as a faculty advisor to the school’s A Capella Club and the Girls II Women student group. Through all her work, Ashley has come to think of herself as a knowledge producer and seeks to apply her skills as a historian to multiple venues as an educator.
LANDON MARCHANT (Williams ‘20) is a Global Manager at ZX Ventures (Anheuser-Busch InBev’s global innovation and investment group). They are currently working on operations and global strategy rollout for an early-stage e-commerce startup launching in eleven countries across three continents. Landon is also a disabled USAF veteran, former skilled trades apprentice, community college student, and graduate of Williams College. At Williams, they majored in Philosophy and Sociology with a concentration in Science and Technology Studies. Their advocacy work ranges from direct mentorship and resource-sharing to public speaking, writing, and research. Landon is a founding member of the active-duty transgender military group SPART*A, a Point Foundation alum (2017—2020), and has performed extensive graduate-level research examining the individual experiences and collective standpoint of transgender military service members and veterans.
ESSENCE PERRY (Williams '22) is an Economics and Philosophy major from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Throughout her time at Williams, she has taken classes related to public policy, the relationship between capitalism and the state, and creating a more equitable future for marginalized communities. On campus, she is the Co-President of College Democrats, an organization dedicated to fostering political engagement on campus, as well as a member of the newly-formed student government, helping provide students more equitable access to funding and college governance. Generating change and creating positive social impact is something that is incredibly meaningful to her, and it guides many of the activities she does on campus and hopefully after Williams.
JEREMY THOMAS (Amherst ‘21) is a senior at Amherst College from Houston, Texas, where he graduated from William P. Clements high school. At Amherst, Jeremy is a double English and Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought major. He is currently Student-Body President and Student-Director of the Office of Student, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Previously, he has been Captain of the Mock Trial Association and President of the Black Student Union. During his summers, Jeremy has worked as an investigative intern with Georgetown Law Center’s Prettyman Clinics, as an Elizabeth Ruyter Fellow with the Southern Center for Human Rights, and as a summer fellow with Reprieve. After graduation, Jeremy plans to attend law school to pursue a career in public interest law.