Fenway Park is going to look huge from the podium where Aniyah Smith will speak on May 13. But she doesn’t seem anxious about giving the student speech at Northeastern’s graduate student graduation ceremony.
“Being at Northeastern has made me much more confident in my skills,” says Smith, who earned a master’s degree in business administration, with concentrations in marketing and analytics.
“It gave me more confidence in myself. I felt supported not only by the North East, but also by the people I met here. And so I wanted to give back the message – tell people to remain opportunistic, to remain open, to be ready for life.
Smith graduated with an undergraduate degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing in 2020 from the fashion institute of technology At New York. She is proud to have applied to Northeastern’s graduate business program, despite her doubts at the time.
“I was very nervous about it,” says Smith, who has focused on a career in cosmetics since she was 15. “Coming here, it was like, these are Business people, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only person from a fashion background. So I was a little nervous not to be taken seriously.
Smith’s business immersion was launched when she participated in the 2020 Husky Startup Challenge for students. She was surprised to finish second based on her idea of creating inclusive and accessible cosmetics for a diverse population.
She quickly started a business, push the beauty, which is developing an inclusive cosmetics line, including products for people with disabilities that can be opened and used with one hand. To support her efforts to grow Push Beauty, Smith received an initial donation of $2,500 last year. Innovator Award from the northeast Empowering women inclusion and entrepreneurship initiative. The awards, which will be offered again in 2022, recognized 19 female graduates or current students at Northeastern.
It’s a busy time. In addition to researching potential manufacturers and working with engineers to improve the accessibility of her products, she explored opportunities to launch a career at an existing company.
“I am currently looking for a full-time position in areas such as marketing, social media and community engagement,” Smith says. “Push Beauty will be the personal effort I focus on outside of the full-time job I get.”
Smith’s debut post will reflect on his and his classmates’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The one thing we all have in common is that we got into the thick of it or worked on our degrees during the pandemic,” Smith says. “It’s not easy at all. We clung to our mission and our goals and went for it regardless. And I think that’s so special.
She leaves with the firm belief that the past two years have strengthened her in all sorts of unpredictable ways.
“When I came to Northeastern I was pretty young – I had just graduated from undergrad and I knew I was going with people who had years of experience. [business] experience,” she says. “I now feel stronger and more able to defend and express my point of view, using critical thinking.”
His point of view as an artist was complemented by a commercial point of view.
“My job going forward is to find a way to blend those two together,” Smith says with an earned sense of self-confidence. “I know I can do it.”
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