Jsaria Coleman Has Found Success on Campus and Beyond

Many high school students ponder over what the transition to college will entail. However, I am here to tell you: college is everything you ever heard about, and more. At least, Tuskegee University has been for me.


The most fun part about transitioning to college was moving into the residence hall and finally meeting my roommate for the first time. Interestingly enough, the uncertainty that comes with not knowing your roommate builds the sense of excitement around move-in day. Although the social parts of the transition create an exciting atmosphere, it is imperative that you focus primarily on your academic success. From kindergarten to high school I received a Title I education, so to now attend a private university and a top Historically Black University in the country came with tons of pressure. The continuous pressure motivates me to succeed, forcing me to constantly strive for excellence and to show other people my intellectual capabilities.

My first priority when I got to Tuskegee University was to meet with my advisors and professors. I also became involved in student organizations, joining MANRRS and L.E.T. U.S. Academy. As a result, I enhanced my resume and was able to participate in events such as freshman activities. These activities were helpful in improving my social skills in professional settings, giving me the ability to prep for potential internships. Nevertheless, being involved in a plethora of activities can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when it feels like it is interfering with one’s social life. It is difficult to maintain the balance between a social life and academic responsibilities when the biggest party of the semester lands on the same day that an important paper is due!

Though class assignments and campus activities are very important to life in college, I wanted to ensure that I landed an internship for the summer after my freshman yaer. Joining MANRRS helped me acquire an internship for the summer of 2018. After experiencing my first interview with a fortune 500 company, formerly known as Monsanto, I was accepted and given a three-year contract where I would be interning in different positions around the country each summer. While working in St. Louis, I worked as a Customer Operation Specialist in the Customer Care for Crop Protection department. My lack of previous work experience in the field made me afraid to fail when working on assignments. Despite this fear, the mentors and professionals that work at Monsanto ensured that I made a smooth transition into the company. Towards the end of the internship, I presented to numerous employees from each of the company’s divisions. I also became a member of African Americans in Monsanto (AAIM) and toured chemical plants throughout Missouri.


This summer (2019) I will be interning as a district sales manager in California, getting paid over a thousand dollars every two weeks. The decisions I made as I transitioned from high school to college set me on a path to a successful future. I came in prepared to balance college life and social activities while remaining focused on reaching my goals. I purposefully networked and built relationships with professors and faculty members starting before I even got to campus to help find additional financial aid, and, eventually to help me secure life-changing internships and opportunities on campus and beyond.

Emily Heller