Colin Powell School
Economics major Ashanti Johnson brings a unique determination to her academic journey. Having grown up in a low-income, predominantly African American community in Brooklyn, Johnson is driven by her desire to leverage her education for the betterment of her community. She believes that expanding her knowledge of financial literacy is a crucial step in this endeavor. Currently on the cusp of launching her career as a full-time hire at Bloomberg in their Analytics and Sales Department, Johnson attributes much of her success to the support and resources she received from the Colin Powell School. From mentorship programs to academic guidance to fellowships opportunities, the Colin Powell School has been instrumental in Johnson's journey.
Please share a little about your background — what’s your story?
My name is Ashanti Johnson and I live in Brooklyn. I am an Economics major at the City College of New York, and I chose to pursue an economics degree because I wanted to expand my knowledge of financial literacy through higher education. I come from a low-income predominantly African American community, and I want to do my best with my opportunities to pay it forward.
What is your passion or purpose behind your studies at CCNY?
My mother is African American, and my father was a Jamaican immigrant. Neither finished high school due to their circumstances. They worked hard to make sure I valued and could pursue higher education. I am specifically interested in economics because you learn how to navigate people’s behaviors and the markets.
Where are you in your career? How has the Colin Powell School helped you along the way?
I have recently accepted an offer to be a full-time hire at Bloomberg within their Analytics and Sales Department. The Colin Powell School gave me resources necessary to propel my professional career. I was chosen to be a part of the JPMorgan and Colin Powell School mentorship program as a freshman, and I am still in contact with my mentor. The Colin Powell School academic advisors helped me best map out my academic trajectory. Additionally, I was a Boudreau Fellowship recipient which further motivated me to pursue my studies in economics.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I will be joining Bloomberg soon after my graduation next summer. What’s so impressive about Bloomberg is that it’s a sweet spot for financial analytics and technology. The company is always innovating, which is exactly the mindset you want to have in these ever-changing times.
Please share a significant memory and/or accomplishment from your time at CCNY.
I recently attended the S Jay Levy Graduation/Welcoming Ceremony as a graduate of the fellowship. If not for the S Jay Levy Fellowship I would not have made some of my closest friends now or applied for an internship with Bloomberg.
Do you have any advice you could give to current or future students?
Network, which is still a difficult concept for me. However, if it wasn’t for me reaching out and asking questions to those around me, I would not have obtained the opportunities I had to get me where I am now.
How would you describe the Colin Powell School in three words? Innovation. Collaboration. Support.