Early Obstacles and Later Success

Posted by: Marissa, Wily Scholar, Boston College

September
11

On September 20th, 2020 I will be moderating an online discussion, Early Obstacles and Later Success, with Triston Francis, hosted by the Wily Network. 

I initially connected with Triston at a Wily event with Harvard Business School, Professionally Telling Your Story at HBS, and recently reached out to Triston after hearing his MASA seminar. I wanted to hear his thoughts on how early adversity has led to his success, as well as gain advice and insights on how he managed early adversity and a demanding educational program.

A first-generation college student who grew up in an underserved community, Triston did not have a lot of access to educational opportunities or guidance. He didn’t think education could help him out of his situation, but a lucky opportunity to go to boarding school changed his life. Over time, Triston received the coaching and support he needed to believe in himself and set high goals.

Triston received a BS from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and served as president of both the Black Wharton Undergraduate Association as well as the African-American Senior Honor Society. After graduating he worked as an associate on Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Client Strategy Team. Triston received his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he served as the Student Body President and graduated in the top 20% of his class.

Outside of school and work, Triston founded a professional development speaker series in New York City called Navigating Corporate America, and is involved with the non profits Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) and Sponsorship for Educational Opportunity (SEO).

I wanted to share Triston’s story with my younger brother, who struggles to return to a rigorous academic school while balancing a turbulent family situation. As a young student, it is difficult for him to understand how the challenges he is facing now, inside and outside the classroom, will prepare him with essential life skills. Like many other students, my brother has been presented with many unprecedented challenges he must overcome, while showing appreciation for the resources he is provided. 

Triston and I felt that many students could benefit from hearing his journey, learning about different aspects of measuring growth, and asking personal questions. 

Two months later, I am now working with the Wily Network’s communications team to create promotional media and conduct community outreach. This experience has allowed me to grow my management skills, expand my network, and share with the community a resource that has helped me. I am very excited to host and moderate this discussion, and share this opportunity with my community. 

Early Obstacles and Later Success will take place on Sunday, September 20th, 7:30-8:30 pm EST. This discussion is a great opportunity to learn more about Triston’s story: his take on the power of education, his mindset while overcoming obstacles, and the experiences that were essential for his professional success. These topics are truly versatile, highlighting the importance of different growth forms, whether it be academic or personal. Regardless of your age, educational foundation, or personal background, if you are interested in learning about the positive impact of adversity, this is the event for you. Click here to sign up for the event! All you need is a phone or computer with a stable connection to tune in.

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