Julian Mensah BA’10, BS’10
Development Officer, Institutional Giving
What do you do?
I currently work at Big Thought, a high-impact education based nonprofit that equips youth in marginalized communities to imagine and create their best lives and world. Big Thought does this by building youth’s creative muscles, developing their social and emotional skills and well-being, and helping youth discover and shape their authentic voice. In my role, I help raise capital to support the ranging out of school time programming we offer that aids our city in closing the opportunity gap for deserving youth. I love that I get to interface with so many industries that are all directly or indirectly impacted by the state of education in the North Texas region. When you take a look at workforce readiness, it is all intertwined. If you are not providing 21st century skills training, who in the next generation will assume the roles of the future.
How do you use your EPPS education in your current profession?
While enrolled in EPPS for undergrad, I had the opportunity to intern at a law firm in downtown Dallas. The experience of the internship while taking coursework really taught me about the intersection of the private and public sector. Having had extensive nonprofit professional experience, some of the principals discussed during my coursework days definitely resurfaced.
What value has your EPPS education brought to your life and/or work?
At my internship, my supervisor was a UT Dallas MBA graduate. I think the biggest lesson I learned from my time at UT Dallas is one should maximize their network and also work hard to not burn bridges. Everything in business is relationships, so treat those relationships as such and value and respect the time of everyone you deal with.
Have you received professional honors or recognition that you’d like to share here?
May of 2019 I completed my executive masters in nonprofit administration at the University of Notre Dame. Fall of 2019, I was selected to participate in the impact philanthropy cohort via Emerging Leaders of Philanthropy at the Communities Foundation of Texas.
What advice would you give current and future EPPS students?
Begin to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. The business world is diverse so be comfortable with peers of different backgrounds. Don’t make assumptions about anything.