Alumni Profile: Cali Luke
After graduating from college and moving into the workforce, Richmond Promise alumni are establishing themselves in businesses and creating careers across the country. Today, we’re catching up with RP alum Cali Luke, an El Cerrito High and UC Berkeley graduate who now works for a risk-based consulting company in San Francisco.
Q: First, a little background info. Where did you go to school (high school and college) and what are you up to professionally these days?
A: I went to El Cerrito High School (go Gauchos!) and UC Berkeley, class of 2021. At UC Berkeley, I received a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in African American Studies. Post-grad, I’ve gone on to work with a risk-based consulting company called Protiviti out of its San Francisco office. I am currently a consultant within the Workforce Transformation and Organizational Change solution.
Q: What led to you pursue that career path?
A: I like learning new things and having exposure to a wide range of clients, opportunities to travel, and most importantly, the career flexibility as you can pivot into any industry or sector you’re interested in.
Q: Thinking back to your experience in both high school and college…how did Richmond Promise provide support and how did that support make an impact for you?
A: To this day, I’m still very appreciative of the financial and educational support Richmond Promise provided me with during my entire four years of undergrad. In fact, I was interested in what a career would look like in the public sector and the program helped me secure an amazing summer internship (and even received an extension through the academic year) with the Richmond Department of Children and Youth! Most importantly, with the help of Richmond Promise I was able to start my college journey and career without a heavy financial burden, allowing me to focus on what mattered most.
Q: If you could tell our Richmond Promise Scholars anything about what to expect once they graduate college and enter the workforce, what would it be?
A: Similar to being a freshman in college, you will start back out at the bottom and will be expected to earn the trust of your leaders through your ability to deliver quality work. Therefore, setting working expectations with your team, asking for feedback routinely, and delivering on your promises (or what you were assigned to do) are crucial to success in the first year of your career. Ultimately, this will help you stand out amongst your peers at the same level and be beneficial for your performance evaluations.
Q: What can RP Scholars do while in college to prepare for their career/life after college?
A: I’d encourage everyone to find one professional who can be a mentor/sponsor during college and afterwards (for as long as needed). Once you start your career, you will find new mentors but there’s great benefits to having mentors who work in the same company/industry and mentors outside of your respective career field. First-generation college students often face unique challenges related to their background and lack of familial experience in higher education or certain career paths. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a mentor who has faced similar challenges and/or is able to help you navigate your career with actionable advice and emotional support. These mentors should be people that you feel comfortable asking both professional and personal advice and are people who can offer fresh perspectives and help you adapt to new environments or changing circumstances.