Lindner Alumni Spotlight: Roniqua Jeffries
MS Marketing '12, Washington D.C.
“Out of the huts of history’s shame. I rise. Up from a past that’s rooted in pain. I rise…I am the dream and hope of the slave. I rise.”- Maya Angelou, Still I Rise”
I am a strategic marketing professional with a passion for product innovation. Currently, I’m using my talents at USPS where I have spearheaded the marketing campaign for the launch of a new package friendly mailbox and lead several Retail Marketing campaigns, including the largest Retail campaign of the year: Holiday (2015). Now, I travel the US -from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Laramie, Wyoming- as the program manager for national stamp dedication ceremonies
“Because I graduated from the Lindner College of Business, I can now… defy the odds.”
Q: When have you been most satisfied in your life?
A: I am most satisfied when I am creating and being innovative. Launching my small business, By Ronnie J. (www.byRonnieJ.com), was an exciting venture because it allowed me to apply my business acumen as I learned new skills. The mission of By Ronnie J. is to uplift and inspire women of color by promoting positive images and providing them the tools needed to live happy, healthy, and successful lives. In my spare time, I enjoy helping others with their marketing strategy. Currently, I serve as the Marketing Committee Lead for PGCode, Prince George’s County’s first ever High School Hack Day. I was honored as one of the 2017 Top 40 under 40 in Prince George’s County (innovateprincegeorges.org) and it’s a privilege to use my talent for a project that will have such a profound impact on the community.
Q: Who is your role model and why?
A: One of the reasons I authored, Can I Live? The Advice Every Black Girl Needs but Doesn’t Know It Yet, is because I didn’t have any role models growing up. I was carving my own path and figuring things out for myself. I was the first in my family to receive a college degree. My book is written for girls just like me; girls who don’t necessarily have role models and don’t see themselves represented in the spaces they aspire to be in. Through the book, I wanted to provide others the guidance they may not be getting elsewhere.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Seeing other black women win inspires me. Today, I am inspired by Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer of Uber, and Charline McCray, the First Lady of New York. Saint John’s story rings true to many college graduates, getting a degree in one field and deciding to pursue a totally different career path. I love that she is authentically herself and sprinkles black girl magic everywhere she goes! McCray has redefined the role of First Lady. She helped institute Universal Pre-K, champion’s mental health reform and is a voice for gender equality.
Q: What was your favorite experience during your time at UC?
A: Studying abroad in Linz, Austria for spring break is definitely one of my favorite UC experiences. I wanted to study abroad in undergrad, but I did not have the opportunity. When the opportunity presented itself in grad school I jumped on it. Having the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, studying on the Johannes Kepler University campus, meeting with top companies, and trying new cuisine were invaluable life experiences.
Q: What was your favorite class that you took and why?
A:A: My favorite class would be Systematic Inventive Thinking (S.I.T) with Professor Drew Boyd. What I like about marketing, in general, is that there aren’t always right or wrong answers. Professor Boyd always taught us that, as marketers, we must always have an opinion. S.I.T. has the same concept. Using the principles taught in class we could come up with any idea and nothing was too outlandish. For example, why can’t we remove the buttons from a phone? This way of thinking is what created the iPhone. This class provided a refreshing way of looking at the world around us.
Q: What is your proudest moment/accomplishment?
A: My proudest accomplishment is evolving to become the woman I am today. Only 21% of black women in America have a bachelor’s degree or higher. I was the first in my family to obtain a college degree and the only black woman in my master’s program. Only 23% of black women making $50k or more per year. Within a year of graduating I obtained a job that allowed me to join the ranks of the black women in this percentage. I am now using my talents to create marketing plans for a $68 billion dollar company. I’m proud to the lead the way for the next generation of women in my family and to be a role model for black girls. I am my ancestor’s wildest dream.