Tia's Leadership Journey
Growing up, Tia’s parents instilled in her and her five siblings the importance of education. Tia vividly recalls her parents’ values around education, “education places you in rooms that you otherwise would not have access to.” As a young child, Tia wanted options, and she knew having access to those rooms was the way to find opportunities. When it was time to start thinking about high school, Tia’s eighth-grade teacher gave her the DMSF scholarship application to complete. Soon enough, Tia found herself interviewing and being awarded the DMSF scholarship.
As a Murphy Scholar at Queen of Peace High School, Tia excelled. She maintained a solid GPA while holding several leadership positions in high school: captain of the Track and Field Team, captain of the Math Team, and a member of the Peace Ambassadors, a recruitment program designed to increase enrollment. She also participated in DMSF’s mentoring program. Her relationship with Maddie Schiller is one she leans on. Tia credits Maddie for helping her to select her college, choosing her major, and making choices that would position her well for her future. Maddie emboldened Tia to use her voice in all settings, especially in spaces where she was significantly outnumbered.
Tia accepted a Track and Field Scholarship to attend Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. One of the factors for attending this institution was that Atlanta was the home of the Big Four Leadership Conference for accounting/finance students. Tia participated at the Big Four Conference, performed well, and secured an internship with Wintrust Financial Corp. and her first post-undergrad job as a portfolio manager with Wintrust. She continued developing her leadership skills and voice by working as Treasurer for the Student Government Association (SGA).
Currently, Tia is an Associate, Sponsor of Fund Lending with BMO Harris Bank. She is elated to be working in a multicultural private equity group. “As a woman of color in leadership, it's important to see others who look like you. Seeing other women of color inspires me; it helps me to speak up.” In the future, Tia sees herself working as a private equity banker and then as a private equity managing director. It’s important to Tia to provide resources to disenfranchised communities and represent young black girls coming behind her.
We’re proud of Tia’s accomplishments and the use of her talents to help strengthen multiple communities. She currently serves as treasurer of the Chicago Chapter of the CAU Alumni Association. She also supports DMSF as the Associate Board's secretary. We’re honored that Tia engages with us to uplift tomorrow’s leaders.