A Year After MGEM - Master of Global Entrepreneurial Management
Master of Global Entrepreneurial Management alumna Mea Boykins ’16 has traveled to 22 countries – but her journey has only just begun!
Master of Global Entrepreneurial Management (MGEM) alumna Mea Boykins ’16 graduated last year after months of traveling the world with her classmates to Barcelona, Taipei, and San Francisco. Since then, Boykins has been continuing her travels, maintained her entrepreneurial spirit, and in a nutshell, has kept her professional life exciting and impressive.
Since graduation, she’s returned to her home city of New Orleans and launched her company, Global Management and Marketing LLC, or GM², which provides service to politicians, nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurs. At GM² she holds a number of roles: “project management, event planning, fundraising, consulting, development work, nonprofit management, marketing, branding, graphic design, and web development,” she said. This may seem like a lot of work, but it only scrapes the surface of all the effort and perseverance Boykins has put into this past year, let alone her entire career.
On top of running her company, Boykins has also completed a number of other impressive projects. Recently, she planned a fundraiser for STEM NOLA – an organization with a mission “to expose, inspire, and engage K through 12 youth.” She planned and led the event with congressman and Chairman of the Black Caucus Cedric Richmond. At the fundraiser, a private screening of the film Hidden Figures was shown and Katherine Sanders, granddaughter of Katherine Johnson – one of the NASA physicists and mathematicians on whom the movie is based attended as a speaker and guest of honor.
Additionally, Boykins completed a fundraiser for Le Sanctuary Book Club, in which she raised enough money to award over eight scholarships that are given to first year college students from Louisiana. She also became director of strategic relationships for the company Noirbnb –“a global travel community that provides experiences and events with a focus on including and celebrating travelers of color.” On top of her fundraising and entrepreneurship, she recently spoke on “The Blueprint of Success” at Google with broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien and was featured in a Black Enterprise article that praised her persistent commitment to hard work.
“I’ve never worked for anyone in my life,” said Boykins, with the exception of a brief period at Ann Taylor while she was in high school. Even when she was an independent contractor for Cutco in her teen years, she was able to thrive in independence and the sense of running her own business. “When I graduated I thought that I was going to have to do things the orthodox way of working for someone else, and I really didn’t want to,” she said, explaining the flexibility in being self-employed. During her time studying in the MGEM program, she traveled to 16 countries in 8 months. “After MGEM, I couldn’t imagine not traveling for an entire calendar year,” she explained, referring to the typical lack of travel time employers offer their new hires.
Boykins reflected on her time in MGEM saying, “It put me in a position to create doors and open them for myself!” For instance, it gave her more confidence in closing deals, creating partnerships, and even building her company. “I am grateful that I was afforded the opportunity to study at USF. Through the MGEM program, I gained global course mates, friends, business contacts and mentors. As a result of living and studying in 3 countries, I feel confident when speaking about international relations, business, and affairs. Additionally, I am able to leverage my cross cultural management training by maintaining international clients.” And because of her studies abroad, “people trust my insight as a result of my experience living around the world,” she said.
From my perspective, the most valuable aspect of the MGEM program was its diversity, which is more than just one’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or class. With a class of 40 students from 15 countries, I became curious to learn about different cultures and began valuing individuality more.
Mea Boykins MGEM '16, CEO at Global Management and Marketing
“Travel is a significant part of my life because it has broadened my horizons and shaped my perspective.” Looking forward, she said, “I plan on writing a few books, entering academia and whatever else is in God's will for my life."
By Lonny Wysard