On the eve of Black History Month, January 30, Carla Harris, who has gone from flipping hamburgers at McDonalds to Harvard University to Wall Street and even to Carnegie Hall, fired up students, faculty and staff at Monroe College with her inspirational personal story and “Carla’s Pearls,” excerpts from her book, “Expect to Win” (PLUME/Penguin Group). The event was co-sponsored by the Monroe College Honors Program and American Marketing Association.
Harris, a 24-year-old Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Emerging Manager Platform who has been named by Fortune Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America and by the U.S. Bankers Association as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance, explained that before launching her career she was a teenager working for McDonald’s. But she made the most if it.
“I was named employee of the month while still in my 90-day probation period,” Harris said. She quickly racked up other McDonald’s awards, foreshadowing her future professional career accomplishments.
“The power to maximize your success, in any given situation is in your hands,” Harris told the dozens of Monroe faculty and students who had gathered. “What you put in, is what you get out. Embrace the concept of meritocracy.”
She summarized her remarks with what she called, “my most precious pearl: Exercise your power. You must use all of your tools – your educational background, your experiential learning, and your network. If someone has put themselves in your way to be used, use them. You will have the opportunity to pay it forward.”