Meet Alexia Edmunds, an N.C. Department of Transportation HBCU fellow who works within the Customer Compliance Service Unit at the Division of Motor Vehicles.
After graduating from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and while pursuing a master’s degree in public administration, Edmunds searched the state agency website and came across the posting for the fellowship.
“I read the requirements and figured I could try something different instead of going directly into my field to get some experience,” Edmunds said. “It was one of the best decisions I made!”
The 23-year-old Greenville, South Carolina, native began working with the DMV in April 2019. She enjoys working with her coworkers and learning a variety of new things daily that are essential to her job and life. Having a team behind her, working in her favor, is one of the best things about the program.
“David Howard, Alvin Austin, Ashley Houston, JoAna McCoy, Nicole Gye’Nyame and many others work very hard to ensure that [the fellows] are comfortable and preparing us for the next steps within our career paths,” Edmunds said. “Having that type of mentorship is beneficial for me and the person I am becoming.”
Joining the HBCU Fellows Program has allowed Edmunds to step out of her comfort zone and consider more options she could take with her career, expanding her goals for the future. She said being a fellow has also taught her not to limit herself or her talents.
As far as career goals, the 23-year-old does not believe in a “dream job.” Her philosophy is if you love what you’re doing it is not a job to you.
“I have a passion to help communities who are not provided the same opportunities as other people,” she said.
When she was younger she wanted to be a pediatrician, but after learning how long doctors have to be in school, she changed her mind quickly. She later decided to pursue a career in law and plans to obtain her Juris Doctor degree to help citizens within the legal field. She wants to open a nonprofit to serve the African-American community specifically.
Her busy schedule is a challenge. It is a struggle to find a balance while working full time and being in graduate school full time. But despite these challenges, she says there is no excuse not to give back to those who have helped her in different ways. One of her goals for the year is to become more active within the community.
The most impactful event in her life so far was getting fired from a job three days after obtaining her undergraduate degree.
“At the time I was stressed and disappointed, but it showed me how quickly things can change in your life, that you do not have full control of every situation that happens to you, and that is okay,” she said. “Responding to situations in a positive manner, instead of wallowing in them, can get you further in life. Lastly, it taught me that I must create something of my own because job security is not a real thing. This event showed me that I can bounce back from any circumstances that are thrown in my direction, and to truly enjoy the journey of life.”
Edmunds lives by the saying “Don’t complain about it, just get it done. You’ve got to do it anyway.” The NCCU alumna said a friend told her this back in 11th grade and it has always stuck with her.
“I was complaining about an assignment, and he made this comment towards me,” Edmunds said. “Though it is a simple quote I feel as though it speaks volumes on how people look at life. Complaining about situations doesn’t change the situation, therefore just get it done so you can progress in whatever way you need to.”
The HBCU Outreach Program is proud of Edmunds and the accomplishments of all of its other fellows as they progress in all that they do.