Chukwuma “Chima” Egbuzie ’19 has many stories to tell, from living as an undocumented immigrant in the Bronx, N.Y., to majoring in screen studies and economics at Clark University, to being named a Most Promising Multicultural Student by the American Advertising Federation — a feat that opened up his résumé to recruiters.
But Egbuzie believes his story can best be captured in his own words. His autobiographical essay, titled “Undocumented: From the Bronx to Berlin,” was published on the popular blogging platform Medium, complete with a photo of Egbuzie in his “Keep Clark Weird” t-shirt. The essay begins:
“I identify as a Third-Culture Kid, an individual who spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture. I grew up with my grandparents in Nigeria and moved to the Bronx, New York City, when I was fourteen to continue my education. My high school, the Bronx Lighthouse College Prep Academy (BLCPA), was a personal journey in terms of assimilating to the American culture and adjusting to a new educational system.”
His essay documents his path to becoming a legal, permanent U.S. resident, and his successive journeys to Clark University and to Berlin for a CIEE Global Institute study abroad experience.
Picking up where the essay left off, Egbuzie describes his February visit to New York and the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Student Program. He attended professional development workshops, industry immersion seminars, and a recruitment expo, and networked with other members of the Most Promising Class of 2019 and industry professionals.
“It was good to hear a lot of leaders talk about the industry,” Egbuzie recalls. “They were also telling us that the first job isn’t going to dictate your life. Your first job might be bad. Your second might be slightly better. But it doesn’t mean that five years or 10 years down the road, it will not be great.”
By the time he graduates from Clark this May, the Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar and Clark University Fiat Lux Honor Society member will have racked up multiple internship and workplace experiences. As a fellow in the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program, he worked in account management at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Through a Clark-funded internship with the International Center of Worcester, he produced a digital marketing project — “Global Citizens of Worcester,” or WooTales — applying his storytelling and artistic skills through photography.
While studying abroad in Germany, Egbuzie interned at Raised by the Beat, a nonprofit organization. He edited and produced original digital content for Dance Radar, which connects professional dance teachers with dance studios.
In regards to video production, Egbuzie says he gets the biggest thrill from finding the perfect shot — something that makes the complex, and sometimes arduous, process of creating and editing videos worthwhile. At Clark, he has enjoyed collaborating with other students on video projects, including a promotion for the International Student Association’s annual Gala.
“I enjoyed making the video because of the people I was working with,” Egbuzie says. “When people saw it, they were excited. I was happy to see their engagement, expressing their views and sharing it on social media.”
Such experiences have convinced Egbuzie to continue working on video productions for advertising companies. This summer, he’ll intern in integrated production at Havas New York, a global advertising agency.
But he still will tell stories in his own way.
“I believe stories are important, and I believe in storytelling,” Egbuzie says. “I believe we should tell the stories that the world tends to hide.”