Jared Bryson has gone from attaining summa cum laude status in the Morehouse Class of 2020 to Columbia University, where he’s an HBCU Fellow working on-site for a master’s degree in applied analytics. Bryson, who earned his bachelor’s degree with a double major in economics and Chinese, describes applied analytics as “looking at data and using it to make business decisions with broad applications.”
The Phi Beta Kappa scholar completed an internship last summer with the Black Venture Capital Consortium and moved to New York City in August to attend Columbia on a comprehensive HBCU Fellowship. The fellowship, through the School of Professional Studies, was designed to be a bridge between talented African-American students and the Fortune 500 companies seeking to employ them.
“I’m not worried about the challenges at Columbia; I know I can do well,” said Bryson, who earned a 3.92 GPA at Morehouse. “Morehouse has prepared me academically and in maneuvering through difficult situations. And I have no fears about being in a different environment.”
On Dec. 13, Bryson will join the Class of 2020 for online Commencement on Morehouse College’s YouTube Channel.
Bryson worked diligently at Morehouse to help other Black students face challenges with confidence when he founded WeAreMenofMorehouse, a program dedicated to celebrating Morehouse students. Together with friends from Morehouse and Spelman, Bryson expanded the project to WeAreHBCUs, a nonprofit that provides resources for students “to enter and succeed in any discipline or industry.” In 2020, for example, the group began a fellowship program in which 30 sophomores and juniors are connected with resources and mentors to help them succeed in high-trajectory opportunities, post-graduation.
Bryson, himself, worked diligently to succeed during his four years at Morehouse. The Bolingbrook, Illinois, native worked jobs and internships during most of his time at Morehouse, including internships at Moody’s Analytics, SunTrust, and Apple. He took academic trips to Cuba, Haiti, Liberia, Brazil, and China, and participated in special educational programs, such as the Spotify Opening Act HBCU Conference, Bank of America Elevate Diversity Forum, and Capital One Ignite Summit.
Bryson also participated in the Morehouse Business Association Protégé Program, which provides a foundation for Morehouse freshmen wanting to enter the business world and attain top leadership positions. “The Protégé Program led directly to professional opportunities and put me in proximity with future brothers, partners, and high-achievers,” Bryson said of the program, which he lauds as being integral to his success.
For young students just becoming men of Morehouse and hoping to ensure successful college careers, Bryson—a Stamps Foundation Leadership Scholar and winner of this year’s E.B. Williams Award for outstanding academic achievement in business administration and economics—has some advice.
Be content with yourself when it comes to self-esteem, he said, but contemplate becoming better all the time. Find good mentors, constantly improve, and be comfortable with improvement. Question what you know, learn what your biases are, and recognize that unlearning can be just as important as learning. In addition, make sure that whatever you say is well thought-out, develop exemplary public speaking skills, set goals for making your life better, and have a growth mindset.
“Every semester, I would set a goal for improvement in life, whether it would be my health or starting a project,” Bryson explained. “You want to grow in all areas of your life constantly.”
When Bryson was evaluating colleges as a high school senior, UNC-Chapel Hill and Northwestern were at the top of his list. But he took a philosophical ethics class at Morehouse the summer after his senior year in high school and never looked back.
“I knew I made the right choice,” he said. “At Morehouse, I was able to grow and succeed personally, socially, professionally, and intellectually in ways I previously could not fathom. I discovered, and got in tune with, a brotherhood at Morehouse that as a senior in high school I thought was a just a marketing ploy.”
Bryson now thinks of Morehouse as having been a holistic experience, with challenging academics, social networking, and high-achieving students. “The atmosphere encourages you to improve yourself in all areas … It’s an intense environment but it’s a good pressure,” he said. “It’s a pressure that creates diamonds.”
I knew I made the right choice. At Morehouse, I was able to grow and succeed personally, socially, professionally, and intellectually in ways I previously could not fathom. I discovered, and got in tune with, a brotherhood at Morehouse that as a senior in high school I thought was a just a marketing ploy.Jared Bryson, Class of 2020