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The Boston Black MBA Association’s Power of Self Workshop

Stephanie Millions
The Boston Black MBA Association’s Power of Self Workshop
Darla Pires DeGrace, president of NBMBAA - Boston Chapter. (Photo: Photo: Greg Smith)

Many young urban professionals find it difficult to climb the corporate ladder while staying true to themselves. They may feel they have to wear a set of masks in order to navigate through their personal and professional lives. “The Power of Self-Awareness, Authenticity and Resilience in Career and Life” workshop hosted by the Boston Chapter of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) addressed the challenge of how to manage work identities without sacrificing your authentic self.

The National Black MBA Association’s mission is to lead in the creation of educational opportunities, professional development and economic growth for African Americans. As a premier business organization serving black professionals, the Boston chapter is committed to serving members through five pillars of engagement: career, education, entrepreneurship, leadership and lifestyle. The two-hour workshop, held on July 21, was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Liberty Mutual and State Street Corporation.

Nicole Roberts Jones, CEO of Fierce Factor Lab, speaker and author, facilitated the workshop. She motivated attendees to shift their vision and focus on their mission in order to succeed in various areas of their lives. Jones is known as “The Inner Catalyst” for her ability to draw out what’s best within each of her clients — to inspire, empower and transform them but also to move them into action. One of the first things she addressed in the workshop was knowing what your purpose is, which she refers to as “Your Fierce”.

She told attendees that you have to activate your fierce and be an uncompromising, unapologetic, and unstoppable you, despite your environment. Jones, who resides in Massachusetts, also talked about knowing the purpose you serve at work and being the best at it. She said, “You have to focus on the problem and commit to being the answer.” Her stated goal throughout the workshop was to show individuals how to become a chess player, not the chess piece. “Focus on your own God-given gift and allow it to bring abundance to your life,” she said.

Jones encouraged attendees to take action, work past their self-doubt and be their unapologetic self. Nathalie Gauthier, NBMBAA’s vice president of operations, said, “Nicole eloquently set the stage for our next programming events, where we will continue to focus on self-development. Then, our programming will target leveraging this knowledge to build a community of powerhouses and trailblazers.” The NBMBAA’s membership base consists of both MBAs and professionals who do not have an MBA, and aims to support professional and personal growth from the classroom to the boardroom. For more information, visit

Meet Stephanie Millions — our new In the Mix reporter. Millions is passionate about media and works on many platforms. She anchors a morning motivational talk show called “Elevation with Stephanie Millions” on the Gag Order Network, and also hosts “The Secret Spot” every Monday night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on WERS 88.9 FM. For more information, please visit or email to have her cover your event. Follow Stephanie on Twitter @StephMillions.