Black History Month Spotlight: Meta
World Business Chicago promotes and spotlights notable Black & Brown business leaders and entrepreneurs to help inspire students, entrepreneurs and leaders of startups and companies, of others who are paving the way, charting new and interesting paths in business.
Growing up in Florissant, MO (a northern suburb of St. Louis), Toland was a part of a tight knit family surrounded by a large extended family. She shares more about her childhood —
“The school I attended hosted an annual multi day overnight trip for eighth graders to Chicago. I will never forget the positive imprint Chicago left on me in those three short days. I was in awe of the hustle and bustle, the architecture, the EL, the amazing museums and parks, and most importantly the glorious diversity of people, languages, and cultures. I remember the burst of energy the city gave me. And I knew, right then, at some point in my life this place would be my home. And I was right.”
Judy expresses that business is truly embedded in her DNA with both of her paternal and maternal grandparents being small business owners. She gives a look into her interest in the business industry —
“I grew up inspired by an Aunt of mine who was a successful small business owner. But my personal passion for business was truly sparked by my early participation in INROADS, a leadership development program for high school and college students. I learned the language and rhythm of business and potential career options. And once I arrived at Northwestern University, I learned first hand through on-campus speakers and returning alumni that I could pair my love of math and science, since I was studying to be a chemical engineer, with many business facing careers, from marketing to sales.”
As Toland looks back and gives advice to upcoming students and future business leaders, she shares a story that she experienced —
“Very early in my career, a wise woman who was my mentor once said, “Judy you must become comfortable being uncomfortable, because in those times of uncomfortableness, you are growing, stretching, learning something new, becoming better.” Chicago allows you the unique opportunity to get uncomfortable in a nurturing environment, full of people eager to mentor and support you, and grow a career across a diversity of industries that surpass your wildest dreams.”
For more information about Meta or Judy Toland please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/judithstatumtoland/#experience.
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