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A Q&A with UF alum Jelece Morris, businesswoman extraordinaire and career mentor

Jelece Morris, center, graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering before earning master’s degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Her expertise has fueled a multifaceted career: Morris is now a consultant, entrepreneur and investor. In 2020, she and fellow UF alum Suzanne Delica launched BoCa Flavor, a spice company founded based on their Jamaican and Haitian heritage, respectively. Morris is an associate for global management consulting firm Kearney and consults young professionals seeking to attend top-ranked business schools.

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Jelece Morris earned her bachelor’s from UF in 2011. Photo courtesy of Jelece Morris

In 2021, she and five friends launched an investment community, called Cascades Ventures, to help Black and Latino investors and founders access financial, human and social capital to address key challenges in their communities.

As a Gator Career Consultant at the Career Connections Center, she helps students find their paths by sharing her own. Read on for a Q&A with her, where she sheds light on getting your career started as a student.

What does a normal day at work look like for you?

There is no such thing as a normal day when you are a consultant, entrepreneur and investor. Every day is new and full of opportunities and challenges for my different clients and businesses. This requires me to be hyper-organized and intentional with how I spend my time and what gets prioritized.

The beauty of the different hats I wear is that there is a team and support system wrapped around these endeavors who I get to collaborate with to bring about results. The only regular occurrence for my work day is that Gmail, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint get used each and every day.

What’s been your favorite moment as a Career Consultant so far?

I hosted a workshop, Creating Healthy Boundaries Early in your Career, teaching students how to set healthy boundaries from the start of their career to allow them to navigate the workplace without being taken advantage of or burning out. This was a very timely workshop given the current cultural shift in corporate America to focus on mental health and well-being.

You’ve worked across industries – what’s driven your career evolution and what are some of the key insights you share with students?

By continuously being introspective and open to the possibilities in life, I have given myself the space to reflect and sometimes redirect my intentions to pursue my purpose and gain valuable experiences that have shaped my career and perspectives.

What advice do you have for students who are just starting out in their fields?

Don’t be afraid to be curious and question the status quo. Many systems and people have been put in place for many years. The beauty of recruiting is that companies get an opportunity to bring in fresh, diverse thoughts to help shape the products and services they provide to their customers.

Learn more about the Career Connections Center.

Sign up to be a Gator Career Consultant.

Learn more about career consulting at UF.

Source: Jelece Morris