There is a nice way to ask, “What are you going to do with your life?” when your super successful best friend or tired-of-sending-you-money parents need to politely ask you to get your life together, they opt for, “What’s your dream job?”
I never get offended, but I never really know how to answer. What is a “dream job,” really? An 8-year-old that loves puppies might dream of being a veterinarian. I grew up wanting to design cars. I also grew up with my mother telling me she wanted to be one of the Fly Girls on In Living Color. See what I mean? But I think I’ve finally figured it out.
As a millennial, entrepreneurship is ideal (maybe even innate), but a ‘dream job’ is a job you would love, even if it meant working for someone else. A dream job is not just something you imagine; it’s an actual possibility. These 10 black men and women are living proof.
1. Cubby Golden| @goldendesign
Footwear Designer, New Balance
It’s one thing to be a sneakerhead, but designing sneakers in your head is something altogether different. Cubby Golden has proven nice with a pen tool and an actual pen. While he’s currently designing footwear for New Balance, his experience doesn’t stop there. Golden has designed footwear for Nike, a cell phone for Telecoms Korea and currently serves as an adjunct professor at PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy. Shout him out next time you lace up to go running.
2.Carl Chery | @cchery
Hip-Hop/R&B Editor, Apple Music
Your playlist might have popped at your homeboy’s cookout last summer, but Carl Chery really does this. He began working as head of hip-hop and R&B programming at Beats Music in 2012. Naturally, Chery carried his talents over to Apple Music, where he continues to live the dream.
3. Antonia Baker | @bakerantonia
Marketing Director, Trade Marketing Events, The Food Network
With over 15 years of marketing experience under her belt, Antonia Baker is the current marketing director for the Food Network. There, she’s responsible for brand storytelling and communication strategy. There’s no word on whether or not she’s an unofficial taste-tester.
4. Taydra Mitchell Jackson| @taydra
Vice President, McBride Research Labs
Beauty is more than what meets the iPhone flash. Taydra Mitchell is currently putting more than 20 years of experience behind the hair care company McBride Research Labs. Serving as Vice President, Mitchell oversees global marketing and design. Mitchell has done similar work at Rx For Brown Skin, Revlon and L’Oreal’s Mizani. She’s proof that cosmetology is more than hair shows and booth rent.
5. Aniesia Williams |@iamaniesia
Influencer, Vogue Influencer Network
Aniesia Williams is living every fashion blogger’s dream. The lifestyle journalist and brand consultant is an example of a hardworking woman with her hands in a little bit of everything. Her hard work and obvious eye for the finer things earned her a seat in Vogue’s Influencer Network. The good folks over at Vogue trust her feedback on products, fashion collections, and the overall publication. It’s safe to say Williams has the juice.
6. Steven Morrison| @stevemo09
Associate Talent Producer, ESPN
Did you just see your favorite rapper on First Take? You have this guy to thank for that. Steven Morrison is an associate talent producer at ESPN, which means he’s out shaking hands and kissing babies. More specifically, he manages guest bookings for the network’s most popular shows and manages talent and partner relationships. Morrison is the true definition of a mover and shaker.
7. Lerrick McCorvey | @betoughdontcuff
Sr. Multicultural Event Marketing Rep, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
If you’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world and your community, Lerrick McCorvey just might be the source of your career envy. Fundraising is easy, but McCorvey has the tough task of planning and coordinating events to expand volunteer efforts for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. As a senior multicultural event marketing representative, McCorvey rallies the troops, managing interns and other event marketing Reps. Call him, “the General.”
8. Amber Bickham | @amberbickham
Casting Director, Comedy Central
Whoever said there aren’t enough black women in comedy forgot to check behind the scenes. Current casting director for an upcoming animated series on Comedy Central, Amber Bickham, has dominated casting in the comedic arena and beyond. Bickham has done casting and production work on shows such as Adult Swim’s Black Jesus, BET’s Comicview, and MTV’s Wild ‘N Out. Her resume reads like a TV guide, and she’s not afraid to go to the trenches to find great underground talent. Next time you’re watching your favorite network show, look for her name in the credits.
9. Dominique A.M. Vaughn| @msniqueyV
Flight Instructor, Elizabeth City University
There are few people who can say they never dreamed of flying as a kid. Even fewer held on to that dream long after they realized they would never grow wings. Dominique Vaughn caught the bug at a summer camp hosted by the Organization of Black Airline Pilots and is now passing on her knowledge. Vaughn serves as a certified flight instructor at Elizabeth City University. She’s showing the world that black girls can fly.
10. Ashley Nelson- Hornstein | @ashleynh
iOS Developer, Dropbox
By now the world is well aware that black girls code and Ashley Nelson-Hornstein leads the tribe graciously. Nelson-Hornstein works as an iOS developer at Dropbox but approaches her work more like she’s preparing Sunday dinner. Any developer can learn algorithms and make estimations, but Hornstein works from a place of passion and purpose. Her heart and expertise will leave much more than a digital footprint.
As proof you can have it all, many of these people still have their own ventures popping outside of these awesome day jobs. However, the ‘intrapreneur by day, entrepreneur by night,’ life isn’t for everyone. Would you give up working for yourself for your dream job? If so, what would it be?