The 2023 Essence GU Disruptor Summit gave attendees a sneak peek into a new career coaching app focused on the next generation. Hosted by Aaliyah Haqq, Chief Operating Officer, and Chelsea Spencer-Smith, Executive Coach, The Academy For Advancing Excellence, attendees received gems on how to crack the career code.
Through the new Essence 360 app, Zillennials can gain intimate mentorship from industry leaders across the career landscape. “Make the investment in yourself,” Haqq says. “So often, we will invest in other things, but we don’t always invest in ourselves.”
During the era of disruption, Gen Z needs to understand their worth in the creative and professional space, and that starts with having the proper guidance and mentorship.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Aaliyah Haqq and Alphonso David speak onstage at the Crack the Career Code panel during the 2023 ESSENCE Girls United (GU) Summit on November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
The Essence 360 app aims to bridge the gap between knowing yourself and learning how to level up and check off goals from your vision board. Throughout the conversation, attendees heard in-person testimonies from four who participated in GU Office Hours.
“During this session, I learned how to find my community and have people hold me accountable,” a GU attendee says. “It reminded me that I do need that coaching.”
With the help of this new app and initiative, Gen Z’ers can have people in their corner virtually and in person to help them create their career goal list.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Chelsea Spencer Smith and Aaliyah Haqq attend the 2023 ESSENCE Girls United (GU) Summit on November 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
When experiencing the app, users have the option of three tiers: Coaching, Mentoring, and Interning. Throughout each level, it allows career hopefuls to have the opportunity to meet other like-minded people in their fields.
The overall theme throughout the conversation was support. Through each testimony, attendees saw the importance of community building, especially regarding your career.
According to the National Center For Education, the employment percentage for those with a bachelor’s or higher degree was higher for White young adults (88 percent) than young adults who were Black (87 percent), Hispanic (84 percent), of Two or more races (84 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (82 percent), and Asian (78 percent).
With the Essence 360 app, Zillennials can curate their own experience and change the stigma behind finding the perfect mentor and garnering a stable community in your career.
About Kenyatta: Clark Atlantashe’sersity and Medill School alumna Kenyatta Victoria is the Girls United writer covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle, and investigative stories. When not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or binging her favorite comfort shows.