Ahead of the Game
Willette Menefee’s interest in business goes back to her high school days, specifically graphic design and marketing, which she is studying at New York Tech.
Menefee, a recipient of the Theodore K. Steele Memorial Scholarship, has achieved numerous accomplishments throughout her college career. “I was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success during the spring 2021 semester and was on the Presidential Honor List for the fall 2021 semester with a 3.71 GPA,” she says.
In December 2021, she was selected as one of 12 recipients of a Black Collegiate Gaming Association (BCGA) Success Scholarship supported by the PlayStation Pathways Program. The BCGA provides education, access, and career opportunities in the gaming and esports industry to Black and women of color college students.
Menefee was surprised that she had won at first. “I found out about the scholarship through social media and decided to apply since I ticked off all the qualification boxes,” she says. “I never give myself enough credit, but I can say that I was proud of myself for giving it a try because I didn’t think I’d get chosen. I’m very grateful that BCGA and PlayStation were generous enough to select me because this helps push me to further my education, which I want to use for a career in the gaming industry. I’m a huge advocate for women, especially Black women in gaming, so I find groups like the Black Collegiate Gaming Association to be highly empowering for Black gamers in academia like me trying to get their footing in the industry.”
As a member of New York Tech’s Cybears esports team, she and her Halo Infinite teammates won its first championship in March 2022, with Menefee as the team captain. “That will be a core memory for me of my time here as a New York Tech student, and it has made me very proud of both myself and my fellow teammates,” she says.
As she prepares to start her professional career, Menefee has secured internships with Maria Frey, the founder and chief executive officer of CareerMapLI, as well as Executive Consultants of New York Inc. In her final semester at New York Tech, she is participating in the Broadridge Challenge, where, alongside her classmates, she is conducting research and developing a recommendation strategy that will be presented to Broadridge Financial Solutions senior management, including the chief financial officer and the chief executive officer.
The students are given a list of three problems and are tasked with selecting one and finding a solution for it. “My group chose ‘How to get Broadridge investors to switch from print to digital.’”
Ultimately, Menefee would like to secure a position in marketing or advertising for an esports organization such as OpTic Gaming, 100 Thieves, or FaZe Clan, or a video gaming company like Xbox or 343 Industries.
Menefee has a bright future ahead of her. She thanks New York Tech for “preparing me for the future by giving me the opportunities to get hands-on experience within the classroom, as well as being able to use the skills I’ve attained in my extracurricular activities.”