I am Charleita Richardson, a Class of 2000 graduate of Randolph-Macon College. I
am currently the President & CEO of Partnership for the Future (PFF). PFF is
a high school internship and college preparation program in metro Richmond. We help
students from low-income families and first-generation college students realize
that a college degree is a viable option and something that they can attain in their
Now that you know a little about my organization, I would like to discuss with you
a little more about my journey to this point because it may help you in your decision.
I graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a BA in Accounting and a minor in Black
Studies. After multiple changes in my major and minor, the deadline to declare approached
and I decided that I enjoyed my accounting classes and believed it would be a good
foundation no matter what career path I would take in life.
Looking back, I realize that this may not have been the best approach. My original
plan was to major in Political Science and minor in Education so that I could teach
Government at the Secondary level; however, getting a “C” in a Political Science
class caused me to drop that major and choose Accounting, where I knew I’d excel.
Had I stuck to my original major, I probably would have begun working with high
school students at a much earlier time in my life.
Knowing what I know today, I would encourage sophomores, and all college students
for that matter, to major in something that you have a passion for because that
will ultimately drive your success in your career.
This leads me to my final point. Regardless of what major you choose or how often
you change it, be sure that you decide to do something that gives you joy. If you
fall in the path of challenges, just realize that those challenges are only making
you stronger for the “real world”; they are experiences that will shape you into
the person you are destined to be. They will lay the foundation for your future,
just as having my Corporate America experiences and a BA in Accounting created the
networks that I needed to ultimately lead to my position today.
If you don’t remember anything else, remember this point: pursue your passion, be
diligent about your studies, and utilize your networks in life.
Basics of Career and Personal Development