Olayinka Sarayi is a second year College of Communications student pursuing her Master’s in Public Relations and the campus ambassador for the Morning Brew podcast. As she shares her thoughts about communications, community, and the morning brew podcast, you’ll realize that she’s an individual who strives to be true to her roots.
You were a Kinesiology and Exercise science major, but now you are pursuing a Master’s in Public Relations. What inspired you to make the shift and why?
I’m a Nigerian American. After school, I became very active in my community, especially in New York City. I started working with a nonprofit that was geared towards Nigerian youth. The overall goal was to mobilize Nigerian youth in the diaspora to start having meaningful conversations about how we can really give back to our community back home in Nigeria. My job was to handle all internal and external communications. While doing so, I built awareness and established brand partnerships.
As a part of an activation event to increase awareness for the organization, I got an opportunity to pitch the idea about having conversations with different people to talk about our identity as migrants in America. The pitch was accepted by the Nigerian consulate. This led me to build a collaboration between our new reformed youth organization and the Nigerian consulate, which is driven by the Nigerian government. I believe this was one of my tipping points to make that shift.
Your experiences are deeply rooted in community outreach and volunteer work. What’s your vision for global development and how do you aspire to achieve that?
I believe that it takes a village to raise children. It takes a village to share a common goal and work together to achieve that goal. That’s how I feel about my community, but this is the big picture, which is kind of overwhelming. I realized it’s best to start small with what I can do within my community. How can I be of service to this community? I’m a first-generation Nigerian-American, so my purpose is giving back to my Nigerian community. To do so I realized that the big problem that we have is communications and how things are being communicated to people from the government.
There is a need for a voice and I’ve decided to use my communication skills to try to bridge these gaps in communications between the government and the youth. The youth are looking for organizations that are looking for a voice. Here’s where I see my heart being played and bringing communities and different organizations together so we can start a conversation and see how we can mobilize each other and use our skill sets to give back. By doing so, I feel I will be doing my part for my community.
Why is news important to you?
I keep up with news through blogs and the popular news links. In Nigeria, a lot of the popular news outlets and social media are controlled by the government. It’s kind of hard to keep up with all that’s happening out there since news is not as accessible as it is over here. That’s when I realized why communication is very important because it’s all about knowing what’s going on. Sadly, misinformation is a big issue right now. What is important is the access to the right sources of news and a channel through which people can express themselves freely without being quiet.
What kept you motivated in the midst of a pandemic to work with the morning brew podcast? Please shed some light on your journey to becoming the Campus Ambassador for the Morning Brew?
The Morning Brew is more than just the podcast, it’s like it’s an overall business newsletter. I am a Nigerian American but an African American as well. With the ongoing socio-political events I felt motivated to be a part of such a platform. So, what I notice from my community at least, is that everybody is talking about building wealth and breaking generational curses. But we don’t have access to that information to give us that direction. We’re all aware of the way African-Americans have been kept in the dark about a lot of things. This and many factors have come into play against building any kind of economic gain among African-Americans. This realization inspired me to join the Morning Brew where accurate information can be accessed and can be broken down into digestible pieces that anybody can understand. If I can help spread this information and share it with my community, in other words, having access to information, is a big thing for me.
Finally, what does “ambassador” mean to you?
I feel in general as an ambassador you’re the face. But at the core of it, you need to have shared values and you need to believe in what you’re selling. That’s why I feel an ambassador is a representative but it’s bigger than just being represented. You have to represent every form of it, not just by its looks, but by bringing out what and why you believe in the purpose of it. As the Campus Morning Brew Ambassador, I feel like my shared value is literally about making information accessible to some people that might not have access to that information. Also, it’s about making it meaningful and relatable to them because that’s important sometimes. If we truly want this to be for everyone, we have to make sure everyone understands the importance of gaining access to information.
Visishta Dingari, Staff Writer
Born and raised in India, Visishta is a second-year graduate student studying Master’s in Advertising, and working at TBWA World Health, NYC. Visishta has crossed career paths from graduating as an engineer to a marketing professional in the world of advertising. She has a combined passion for science, creativity and impact, which drives her to explore a career in Healthcare Advertising. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling, and trying anything vegetarian. She is a staff writer for the 2020-2021 academic year.