Jayhawk Career Network

Mentor Spotlight: Nikita Haynie
We’re highlighting Jayhawks who serve as mentors to fellow alumni and students to celebrate National Mentoring Month.

Connect with Nikita on KU Mentoring+.

Nikita Haynie is a Career Advisor Senior at the KU School of Business. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in African American Studies from Clayton State University and later a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University. Haynie is now pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

What do you do at your job? And how did you end up in your current career?

Currently I serve as a Career Advisor Senior in Business Career Services in KU School of Business where I engage in career and leadership development and for students. In this role, I oversee a mentoring program connecting alumni and current business school students at all ages and stages of their careers in a formal professional mentor/mentee relationship. Through the management of this program, I assist students in connecting with experienced mentors in their field of interest, structured mentorship engagement activities, and increased insight to achieve professional goals. I mentor student leaders within an affinity-based student organization for Black female students she assisted in co-creating to create a brave space and programs centering on the Black female student experience at a predominantly white institution. I am a Higher Education Practitioner with over ten years of progressive experience. I have addressed developmental needs and concerns throughout my professional career, fostered safe and inclusive spaces, enhanced support systems, and created access opportunities. In each of my professional opportunities, I have masterfully supported students in their developmental journey by creating a mode of self-discovery and providing a safe, inclusive campus community experience.

 

As an undergraduate student at Clayton State University, I was heavily involved in a multitude of student leadership organizations serving as the President and Events Coordinator for Campus Events Council, Resident Assistant for Student Housing, Gamma Phi Beta, Programming Chair for her sorority, and Student Assistant for the Department of Campus Life. Through campus involvement I discovered my fervor for educating and empowering students while matriculating through their undergraduate experience in connecting key piece to ultimately, they can live purposeful lives.

Who is a mentor for you, and how did they help you?

I am blessed to have a circle of Black women mentors who have assisted me along my journey; I want to highlight Danielle Brooks, the current Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Danielle has been a pillar of support, guidance, and sisterhood for me throughout my formative years. I met her while I was in graduate school during my job search; from the moment we connected, she has always provided raw, transparent, and valuable insight to help me grow personally and professionally. Danielle helped me believe further in my talents and gifts as a Black woman, pursue my goals and dreams ferociously, and always know I am worthy.

What advice do you have for current college students or young alumni?

My advice for current college students and young alumni is to take the pressure off yourself; life is a journey, not a marathon; trust yourself; no one knows you better than you know yourself. Reinvent yourself as many times as you need to curate the life you desire.

What is your favorite KU memory?

Receiving the 2020 Dr. Neeli Bendapudi Community Advocacy and Activism Award for the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). An award that honors active participants, advocates for social justice, and makes the campus culture and the larger community a more justice-oriented and equitable space for humans on the margins. Historically, students matriculating at predominantly white institutions can’t have the same experiences as their peers due to systematic barriers to know I am making an impact to create equitable space and support for current and future undergraduate students brings me joy.

Need a mentor? Want to serve as a mentor? KU Mentoring+ is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the University of Kansas. Professionals who are looking for opportunities to connect with KU and provide assistance to Jayhawks are also welcome. Learn more about KU Mentoring+.

More Headlines

Career
Copy the Leader: Crystal Fong

Crystal Fong, c’15, j’15, is a DEI and Talent Development Leader. We sat down with Crystal to learn what leadership means to her.

Driving with Jayhawks
Driving with Jayhawks: KU mascot coach Brian Carpenter

KU mascot coach Brian Carpenter, c’02 joins Driving with Jayhawks. Learn what it takes to fill the boots of Big and Baby Jay!

News
‘Hawks & Highways’ brings KU Alumni, KU Endowment across Kansas

The University of Kansas Alumni Association and KU Endowment are hosting “Hawks & Highways” gatherings in several Kansas communities this summer.

Career
Copy the Leader: Stephanie Wittman

Stephanie Wittman, d’10 is a Health and Strength and Conditioning teacher at Tonganoxie High School. We sat down with Stephanie to learn what leadership means to her.

Career
Copy the Leader: Jon Sabillón

Jon Sabillón, c’11, is an international DJ, entrepreneur, and music futurist. We sat down with Jon to learn what leadership means to him.

Jayhawks Give Back
Jayhawk helps communities grow through The Giving Grove

Tucked away in urban neighborhoods across the U.S. are little orchards making a big impact.

KU Alumni Association
KU Alumni receives Insight Into Diversity Magazine’s Inclusive Excellence Award

The KU Alumni Association will be featured, along with 31 other recipients, in the June 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Driving with Jayhawks
Driving with Jayhawks: Flying Jayhawks

In the monthly Driving with Jayhawks series, we’re taking the best of KU on a ride through campus as we talk about their Jayhawk experience.

Students
Tradition of Excellence Award honors student leaders

Eleven University of Kansas students were honored for their leadership on the Lawrence.

Welcome to the University
of Kansas Alumni Association

Your membership in the KU Alumni Association is the single most powerful way to make all of KU stronger, including the value of your own degree. Through your membership, the Association: