Our Edquity Team Spotlights highlight Edquity team members and the work they do to improve students’ lives. In this spotlight, meet Ormond Derrick, Business Development Manager, who joined Edquity in November 2021.
Describe a day in your life at Edquity. How do you interact with our partners, students, and staff?
One thing about me, I am not a morning person! I'm thankful that Edquity gives me the ability to tailor my schedule to what best works for me, and I take full advantage of it. I start my days later in the morning, after I've had time to wake up, have my English breakfast tea, and listen to the news briefings on my phone. Then I hop on my calendar and attend any meetings I may have, chat with partners or team members, and work on my current projects. Interactions with Edquity staff members are always super friendly and enjoyable! We all love the work that we do here and are happy to work with each other every day to make sure our mission is realized.
What do you like most about your role?
As a former "in-need" student, the way I'm able to help institutions understand the basic needs of their students is so important to me. Understanding and changing the conversation around basic needs, and then being able to provide decision makers with a solution that works to bridge socioeconomic barriers, makes me love my role even more.
Why did you join the Edquity team?
I joined Edquity because the mission statement and the work that we do really spoke to me. As a first generation, low income, and minority student, I knew exactly the type of student and their struggles that Edquity was created for. I was one of them! While I hate the saying, "if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life," (because work is work, after all), the work I do at Edquity comes pretty close to that statement. I wanted a job and career I could be fulfilled in, and also give back to the type of person I used to be. I joined Edquity because I get to log off at the end of the day and know I'm doing just that; making a difference and helping to change the world around me.
How would you describe the culture at Edquity?
I would describe the culture at Edquity as very mission-focused and people-centered. Going into tech, I was always worried about the idea of "tech bros" and the toxic culture that seems to permeate the industry. Edquity is the complete opposite of that. Our company is truly a people-focused place and cares deeply about each and everyone of us. Even though I've only been a part of the team for a little while, I still am shocked by how amazing and supportive the team is. Edquity understands you have a life outside of work, that things happen, and encourages you to prioritize your mental health. We're anti-burnout, actively encourage taking mental health days, and take care of yourself. I've never had a work experience like that, and it's very refreshing. Edquity knows that if you invest in your staff, you're going to get good work, and it shows.
Name three skills you bring to your role.
People skills, analytical thinking, and adaptability.
What's your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I’m an avid vinyl collector and photographer! I love doing all types of photography, whether film, digital, or on my new iPhone 13 Pro. When I'm not doing hobbies, I love dancing at the club, fine dining, and going to the movies. A little shopping spree never hurts, either!
Can you share a bit about your previous professional experience?
My calling and interests have always been in public policy, advocacy, and equality. My previous background focuses heavily on public policy and advocacy, focusing specifically on public health legislation, human rights, and international relations. I've done project management, public speaking, and policy analysis with partners as small as nonprofits and local health departments and as large as the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and the U.S. government. I've even worked with the U.N. and traveled the globe advocating for youth engagement! My degree is in Political Science and Global Health, with a focus on Epidemiology. Oh, and a minor in Spanish. You could say I was a bit of an overachiever.
What's your favorite tech, or the last app you downloaded?
My favorite tech would have to be my smart home devices. Something about not having to get up to control the lights on the other side of the house is so appealing to me.
What are some of your favorite ways to give back? Any charities that are personal to you?
As a public health specialist/epidemiologist by trade, I love to spend my free time volunteering and giving back to my community by doing free health screenings and COVID coordination. I stay in contact with the old organizations I worked with and collaborate with them occasionally. An organization that's quite personal to me, not so much a charity but does great work, is the Multicultural Health Institute. The MHI is an amazing organization where I first started my career in public health, and they're always accepting donations. I encourage everyone to check them out!
Edquity is hiring! Come join our team of talented, caring people.