Contact: Lisa Sollie
MERIDIAN, Miss.—Q’Essence Walker of Florence is Mississippi State University-Meridian’s Outstanding Graduate Student for the Division of Business. Walker is a professional MBA major following in her mother’s footsteps. She will be recognized at MSU-Meridian’s 2021 Spring Commencement on May 3 at 11 a.m. at the MSU Riley Center.
Walker worked in the non-profit sector for several years after earning her undergraduate degree before the lure of entrepreneurialism pulled her into the family business. She now works as a marketing consultant for her family’s consulting and event services business in Jackson, which was founded by her mother, a fall 2019 graduate of MSU-Meridian’s professional MBA program.
“My entire life my parents always had some sort of business venture going on,” she recalled. “Then when my mom’s consulting and event services business got off the ground, she often drafted my sisters and me to help. After working for two non-profit agencies, I realized I preferred to be my own boss with the power to control what I do.”
Once Walker moved in with her mom, now a single parent, they discussed going back to school to earn an MBA degree. The pair intended to enroll together, but due to timing and a family situation, they only attended MSU’s Meridian Campus at the same time for one semester—Walker’s first semester and her mother’s last.
Not only did the two earn the same degree but they both were actively engaged in Collegiate DECA and each served a term as vice president of the local chapter. This fall, Walker will assume the statewide association president role in Collegiate DECA, a position her mother also held two years prior.
Although working with family can present its own set of challenges, the 26-year-old is trying to lean on her education to help boost her position in their company.
“We’re still learning how to treat one another as business partners and equals,” she said, “but we’re getting there.”
Walker has lots of ideas to grow the business, not only using the new skills and information she has learned at Mississippi State but also drawing on her communication degree.
“I want to take us to the next level and create more value for our customers,” Walker said, “and I’d like to expand into photography, which will tie nicely with the events side of our business. I also want to help my two younger sisters who work in our business find their niche. I’ve pinpointed several unique skills in each of them over the years, and I hope to groom and develop those so they can flourish and grow.”
To learn more about MSU-Meridian, visit meridian.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.