Since the third grade, Tehray McCullough has known exactly the career path she wanted to pursue: investment banking. After six years at Girls Inc. participating in both the Eureka! and Girls CAN! programs, three years at UC Merced studying Business Management and Economics, and serving as CFO of her school’s Business Society, Tehray’s determination to work on Wall Street has only solidified. As Tehray puts it, “I know what I want.” One of the reasons why Tehray’s persistence to work in finance has not over the years is because of her ability to be adaptable to new environments.
By her own admission, she has learned to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable” – something she says is necessary when working in an industry dominated by white men.
Although Tehray excels in a field where the majority of people have very different backgrounds and life experiences than her, she recognizes the value of having mentors who can relate to her on a deep level. This is why Tehray intentionally surrounds herself with leaders who champion her and her aspirations, like CEO of Girls Inc. of Alameda County, Julayne Virgil, and former Girls Inc. Coordinator, Macha Rose. These are mentors who Tehray has consistently relied on over the years to keep her grounded, give her honest feedback, and challenge her to grow in new ways. Having the courage to seek out social support is one way Tehray ensures her needs are met, in addition to honoring her personal limits and carving out time to take mental breaks so she can engage in the types of activities she loves most – water sports!
This summer, Tehray will intern with Goldman Sachs in New York. Next fall, she will participate in her school’s study abroad program, bringing her to London for her second-to-last semester before she graduates from college in 2020. Best of luck with all your future endeavors, Tehray! We have no doubt your self-discipline, positive attitude, quick problem solving, and confidence will take you far!