Our First Innovator-In-Residence – with Mackenzie Thomas
From October 7th-11th, The Shuford Program of Entrepreneurship hosted its first Innovator-In-Residence, Mackenzie Thomas. Mackenzie, a former student of the Shuford Program and current employee at Google, has worked at Google for 6 years now and she is currently the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead for Consumer Apps within the company.
During her visit to Chapel Hill, Mackenzie had a tremendous impact on our student population by engaging with over 500 Tar Heels from Economics, Public Policy, and Journalism classes. In the presentations, she claimed that proactive inclusion in product development is a necessary predecessor to designing products that are both useful and accessible for multiple audiences.
In addition to conducting large presentations, Mackenzie also had small group discussions where she spoke to 40 students on resume support with 40 students, 8 students on internships and job placement, and 19 students on culture and feedback. Many students have spoke wonders of the advice that Mackenzie gave them during these small group settings.
Lastly, during her visit to Chapel Hill, Mackenzie spent a lot of time in direct collaboration with many university leaders. She discussed historically underrepresented groups in student leadership, ensured that our programs continue striving towards supporting diversity, and she provided advice as to how we can continue the Carolina tradition of providing programs that optimize the experiences of all students.
We were pleased to have hosted Mackenzie during her time in the area and we cannot wait for her next visit to Chapel Hill!