Chekesha Kidd

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Director, Investment Banking, Global Industrials Group • UBS Investment Bank • New York City • Age: 30

At 30, Chekesha Chisara Kidd has done more in her life than many people twice her age. Working as an investment banker, Kidd’s strong sense of self helps keep her grounded in an industry that can be as warm and fuzzy as a shark tank. She is a director of investment banking in the Global Industrials Group at UBS Invest-ment Bank, a job that makes her the primary contact for clients and responsible for boosting the group’s revenues via transaction and advisory fees. “My friends think I’m crazy [to] I work 100 hours a week and that I’m in the office until 3:00 a.m.,” says Kidd. “But I love banking. I think it’s fun.”

She is grateful for the The Bill Cosby Show-like home environment provided for her and her six siblings by her parents, Dr. Charles C. Kidd, Sr. and Mary A. Kidd, in Tallahassee, Fla., where her father was a dean and an administrator at Florida A&M University. She loved chemistry and wanted to be a pediatrician. “But after a while I realized that it wasn’t the patient side of medicine that appealed to me but rather the business and policy-making aspect of it,” she says.

Kidd graduated from Florida A&M in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in health care managementand three years later from the University of Michigan with master’s degrees in business administration and health services administration. Besides her career, Kidd’s civic involvements bring her the most joy. She is a board member of The Chaka Chinyelu Foundation, named after a brother who passed away when she was 9, which provides need-based scholarships to young Black men to go to college.

Kidd enjoys mentoring college graduates and young professionals. She is contemplating doctoral studies and becoming an educator. “My dream is to go to an [historically Black college or university] to teach in a business program and run a career development program center. Mentoring is actually fun for me and I eventually would like to do it full-time,” she says.

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