You need 5 types of people to advance your career.

by Carjamin Scott on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 8:42a EST

As a higher education executive, I am with students and emerging leaders. One night, someone asked me, “How do I find mentorship?” The question made me reflect on my journey. Not that long ago, as I was climbing the career ladder, I was looking for mentorship to reach my career plans. I reached out to leaders on LinkedIn. I sent them emails or asked a friend to introduce me. I was able to talk with most of them. I learned that they all had a career story, and they each created their path to success. However, while looking for a mentor, I realized that I would need much more than mentorship. I learned that I needed five different types of people to level up in my career.

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Sweet

Here are the 5 types of people needed to advance your career.

Mentors: A mentor is someone with more experience giving you their advice to advance you in your field. You need a mentor to help guide you on your career journey. Mentors are great because they can share their lessons. These lessons can help you excel faster and avoid any mistakes they made while climbing the career ladder.

Sponsors: A sponsor is someone with the money or power to influence decisions. You need a sponsor to help you find jobs or appoint you into a position. Sponsors are usually in high-ranked places and might not have the time to share all of their experiences with you. Therefore, be sure that you have prepared yourself for opportunities before you ask them for help. The worst thing you can do is tarnish your relationship with them because you performed poorly in the role they recommended for you.

Journeymen: A journeyman is a person who is considered your peer with similar aspirations. The journeyman is your accountability partner. They encourage you and keep you humble as you climb your career ladder. You know that you have a journeyman when you can freely share your career goals and feel supported when you partner with them. Journeymen are essential because you can assist each other with leveling up.

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Sweet @iammariakatre @courtneyecallender

Fans: A fan is someone who is watching you. This person applauds you and holds you accountable for your choices because they live vicariously through you. You know that you are doing something great if you have fans. Fans can be the people who like your posts on social media and call you when they can tell you are having a rough day. They cheer you on and keep you motivated.

Haters: A hater is someone who always picks apart everything you are doing. This person finds something wrong with your choices and wants you to know that they do not like your success. Often, they work against you and find joy in watching you fail. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 110:1, “The Lord will make your enemies your footstool.” As you become more successful, you will have more haters. I like this quote because it’s a reminder that looming haters help you level up.  It is also a reminder not to hate others. As the haters work against you, you learn from them. Let the haters hate. Don’t go looking for haters and don’t feed into their energy; however, know that you are doing something right if you have them.

Thank you Jasmine Sweet for the photos. Follow Jasmine Sweet here.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie and instagram @carjiescott.

Meet the First Black Male Periodontist Resident at the University of Florida

by Carjamin Scott on Friday, February 5, 2021 at 8:42a EST

Dr. Kerwin Scott, DDS, is the first Black male Periodontist Resident at the University of Florida. Dr. Keith Taylor, DDS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Mid-South Dental Implant and Dental Surgery Center, describes his mentee as “Kerwin has to be one of the most respectful but disrespectful people I know. He is headstrong. He is going to do what he wants to do.” Raised by his parents and alongside an older sister and two younger sisters, Kerwin spent his childhood in Milwaukee, WI, with his immediate family and teenage years in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, with his uncle. “My son was a curious child. He was always exploring and has always been a risk-taker. His best attribute is that he can take bad situations and turn them into good ones. He doesn’t let anything break him,” said his mom.

Kerwin with Mom and sisters

After high school, Kerwin enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He wanted to play basketball and was sold a dream by the recruiter that he would play basketball for the Marine Corps. That did not work out. Instead, he had to learn how to thrive in a strict environment and become more organized and strategic. Although it was a challenging experience, Kerwin was able to implement what he learned. While serving, Kerwin began to dream about life outside of the military. He had a love for animals and science and figured that he should become a Marine Biologist.

Kerwin Scott Marine

Kerwin’s path to attend college started after visiting Lane College, an HBCU in Jackson, TN, with his late cousin Edwin Marcel Jones. Kerwin says that the first thing he saw on campus was “the greeks strolling on the yard,” and at that moment, he knew that he was going to enroll. At Lane, Kerwin studied Biology, worked with the Basketball team, and was mentored by Dr. Taylor. “I remember working in Dr. Taylor’s Office and Michi, his surgical assistant, asked me to wash the instruments, and I replied, I’m not washing any instruments, I am here to become a doctor.” Kerwin loves to tell people that story. He continued, “Dr. Taylor waited until the end of the day; he pulled me to the side and said, Did you tell Michi that you aren’t going to wash any instruments? Kerwin, you have to know everything about what goes on in this office. Don’t you know that I wash instruments?” said Dr. Taylor.

After graduating from Lane College Magna Cum Laude with a Biology degree, Kerwin was rejected from several dental schools. He had a hard time getting a competitive score on the DAT exam. Every year, he tried a new study strategy, Kerwin says, “I remember recording a message on my voicemail that said, Hey this is Kerwin, and I’m studying. I can’t talk right now.” That’s how focused he was. After four years of rejection letters, Kerwin received an acceptance letter for the Master of Health Science program at Meharry Medical College. Enrolling in the program meant that he would have to leave his job as a Representative for the Social Security department, relocate from Memphis to Nashville with his newlywed wife and small child without the guarantee of Dental school.

The family decided to take a risk, and they moved from their new home in Memphis to a tiny apartment in Nashville. He had the weight of his new family on his shoulders while enrolled in the full-time program. Most of his classmates were young and had entered the program immediately after undergrad. Kerwin already had experience from the Marine Corps, working a career job, and interning at an Oral Surgery office. However, Kerwin hadn’t been in college in a while and had to learn how to study with younger people.

After Kerwin completed the Master of Health Sciences degree, he was not immediately offered admission into the Doctor of Dental Surgery program. He was devastated. After letter writing, several meetings, and fervent prayer, the admissions committee reviewed his application again; he was admitted into the dental program. His dream was delayed, not deferred.

While enrolled as a Doctor of Dental Surgery student at Meharry Medical College, Kerwin soared. Scott was determined to prove why he belonged in the program. He became an active member of the American Student Dental Association, Oral Surgery Club, and held a leadership position in the Salt Wagon Dental Clinic. He maintained a 3.0 GPA and formed a study group with Kami’Lah Brown, who is now a Dental Resident in the Department of Otolaryngology in the Division of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery at Johns Hopkins, and Se’quon Scott, who will begin as a Periodontist Resident at University of Texas at Austin in Fall 2021.

Se’quon Scott, Kami’Lah Brown, and Kerwin Scott

He also had fun. He was the star player on the Platinum Collection intramural basketball team and was a mentor to incoming members of his fraternal organization, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He and his wife also bore a son, Kerwin Scott, Jr. He was committed to his profession and personal life and made sure that his family was involved in his collegiate experience. Initially, Scott wanted to follow in his mentor’s footsteps to become an Oral Surgeon; however, he decided to pivot to Periodontology. He felt this career would allow him the ability to spend more time with his family.

Kerwin Scott and the Platinum Collection Basketball team

He completed Oral Surgery and Periodontist internships at Vanderbilt University, and the University of Florida during his senior year. “I had to stay with a current UF Pediatric Resident and Meharry Medical College grad; because it was a week-long internship, and I only had enough money to get there and come back.” Kerwin continued. “My family and I were on a tight budget, with two small children and one salary; we did not want to spend the money on a hotel,” said Kerwin.

While at the University of Florida, Kerwin said, “I fell in love with the experience, the people, and the city. I could picture myself there.” During the matching process, Kerwin ranked the University of Florida as his number one pick. They ranked Kerwin as well. Kerwin and his family purchased a home and moved to Gainesville, FL. Kerwin became the first Black male Periodontist Resident at the University of Florida.

Kerwin Scott at University of Florida

Kerwin graduated from Meharry Medical College during the pandemic; his family surprised him with a virtual graduation ceremony, the link is below.

Follow Dr. Scott on Instagram @kosdent06 here.

TSU launches Dr. Levi Watkins Meharry Medical and Dental Accelerated Program to prepare more Black Doctors

by Carjamin Scott on Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9:42a EST

Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College have launched the Dr. Levi Watkins TSU to Meharry Accelerated Medical and Dental program. Dr. Levi Watkins is a 1966 TSU alumnus and is the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic defibrillator into a human patient. The device has been used by millions of patients and is still the first-line of treatment and prophylactic therapy for patients at risk for sudden cardiac death due to ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

After graduating from TSU, Dr. Watkins became the first Black person to obtain a Medical Degree from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. By the time he graduated in 1970, he was still the only person enrolled in the Medical school at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Watkins attended Johns Hopkins University for residency and became the first Black Chief Resident in Cardiac Surgery. He fought to increase the number of Black students admitted into medical school and joined the admissions committee at Johns Hopkins. He increased minority representation by 400 percent. He worked to improve health disparities and health education access for minorities around the world.

In his honor, TSU established the Dr. Levi Watkins Institute, Vanderbilt University memorialized him with the Levi Watkins Jr MD Chair and Johns Hopkins created the Levi Watkins Jr MD Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Students interested in enrolling at TSU for the Dr. Levi Watkins TSU to Meharry Accelerated Medical and Dental program receive:

1) Dr. Levi Watkins endowed scholarship, includes full tuition, fees, and room and board

2) Accelerated access to medical school, earn a Biology degree in 3 years.

3) Residence in Honors College and TSU’s newest living and learning facility

4) Access to Watkins Scholars Cohort, includes mentorship with current Meharrians and Meharry Doctors

Learn more here.

You are accepted: How to get accepted into college and life.

by Carjamin Scott on January 4, 2020 at 5:50 p.m. EST

“You are accepted: How to get accepted into college and life” by Dr. Carjie Scott

“You are accepted” are the three words that college applicants want to hear. If you attended or considered attending college, you likely remember the college application process. Your high school years were a defining moment. You used this time to prepare for life after graduation. You worked to pass your classes and earn high grades. You spent your summers visiting colleges and taking test preparation courses. Next, you got involved with sports, clubs, and community service. During your junior year, you began to submit applications. You were required to mail previous school transcripts, test scores, and perhaps a personal statement. You might have even provided letters of recommendation. Finally, the hard work paid off. As a senior, you began to receive college acceptance letters. Everyone’s preparation is different, and every applicant has their own story. Just like that process, there are many other places in life that we want to be accepted into. I will discuss how to get accepted into college and in life in my newest book, “You are accepted: How to get accepted into college and life.”

✍🏽Join the waitlist for my upcoming book, “You are accepted: How to get accepted into college and life”

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The book is scheduled to publish Spring 2021. Subscribe to join the waitlist.