I had known since I was four years old that I wanted to be a TV anchor. Unlike many of my friends, nobody’s daddy was giving me an “in” anywhere. I had heard the rich kids at Bucknell talk about their summers on the quad. Dribs and drabs of conversation.Oh, I was in New York interning at this place or that, would make its way across the lawn, courtesy of so and so’s dad hooking them up with a gig at PriceWaterHouseCoopers or Merrill Lynch. New York sounded terrifying to me. I had no business going there. And yet here the city was, beckoning to me. It was like a supersized magnet in the cartoons. I watched myself as if from above as I filled out the paperwork for a summer internship with Mike Jensen, the chief financial correspondent at NBC Nightly News.
All these years later, my fingers trace the brick red wall that remains on Thompson Street.⠀
I never felt like I belonged. Not in the all-white town where I grew up. Not in the all-white college where I suffered silently, paying my own way. Not until I arrived here in New York City, scared shitless, did I feel at home, walking alongside all the people, in all their shapes, colors, and sizes. Finally, I could exhale.
Joya is the founder of a global network for South Asian women executives called LadyDrinks. She teaches leadership through powerful public speaking.
For the last 20 years, she has been a business news anchor, delivering live hourly reports from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for Bloomberg, CNN, ABC, CBS, NY1 News. She spent a career interviewing CEOs of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies.