First Generation Alumni Feature: Jessica Samboy

First Generation Alumni Feature: Jessica Samboy ’08, MSW ’10

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development spoke with Jessica Samboy, a first-generation/ EOP Alumni from the College of Community and Public Affairs. She is an Integrative Wellness Coach and designs programs for group coaching, workplace wellness, and youth development centering on health and leadership. Part of her work also entails creating social-emotional learning programs that center on personal genius, mutual empowerment, and self-reliance. This has all been possible due to her history in advocacy, community organizing, and curriculum development. 

  1. What does it mean to be a first-generation professional? 

Being a First generation professional in the United States means navigating career choices and opportunities to the best of your abilities and knowledge, which is not much. Often being at the mercy and kindness of guidance from others. This usually means navigating the notion of salaries, human resources & role decisions alone. Often, you are the first to graduate college and have a career. This can be a source of pride but can feel like a burden if you are financially responsible for your family. Overall, being a first-generation professional is an opportunity to be a role model to those around you to break barriers and uplift themselves. 

2.  What programs and resources helped you during your undergraduate career?

I made use of the counseling center and all the tutoring services provided. I took advantage of any free services offered by the university that would help build me personally and my resume. I attended free lectures and ALWAYS went to office hours. I organized group study sessions. I went on university-sponsored free trips and went to free events.

3.  Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? If so, how did they shape your college experience? 

I was very active in Binghamton-sponsored activities like student groups. I was on the African Student Organizations Eboard. Being in student groups taught me how to work with different personalities and leadership approaches. I developed more skillfully in working in groups and problem-solve within groups. Being in student groups connected me with other groups and widened my social/cultural exposure and experience. This helped me keep an academic & social balance and supported my mental health while on campus. I was employed on campus and usually worked whenever I had time. I encourage you to explore creative supplemental income; cleaning, hairdressing, tutoring, and even cooking. There are so many ways you can use a personal skill to create income for yourself. 

  1. What advice would you give current Binghamton students who belong to different affinity groups? 

My advice is to befriend people from other communities and interests that differ from yours. Explore all the different cultures represented in the student body. Go to their meetings, celebrate different holidays, and try foods you have never eaten. Cultivate and nurture friends from different groups; diversify the people around you. This will contribute to a healthy social outlook and create the social flexibility that is necessary to be a healthy global citizen. 

  1. What do you like about your current role? 

I am an Integrated Wellness Coach, and I love to be in complete creative control of the wellness, leadership & healing content I develop. I love creating workshops, programs, and lectures that empower individuals to cultivate their genius, their power, and wellness. Wellness, leadership, and healing is my passion, and I am grateful to be able to do the work I truly love. Being self-employed has its ups and downs, but mastering any craft requires trial & error plus faithful commitment. Love, passion, and wellness, in my opinion, play a huge part in the longevity of your success. My highest commitment is to myself and the continued development of my wellness, leadership, and healing. Develop your own formula for success and continue expanding on it! 

Feel free to connect with Jessica via Mentor Match!




By Yaleza Fernandez
Yaleza Fernandez