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Margaret Ekam: Keelite of the Month July 2016
1990 Philosophy and Law
What am I doing now?
I work for the State of North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety, and serve as their Communications Operations Manager.
How did you get to where you are now?
After Keele, my immediate missions were to make a positive difference and to serve.
What I term as a unique professional journey that spans from communications, public relations, media relations, public policy, and international law; began as an international consultant with an international law firm in Arlington, Virginia. Proceeded to serve as vice president of communications, Black America’s Political Action Committee (BAMPAC); director of communications and Marketing, American Life League; and principal consultant of a communications boutique with clients that included several non-profits, national/international businesses, and political campaigns.
The opportunity at the law firm allowed for me to gain a greater appreciation of the intersection of international business, law, and social issues. To enable me to be remain competitive, and after about 6-7 years with the law firm, I obtained a Masters of Law international Legal Studies from the American University Washington College of Law.
Switching to a different form of advocacy – I joined BAMPAC. At BAMPAC, I was part of the leadership team that successfully conveyed the message of electing tomorrow’s leaders today, through the public and political advocacy of quality education and social security reform; while helping elect candidates right on key issues affecting Americans in general and African Americans in particular. While with American Life League, the primary focus was effective crusade for social policies.
As a consultant and an entrepreneur, one discovers the amazing depth of skill sets that is acquired in school. I’ve been able to grow my capacity to message to varied and diverse audience on various platforms as well as facilitate complex relationships.
Throughout this journey, I’ve met very good, talented, and committed people, and we’ve been a part of successful campaigns and projects.
What has been your greatest achievement?
On a personal note, my boys. Professionally – the great opportunities, challenging tasks, and being part of something bigger and making a positive difference. Being a part of the cancer awareness team on a medical mission trip to Nigeria.
Should have learned a foreign language or two at Keele or earlier on in my career. Still trying to do so – never too late to learn.
What are your ambitions now?
My great focus now – Public Service. Serving the people by working for them.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?
Studying law does not necessarily mean you have to practice – Law is such a great profession that it gives you an edge in all fields. Be flexible and think outside the box. Please don’t take yourself too seriously. Always think – what do I bring to the table – remember every skill set and/or experience can translate into what the job opportunity requires. You have to connect the dots.
What kind of student were you?
I loved my experience at Keele. As a student – I could technically be seen as a nerd. While at Keele I made life-long friends. My fondest memory oddly is the philosophy weekend – exchanging/debating views and theories was fun.
What is your impression of Keele now?
I’m so proud that Keele is ranked internationally. Excellent bragging points.
Anything else you would like to add?
No knowledge, skill, experience is wasted. Be a sponge absorb everything you are being taught and take advantage of all that Keele has to offer.