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The Future Is Female: MBA student Korrie Payne says leadership is about building connections

Clayton State NewsMarch 29, 2021

Korrie Payne

Often, one of the first opportunities a young woman can build their leadership skills is through student organizations. At Clayton State University, enrollment of over 50 percent female students means the university has a substantial amount of women campus leaders.

These leaders recognize the importance of campus involvement and are serving in leadership positions that pave the way for extraordinary career advancement. For Korrie Payne, campus leadership is only the beginning of her journey to success.  

Payne, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Business Administration with dual concentrations in human resource leadership and digital marketing, says student involvement is integral to the college experience.

“It was important for me to be involved as a student because I wanted to connect with HR professionals and students as well. I enjoy being a point of contact for students and faculty,” says Payne.

Payne currently serves as the director of public relations for the Clayton State student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Her management position provides an opportunity for the merging of leadership, creativity and professional development. 

To Payne, effective leadership is all about personal growth and she best defines leadership by citing one of her favorite quotes from Jack Welch, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

Payne views leadership as a chance to assist others.
“To me, being a leader means inspiring, helping and connecting others with motivated like-minded individuals that can help them to reach the potential they don’t see in themselves,” says Payne.

But Payne recognizes the challenges women currently face and previously experienced them herself when working in executive positions. 

“Back in the day, women didn’t have a voice to speak; therefore, we often were overlooked, underappreciated, and not paid what we truly were worth,” says Payne. 

Higher education has served as a catalyst for women to pursue their dreams and Payne believes college provides the instruction and vigor needed to prepare women to lead organizations.

“As a woman, especially a young black woman, having a higher education is extremely important to pursue management careers in business. Women have to work twice as hard to be considered for executive management positions,” says Payne. “Black women are no longer denied that opportunity of not having an education. We now are going after every degree, certification or whatever we need to secure a seat at corporate tables. Then again, many of us are shattering ceilings and creating our own tables,” asserts Payne.

For Payne, women in leadership positions have a social responsibility to give back and support communities around them. “We must show the new generations the importance of remembering where you come from,” says Payne.

Regarding philanthropy and community service, Payne has volunteered in community service engagements within the music and entertainment industry with her mentor Shanti Das.
As for advice for other women pursuing careers in business, Payne says, “never let anyone tell you what you cannot achieve. The sky is the limit, but not if you don’t put the work in.”