We had the good fortune of connecting with Bensky Belizaire and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bensky, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I was in college, I was involved in a business club called NABA (National Association of Black Accountants). Throughout my 3 years involved, we would host events on campus where we would bring in professionals from the business world to talk to us about professional development and skills such as resume writing, effective networking and interview skills. The only issue was that during school, these events mainly catered to business students. I noticed that students in all fields need these skills to be successful.
After I graduated, I wanted to find a way to continue teaching these skills to people, without making it “business student” focused. I noticed podcasts were popular and since they were audio/ visual, I thought we could replicate the events we did during college, but turn them into a podcast.
Even though I came up with the idea, I was hesitant to start the podcast. But in September 2019, my friend Edem from NABA and I recorded our first episode, “Hesitation.. And Not the Basketball Move”.
Since then we have had 50+ guests on our show and been able to network with people all over the United States and the world. With over 65 episodes, we have listeners in 20+ countries. The podcast also gave me an outlet to develop my persona strengths and express my creativity through social media content.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Outside of the podcast, I work full time for Capital Group, one of the largest wealth management firms in the world. My team is responsible for overseeing all the stocks and bond trades our company does and making sure they settle properly. I was given this opportunity through NABA. In October 2017, we had a career fair in Norfolk, Virginia where we brought over 15 students from our school, each looking for an opportunity, After being rejected by different companies, I landed at the Capital Group table where the gentleman and I had a great conversation. I later applied for a summer internship which I complete in the summer 2018. At the end of the internship, I was extended a full time offer to start in September 2019.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my friend were coming to visit, I would first go to the Virginia beach oceanfront. There you have the beach, boardwalk, Ben & Jerrys (my favorite ice cream spot) and Only at Renee’s which is an amazing Filipino restaurant in the area. Next would be downtown Norfolk which has Waterside District with great restaurants and places to walk. My favorite southern food spot is called Mrs. Tees. There is also the USS Wisconsin, which is a cool museum to walk through, the Grain, Circuit Social and Baxters. By Town Center, it is a nice place to walk around and Yard House is a great restaurant. Chesapeake, Virginia has a cool Roller skating rink that is great for people of all levels to enjoy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people to thank for my journey. First God for giving me my talents and putting me in place to meet the right people. The NABA organization changed my life by showing me my interests in professional development and introducing me to the business world. Edem my cohost for helping me along the way and all our listeners for making the show successful.