Nasri Maktal was at a conference where she heard Best Buy CEO Corie Barry say she wanted to host a high school intern for the summer. So Nasri, a junior at the time, walked right up to Corie and offered to be her intern.
“Corie’s story was similar to mine in the sense that she didn’t have many opportunities, and she wanted to give opportunities to another young girl,” Nasri said.
And there have been opportunities aplenty. Corie’s goal for Nasri’s internship was to give her the broadest perspective on what corporate life could look like.
Nasri, who will soon start her senior year at Mounds Park Academy in suburban Minneapolis, has been able to experience corporate life and take part in a variety of discussions and meetings. She has been able to shadow several departments, including finance, supply chain, marketing, events and PR. She has also been able to speak on panels and have a seat at the table for diversity and inclusion efforts.
Through this experience, Nasri has developed an interest in marketing and social media. She’s particularly fascinated with consumer psychology.
“Social media is kind of the rock of my generation, and it is a form of communication that Gen-Zers use all the time,” Nasri said. “I also think marketing and social media go hand in hand because many people make purchases based on what they see on social platforms.”
It’s been a learning experience for Corie, too.
“Nasri’s background is so completely different than mine and, yet, we have so many similarities in terms of how we approach the world and work,” Corie said. “Immigrating to the U.S., facing all the difficulties that represents, and even what it looks like for her to be in high school and look and feel different, Nasri has been very open and honest with me, and I’ve learned so much.”
Making a difference
Nasri comes from an immigrant family.
“Growing up in spaces that don’t acknowledge your culture, you start to suppress it.” Nasri said. “I started noticing that’s a common struggle for many people of color, and now I have the tools to create change.”
Two years ago, Nasri and a friend started a nonprofit, called Female Refugees of the Future, that provides refugee, immigrant and first-generation women with nontraditional resources to ease the transition into American culture. That includes college counseling, tutoring and social outings and activities, such as watching the recent Democratic presidential debates.
“When refugees move to the U.S., they’re given housing, food and help with health insurance, but no one is telling them anything else,” Nasri said. “When you’re thrown to the wolves like that, you don’t really have the resources, and you don’t adjust well to the culture.”
Nasri is planning to go to college after high school. “I see myself working for a business, but one that prioritizes people just the way Best Buy does,” Nasri said. “What I’ve learned from interning at Best Buy is that they value people, and it’s shown in their actions. My passion for creating change will help fuel me into a career that values that.”
Click here for more information on Best Buy’s internship program.