By Amanda Gonzalez Garcia
On Feb. 11, veteran news anchor Neki Mohan stepped foot on Barry’s campus to talk to students about how to find their calling. The event was organized by the Center of Career Development and took place at the Landon Courtyard. Everyone wore facial coverings and followed social distancing protocols. During her speech, Mohan shared with students her three P’s: passion, pursuit, and pivoting.
Mohan was born in New York City and raised in Trinidad. After returning to the states to receive her Bachelor's degree in journalism and politics at the University of Maryland, Mohan went on to become an award-winning journalist.
Mohan spent over 16 years at WPLG-TV ABC Local 10 in Miami, ten of which she spent alongside the late Todd Tongen.
She also spent two semesters at Barry University as an adjunct professor. Mohan taught a course titled “TV and the Internet,” in which students discussed blogs, digital reporting, and social media.
Now, Mohan is the CEO of her own consulting and media company, as well as a mentor for the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program. Mohan also joined the board of the Pace Center for Girls in Broward in Oct. 2020. The Pace Center for Girls in Broward provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education and advocacy.
Mohan became a journalist through her family’s support.
“My grandfather used to read the newspaper to me every day,” Mohan said. Journalism always surrounded Mohan. This became part of who Mohan was destined to be.
Beyond her roles as a journalist, storyteller and entrepreneur, Mohan is also a mother. With juggling all of these roles, Mohan has kept one thing for sure: her passion.
“Sometimes you have a calling, sometimes you are called,” Mohan says.
Regardless of which it is, Mohan notes that the pursuit should never stop. Growing up, Mohan had a speech impediment. However, a choir professor noticed that Mohan did not stutter when she sang.
Using her ability to sing and act, Mohan overcame her stutter. All it took was persistence. This, Mohan believes, is where pursuit comes in.
Now, Mohan is an avid speaker and has a knack for telling stories.
Mohan has covered a variety of red carpet events, including the Academy Awards, the Grammys, presidential inaugurations, and Broadway musicals.
However, Mohan revealed, “The best stories I have ever covered were from regular people and not celebrities.”
Having passion and pursuing stories are just two parts of being great, according to Mohan. The last part is pivoting. Mohan notes that many people fear taking one risk that could change their lives. Her advice is simple.
“Say yes. Just say yes.”
This message impacted many of the students in attendance, including senior psychology major Lillian Rodriguez.
"I used to be afraid of saying yes to sudden opportunities or things that didn’t align with this idea or path I had for myself,” said Rodriguez. “But often times, those are the best moments, when you don’t plan them. The best opportunities.”
From Mohan’s speech, Rodriguez also learned the “rejection is redirection.” In fact, Mohan herself said, “Failure is where you learn the most about yourself.”
Graduate student Mateo Gomez was also moved by Mohan’s speech. After graduating from Barry in May 2020, Gomez returned to Barry University to obtain his master’s degree in business administration. He took from Mohan’s speech an important idea.
“I am my own CEO. The CEO of my destiny,” said Gomez. “I’m the one that chooses things about my future, not other people.”
Mohan's event was recorded and can be accessed through this link.
If students take nothing else from it, Mohan hopes it’s that when you work hard, the sky is the limit.
“Don’t quiet your yearning. Be willing to work harder than anyone else,” said Mohan.
Mohan’s “nuggets” of inspiration for Barry students: