This website uses cookies, by continuing to use this website you consent to the use of cookies.

From Howard University to The Charles Group: A Rising Sophomore's Journey to the Creative Industries

Share on

By Darrion Thomas


As a rising sophomore marketing major at Howard University, I can’t help but to reflect on my time thus far in the School of Business and at Howard University in general. I have come to have a deep understanding and appreciation of brands in the consumer goods sector, learning their intricacies and the foundations that underlie them. This past school year, my team and I had the pleasure of working alongside AVEDA in the 21st Century Advantage Program. Our primary assignment was to assist AVEDA in conveying their newly-acquired B Corp Certification, confirming their high standards of performance, accountability and transparency pertaining to both the products they create and the examples they set. My team was both effective and enterprising, as we not only communicated that AVEDA is a Certified B Corporation but we increased revenue as a result of updating UX/UI and implementing engagement initiatives. This experience prompted me to dive even deeper into this industry.


This past school year, I had the wonderful honor of joining The Howard University ELITE Models, an organization at Howard University that operates as a full-scale modeling, fashion, and creative-industry network that cultivates and platforms creatives across a plethora of mediums. One such medium is creative direction, which is what I partake in. I reached out to my AVEDA mentor, Eric Yager, and spoke to him of an idea I had to create a conceptual campaign-style project called “Channel Your Beauty with AVEDA” which would highlight a few of AVEDA’s products that weren’t advertised as much as others. My goal was to reinvigorate the idea of self care and true appreciation. This project embraces the quality of being grounded and accentuates all that beauty is from the root to the manifestation. Every aspect of it was intentional, from the models selected to the products chosen, honoring diversity and inclusion across a wide range of characteristics and expressions. Instantly, he supported me and directed me to Rachael Ostrom, which then, the whole team at AVEDA was on board. They loved it so much that Rachael referred me to Samantha Edwards, the Co-Founder and CCO of The Charles Group. Samantha and I had a great talk about supporting Black youth in the creative industries, advice on effective content creation, and towards the end of our conversation, she offered me an internship for the summer! Fast Forward, I am now The Charles Group’s Summer 2023 Project Management/Creative Strategy Intern.


The Charles Group has been such a pleasure to work with for numerous reasons. I immediately felt comfortable integrating into this new work environment, receiving a warm welcome, grand support, and all the guidance I needed to thrive. I have connected with so many amazing people in this company who possess a remarkable level of expertise and professionalism in their respective fields. Whether it’s developing innovative strategies, crafting compelling designs, or executing flawless campaigns, The Charles Group can do it. What I love most is that The Charles Group fosters a wonderful collaborative and supportive work environment where everyone’s ideas and contributions are recognized and valued. The team’s dedication to open communication and a positive atmosphere has made my experience enjoyable and fulfilling. Lastly, The Charles Group’s commitment to excellence is evident in their unwavering attention to detail and their relentless pursuit of client satisfaction. It’s a pleasure to be a part of a company that consistently strives for greatness and delivers outstanding work, and I am honored that I can contribute to that.