When asked the daunting question, “which three words would your friends use to describe you?” Kobi Grant had to take a minute to think it over, chuckling.
“I’m pretty rational … I’m not sure that my friends would exactly describe me as rational though,” Grant laughed. “You know what, let’s go with ‘thoughtful, loving and modest’.”
Grant, a senior from Ridgewood, NJ, embodies these traits in all he does, noting that his favorite aspect of Colgate has been the meaningful friendships he’s made.
“I feel like the people I’ve met here, throughout all four years, I can tell that they care about me. I feel like if I ever had a question, I could ask all of them for answers or guidance or help. I do think Colgate does a great job at pushing people together [through FSEMs] and putting people that you wouldn’t necessarily be with or hang out with, in those kind of awkward situations that can later become blossoming friendships.”
At Colgate, Grant is an SGA senator and political science concentrator with a minor in African studies. Until his junior year, he also ran for the track team, but eventually made the decision to focus his passions and interests elsewhere.
“I love everyone [on the team] who I competed with and all the people I’m still friends with, and the people I even still talk to on a daily basis. For me, [quitting] was more of a personal decision — I was going through a bit of a rough patch in my life. I had a friend pass away the year before, and it kind of just took away all my motivation to do a lot of things,” Grant said. “So I decided to step away, and mainly focus on academics, extracurriculars besides track that made me feel happy and my friendships. And since I quit I can definitely sense a change in my personal mood and I definitely feel a lot better. I’m still grateful for everything track has given me, but quitting has definitely opened up another page in my life.”
Grant also managed to find a new passion in film photography at the beginning of the pandemic, although he never really saw himself as an artistic person.
“After we all got sent home, I didn’t leave my house for two months straight. I didn’t go outside at all. I decided to pick up photography, or film photography, to be exact. And since then I just love it so much. I just like going out, finding pretty things to look at in the world and kind of just snapping shots of them and my friends, too … I just like the process of it. Photography, for me, has definitely been something that has helped me; it’s gotten me through the pandemic and it’s something I thoroughly enjoy and I plan to keep doing it for years. I don’t think I’m ever gonna stop now.”
After graduation, Grant plans to work as a Business Development Consultant at Oracle, which he describes as more of a sales position in doing a lot of cold calls, writing emails and researching clients.
“I’m really excited, but in that regard I wasn’t even looking for a position like that and it kind of just came to me. They reached out on LinkedIn and it basically just turned into what it is now. My major has nothing to do with my actual job next year, which is crazy to think,” Grant said. “For me personally, I’ve always wanted to do, or I’ve always been interested in doing stuff that benefits the public, and as a Black man I feel like social justice is really, really important and activism, too. So I’ve always wanted to do stuff that’ll also help, for lack of a better word, ‘my people,’ get their equity that they deserve. Clearly, this country is messed up and I’ve always wanted to do [something] that can help benefit and make the world more cognizant of these problems, and also help to diminish, if not end, these problems.”
Looking forward, Grant acknowledges that while the future is uncertain, he finds it motivating.
“I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t see myself not loving [this job], but you never know — it’s the future, right? I don’t know if I’ll go to law school; I don’t know if I’ll become a lawyer; I don’t know if I’ll stay at Oracle or if I’ll stay in sales. It could change tomorrow, it could change in a couple years.”