The NIU College of Business welcomes Elois Joseph (MBA, ’15) as one of the newest members of the Business in Action team. Joseph brings extensive experience to the program, guiding undergraduate students through a hands-on course that provides them with a unique opportunity to solve real-world problems for major companies.
“Understanding how broad business is helps students identify areas they want to focus on,” says Joseph, co-founder of the Greenwood Project, a nonprofit dedicated to introducing students from under-resourced communities to careers in the financial services industry. “A lot of what I teach my students at the Greenwood Project is very closely aligned with the Business in Action curriculum,” she adds.
Joseph earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Columbia College in Chicago, began her career on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, stood out as a highly motivated individual and was promoted within three months. Over the course of her career, she has supervised traders and worked as a compliance officer.
She first joined the NIU Huskie community in 2013 when she decided to return to school and pursue her MBA at the university’s College of Business.
“I wanted to reinvent myself,” she says. “I wanted to be on the forefront of technology and understand what the latest trends were in business.”
After earning her MBA, Joseph co-founded the Greenwood Project in 2016 with her husband and joined a financial regulatory body in Chicago before bringing over 20 years of experience in the business world to her students as an NIU Business in Action instructor.
Joseph plans to help her students make informed decisions about their future careers in business, as well as help them gain firsthand knowledge about how the world of business works. “All of this is a process,” she says to students getting their start in their business careers.
“Working with an experienced leader like Ms. Joseph has helped me to gain further insight about the business world, a business’ operations, the decisions organizations make, the potential issues they actively try to resolve, and the tasks they perform to create a well-functioning business environment,” says Erik Braswell, an accountancy freshman from East Dundee, Illinois. “Learning about these subjects under the direction of Ms. Joseph has greatly broadened my horizons about the world of business and has changed my thoughts about what a business requires to successfully operate.”
This semester, Elois Joseph and her Business in Action students are working with Chicago Southside Birth Center, a startup hoping to open the third freestanding birthing center in Illinois to address the challenges and inequities faced by mothers and children of color when they seek access to care. Chicago Southside Birth Center also aims to provide better birth outcomes for families and provide mothers a safe alternative to hospital care.
“The African American infant mortality rate in underserved areas is alarmingly high,” Joseph explains. “The students are working hard to bring awareness to this issue, increase funding in support of this organization’s mission, and hopefully receive support from the medical industry and government to identify this cause as an emergency by taking the necessary steps to find a solution to this problem. This project-based work conducted by NIU students in the Business in Action class will have a great impact on so many lives — literally for generations to come.”
Business in Action freshman Braswell agrees. “By learning more about the various functions of business, we can promote social and economic change and can use the information we learn to help benefit and stimulate the overall development of businesses,” he says.
As for Elois Joseph, she also carries great expectations of another sort: that in each moment in class, she is working with and instructing the next generation of business leaders.
“I love giving back and sharing knowledge,” she says of the experience. “This is a privilege and an honor.”