When W.E. Da'Cruz '12 M.A./M.P.A '15, graduated with a dual master's degree in Diplomacy and International Relations and Public Administration, no one doubted that she would quickly achieve her goal of becoming a diplomat. The New Jersey native, whose family is from Ghana, spoke both French and Fante (a native Ghanaian language), she was a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. scholar, and she had made the Dean's List and had polished her professional skills as a graduate assistant with the Department of Public Relations and Marketing. But life had other plans for her. Turned down for highly competitive jobs at the State Department and United Nations she had an epiphany: "If they won't hire me, I'll hire myself."
Da'Cruz decided to start her own company. Today, she is the co-owner and the Chief Operations Officer of the Virtual Global Consultant Group (VGC), a company that develops and designs eCommerce systems that help generate revenue online for people, companies, and organizations. VGC focuses on customizing established platforms and software that make shipping and collecting payments easier for businesses in emerging markets. Alongside her partner, Naomi Jordan Cook, she creates employment in under-served communities across four continents. Da'Cruz manages more than 30 team members (across four continents) while helping to generate millions of dollars a year in donations and online sales for her clients.
Da'Cruz credits her time at Seton Hall with helping her develop the business she has today. When asked to speak in depth about her academic experiences, Da'Cruz explained that there was no specific course work that could have prepared her for her path. The beauty of her experience at the University, she says, was that she participated in different classes and took advantage of opportunities outside the classroom as well. For example, Da'Cruz traveled to Ethiopia for a study tour of the African Union and was also awarded the Salgo Noren Scholarship to travel to the fishing village of Mankoadze, Ghana, to lead a four-week educational summer program for more than 200 school children. Back on Seton Hall's campus, Da'Cruz took the initiative to get involved in the Stillman School of Business despite the fact that she was not a Stillman alumna and participated in opportunities such as Pirate's Pitch, the annual Seton Hall University Business Startup Competition, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Da'Cruz also held various leadership positions with the Black Student Union and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She says, "Seton Hall was my white canvas; I spent seven years painting a picture of a future that I'm living into today."
Her company, in partnership with DHL Ghana and the University of Michigan, recently launched the Digital Futures Fellowship Program. As the brainchild of the program, VGC teaches market research students how to analyze and position Africa-based companies to compete in the global market. While this program is the first phase of a larger initiative, Da'Cruz believes the program will positively impact economic development in Ghana, by increasing business sales, which will ultimately create employment opportunities.
When asked what advice she would give students at Seton Hall, Da'Cruz said, "Lose the title, win the experience." She explained that after graduating from Seton Hall she was stuck on the title of being a diplomat, but after releasing her attachment to that title she was able to focus on her passion for creating positive global impact which has ultimately given her the experience of diplomacy she had always desired, and the ability to create a role beyond her expectations. Da'Cruz's innovative thinking and dedication in helping others embodies the What Great Minds Can Do spirit.
For more information on Da'Cruz's collaboration with DHL Ghana and the University of Michigan, please contact W.E. Da'Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org