The HBCU Experience: Shani Farmer, North Carolina A&T


Randall: Tell us about yourself! 

Shani: I’m Shani L Farmer, born in and raised in Buffalo, New York and relocated to Orlando, Florida at the age of 16. Experiencing the North and South created this beautiful symphony of sassy and southern charm that I fell in-love with. I’ve always been relational by nature so there was no surprise that I chose Human Resource positions for my career and later becoming a relationship enthusiast for women looking to be healed, healthy and whole in each season of their relationship. I am the CEO of my home in Virginia along side my husband Benjamin and we look forward to growing our family in the near future. I love to travel, spend time with friends and family and try new restaurants wherever I go.

Randall: How did you end up at your University/College?

Shani: I was 16 and my best friend and I were sitting with our legs crossed in our pajamas with checked out college catalogs from the local library. I was visiting my hometown from Florida and we had a short amount of time to choose our top schools to apply to. Being raised in a predominantly white neighborhood called for us to eagerly search for our black young roots. We wanted to be welcomed by people who could say our name without explanation or awkwardness. We wanted to be surrounded by people who could speak our many languages and drip in that black magic of excellence. Lastly and definitely the most important…No curfew and cars for freshman! Listen, we enjoyed moving at our own beat and college would be no different. The best seed that was planted during this youthful Season was having a best friend as a cheerleader! She was enthusiastic about our next chapter because she already had a sneak peak into the next chapter. She had cousins a few years older than us that were at Alabama A&M, Southern University and Alabama State! I was a first generation college student so I gleaned from her vision and eagerness. We applied to about 6 HBCU’s and A&T was one of them. When we arrived on campus we knew we were destined to be here 

Randall: What did you get your degree in? Did it support what you are doing now?

Shani: I started off in journalism because I wanted to be in PR. One summer while home I was flipping through a Black Enterprise magazine and saw this woman standing in a corner office at some huge firm with floor to ceiling windows over looking the city and she just was a boss! When I read her description it said she had majored in Business Management. I changed my major the following semester. Doing so lead me to the DC area working for  The Department of Defense and I’m forever grateful for that. Working in HR for 10+ years has afforded me with a comfortable lifestyle and many opportunities for growth.

Randall: Can you give me a quick description of your years in college?

Shani: This is where I learned to persevere, to take the highs with the lows and where what I thought were regrets turned out to be some of the best blessings of my life. I met some great life long friends and wouldn’t change the experience for the world.

Randall: What year would you consider as your success year?

Shani: I left A&T for a year and transferred to FAMU. I missed it so much that I came back and my Junior year turned out to be one of the best. I crossed the burning sands of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, was on the step team and had a chance to travel to many universities and academics were in my favor.

Randall: How did you start working in your current position?


Shani: I started off at the agency as a Contract Specialist. I knew I had a desire to give back to the youth so recruiting was my ultimate goal. After many revamps of my resume I got that chance and I’ve been serving in an HR capacity ever since. As far as my coaching business, this all came to fruition back in 2017 when I wrote my story about singleness and celibacy. Women were drawn to my story and could relate on so many levels. It only made since for me to explore the business side of relationship coaching and I’m thankful I did.

Randall: Did you expect to be in the position you are in today?

Shani: I had no idea where God was going to lead me but I’m enjoying the ride.

Randall: How do you feel your HBCU experience at North Carolina A&T State University aid you in your success?

Shani: It allowed me to be well-rounded and taught me how to fight for what I wanted. Having a group of like minded women on my side the entire time didn’t hurt either.

Randall: What’s next on your journey?

Shani: Running my business while living in another country. My husband and I are looking to relocate to Europe and the goal us to continue to grow the Shani L Brand Internationally. 

Randall: Where can we find you?

Shani: If you are a single woman looking to date for the business of marriage you can follow me @shanilrelationshipenthusiast. If you just want to keep up with me you can follow me @shanilfarmer 

Randall: Tell us about your book The HBCU Experience: The North Carolina A&T State University 2nd Edition?

Shani: I joined for a few reasons. To support my dear friend Ashley Little, to give back to my university and to tell my story to the young women on campus in hopes of them to be inspired to excel in there academics and give themselves the space and time to grow from a relationship stand point. You don’t have to experience everything…learn a few lessons from the people who came before you.




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