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Where You Want To Be: Introducing the Industry Influencers

January 16, 2019

McDonald’s Where You Want To Be campaign will kick off 2019 with career shadow days for five ambitious restaurant employees – William Fagerstrom, Clare Fagunleka, Ayana Lea, Kaila Perkins and Taylor Porter. These restaurant employees know that the development and fine-tuning of hard and soft skills, sheer determination and the people you meet along the way are important steps in their career journeys. Over the next two months, McDonald’s will help them go a step further in building a strong network.

To connect their aspirations with experts in careers they are interested in, we’re turning to five key influencers – several of whom are McDonald’s alumni – to provide them with hands-on experience, lessons learned, mentoring and a dose of inspiration. Get to know our "crew”!

James Altucher Headshot

James Altucher, an entrepreneur, angel investor, chess master, comedian and author of 21 books including the best-seller, Choose Yourself. He got his start in the IT industry and has since founded 20 companies, 17 of which have failed. His top-10 rated podcast, “The James Altucher Show,” which launched in 2014, gets more than 200,000 listeners per episode and has garnered more than 35 million downloads. His podcast features fellow influential “Choose Yourselfers” who’ve forged their own paths, found financial freedom and harnessed the power to create meaningful and fulfilling lives. 

Kuk Harrell Headshot

Kuk Harrell, an award-winning music producer, songwriter, vocal producer and former McDonald’s crew member. His music career began in his native Chicago as a drummer and vocalist and he worked as a commercial writer and producer for a popular local production house, where he contributed to major ad campaigns, including many for McDonald’s. He has since made his mark on modern pop music having collaborated with many industry greats and been recognized with top honors in the music and entertainment fields.

Tyler Oakley Headshot

Tyler Oakley, a digital content creator and podcast celebrity, leader in the LGBTQ community and former McDonald’s crew member. His self-titled YouTube channel, which launched in 2007, has nearly eight million subscribers and his popular videos – with more than 650 million views – have covered everything from celebrity crushes and junk food to a “Going Home” series that is focused on him going back to his old high school, college and first job. His global influence has been recognized with multiple accolades, including landing a coveted spot on a “30 Under 30” power list.

Dr. Meena Singh Headshot

Dr. Meena Singh, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. She attended an Ivy League Medical School, trained at one of the United States’ best hospitals and completed a surgical fellowship in New York City, where she became trained in Mohs Micrographic Surgery, as well as a fellowship focusing on hair restoration surgery. She specializes in medical treatments for hair loss of all types and has an interest in treating ethnic skin and skin of color. She has been published in prominent medical and business magazines.

Dennis Cha Headshot

Dennis Cha, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in the Chicagoland area. His first job was in the fast food industry, however, prior to owning a McDonald’s restaurant, he worked as a VP for an international business. Nine years ago, he decided to return to the restaurant field and open his own McDonald’s restaurant. Today, he is the owner/operator of five restaurants in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, he serves in various leadership roles throughout the McDonald’s system. He served as the chapter president of the Asian McDonald’s Operator Association (AMOA) and has served on the Board of Directors for this association.  

Eligible McDonald’s U.S. restaurant employees interested in taking part in the career shadow experience were invited to submit a short video application in which they described which of the top five career fields were of most interest to them and how the skills they’re learning at McDonald’s today will help them get there. The selected individuals for each industry are below. To learn more about how McDonald’s supports restaurant employees, please visit: McDonalds.com/People.

Kaila Perkins Ayana Lee William Fagerstrom Clare Fagunleka Taylor Porter

Entrepreneurship

Kaila Perkins, Michigan

Arts & Entertainment

Ayana Lea, North Carolina

Technology

William Fagerstrom, Michigan

Healthcare

Clare Fagunleka, Florida

Restaurant & Food Service

Taylor Porter, Illinois