In the fall of 2000, I decided it was time for me to leave Michigan and further my education and the only choice for me was to attend Morehouse College. I remember when I wrote my essay for admittance, I spoke about how important brotherhood was to me. I didn’t have the opportunity to pledge while at Morehouse, but then again from time you get accepted your already a part one of the world’s best brotherhoods. This month’s interview was one of the first people I met on campus during NSO (New Student Orientation) we instantly became brothers as we lived on the same floor, rooms next door to each other, in W.E.B. Dubois International House Hall! One thing I can say about my Morehouse Brother Terrel “Skiff” Jefferson is that no matter what he’s an all-around good guy, with a great sense of humor, I’m extremely proud to call him my brother/friend so without further ado here’s April’s, The TaLL TaLLk featuring Terrel “Skiff” Jefferson!!!
Name: Terrell “Skiff” Jefferson
Marital Status: Engaged
Occupation: Regional Director of Pharmacy
Who is Terrell Jefferson?
I am a witty kid from Brooklyn that made his way out of the projects and successfully carved out a lane in the pharmacy world which allows me to support my family financially and also help other brown guys/girls that look like me excel professionally.
When did you take notice of your height or that you were tall?
For some strange reason, teachers kept putting me in the back of the line. It was all good until lunchtime or bathroom breaks when I had to suffer.
How did your height make you different?
As a tall kid, you sometimes become the target of bullying. Being tall forced me to find a mechanism to combat that. I learned that I was naturally funny and quick with the comebacks so when the height became a topic I was ready to battle.
How often do you get asked questions about your height?
I travel weekly for work so I am constantly on flights. As you know about the airport industry, those seats aren’t made for us tall guys. There is always that flight attendant that wanted to be a comedian if you know what I mean.
Did your height/size impact your life differently over the years?
I was skinny with glasses and braces so as a kid adding height made for an awkward experience. I was so envious of the short kids because their clothes always fit better and they got all of the attention. When I got into high school I noticed the older girls started to pay me attention, which was weird but I loved it. It gave me the confidence I needed to enter college with the big head about my height.
What are some of your biggest challenges when it comes to shopping?
Where do I start… I hate the dressing room. It is so discouraging to pull 10 pieces that you love and 1 ½ actually fits. I am too slim for “Big and Tall” and with 4 feet of legs, it is very challenging to find pants that fit.
How would you describe your style?
I am a New Yorker to the heart so I love the urban/hipster look. There is nothing like a slim jean with a designer shoe and an Avant-Garde sweater/hoodie. I stray from the cookie-cutter so I search for items I know I will be the only one wearing.
What are some brands that you always wear?
G-Star jeans stay in rotation because they make a fashionable 36 inseam pant with a biker vibe. All Saint’s outerwear, hoodies/jackets, give me that grunge dark look. And you can never go wrong with a Diesel or DSquared2 T-shirt.
What are your top 3 must-haves as a tall guy?
My top 3 for a slim tall guy would be
- Nice fitted hoodie/sweater
- Biker Jean
- A good tailor
We met in the fall of 2000, In W.E.B Dubois Hall on the campus of Morehouse College you were one of the first people I met on campus. We instantly clicked and you reminded me so much of one of my cousins, so our connection was automatic. What are some of your favorite memories from Freshman year?
Freshman year was my favorite year in college. Everyone was trying to figure out themselves and what it meant to be an “adult” in college. My favorite memory was the dorm life. We were like vampires and midnight was our call to flood the lobby of the dorm. Every night kids were out there playing dominos, spades, UNO with random girls for Clark Atlanta or Spelman braiding hair and batting their eyes. It truly felt like “It’s a Different World”.
If you could go back and do undergrad over again would you change anything?
I would have probably stayed on campus a little longer. I left first semester of sophomore year and went into work mode. I feel like I lost some connections chasing paper.
Changing gears a little you work in the medical field what’s your take on everything that’s going on with this Corona Virus and trickle effect it’s having on the economy?
I think this is a classic example of avoiding the signs. There is a running joke in the black community that if we see someone running we start running. We should have responded when we saw what was coming out of China and made a plan. We waited too long to take action and our economy is taking a beating for it. We are resilient and will bounce back as a country but I feel bad for the small business owners who will not recover from this.
Do you think that this pandemic is being handled properly?
These stay at home/shelter in place orders are being treated as optional. I think the leaders need to be stricter with what they are asking. Lockdown the borders shut down these nonessential activities, and contain this virus. Until the people take it seriously we will stay in this boat.
What prompted you to become a pharmacist? Has the medical field always been a passion of yours?
I have always been a science/math guy. I discovered pharmacy during my junior year at Morehouse. I have a thing with blood and touching people so I had decided that med school wasn’t for me. A classmate of mine schooled me on all the avenues of pharmacy (research, pharma companies, retail, hospital, independent ownership). So I did my homework and found out this was an avenue that I could explore.
If you didn’t go into the medical field what would your backup career choice have been?
Honestly, I would have gone into academia. I’m a natural teacher/trainer and that’s why pharmacy leadership works for me. I teach pharmacist/district managers how to improve patient outcomes while increasing productivity/profitability in their business units.
How big of a role does music play in your life? I know that you’re an avid Coachella attendee are you disappointed that it’s been rescheduled?
Music has always been near and dear to me. I think I have a great ear for what works and how to make a profit. In a past life, I joke that I was an A&R. I think it was a smart idea to reschedule Coachella. Too much risk getting 100K people in one place during this pandemic.
What’s something you want to do within the next year that you’ve never done before?
I want to visit Australia for about 2 weeks on an educational tour. I like to engulf myself in different countries when I visit and Australia is the only continent I haven’t visited.
Name three songs you have in constant rotation now, and why?
I am going to switch this up and list 3 albums on constant rotations
- Tory Lanez- Chixtape 5. I am a child of the ’90s & 00’s so I love how he remixed old songs and featured the artist. It’s like an homage album versus just sampling.
- Ari Lennox- Shea Butter Baby. She puts me in the feel of a young Erykah Badu vocally. The album is a ride out on a sunny day vibe.
- Azealia Banks- 1991. Despite the controversy, she’s one of the most talented rappers in the game. This EP is an ode to the NY club scene. It takes me back to listening to my aunts and uncles dancing around the house on their way to the legendary NY clubs.
What advice would you give aspiring pharmacists?
There are many paths you can take. Leverage your time in pharmacy school during rotations to explore what you really want to do in the pharmacy world.
What do you consider your ultimate goal as a pharmacist?
My ultimate goal as a pharmacist is to make a difference in the profession. I’ve done research, worked in oncology, consulted on international expansions, helped in the community in a retail setting, and currently a director. I think holding a seat on a State Board of Pharmacy will be my next endeavor.
Your wedding day is coming up soon are you ready? Jumping the broom is a big step for any relationship how did you know that this was it for you?
I am ready for it to be over!!! Wedding planning is absolutely the most stressful thing in the world. As soon as you utter wedding everyone upcharges you and everyone has an opinion like it’s their wedding. I have always been relationship-oriented. Like every other part of my life, my end goal is to build with one person and create an empire. I have found a partner who compliments me and is compassionate and supportive of the crazy that’s dealing with me. A keeper!!!
What advice would you give single people in this dating game that’s looking to find someone, settle down, and get married?
I think it’s important to do the work on yourself before adding someone to the equation. There are too many broken people looking for a mate to fix them. You have to be clear on who you are, what you want, and your baggage before you can successful be viable for anyone.
What’re some of the best relationship advice ever given to you?
If you are having issues in your relationship and you aren’t going to leave, do not discuss with friends/family. When you resolve the issue, they will always feel a way about your partner. You also invite opinions/criticism when you overshare the bad which is poison to any pot.
- What was your first job?
Sales Associate at a houseware store in Manhattan’s lower east side.
- What do you wish you knew more about?
Stock market for sure. I have basic knowledge but as a former poor kid I don’t like to play with my money. I have a financial advisor and recently purchased some books on investing so I will use this quarantine time to become Warren Buffett.
- What age do you wish you could permanently be?
I am not there yet but I think 40. Each decade has been better than the next for me so I know 40 will be amazing. I would stop there because I still want to club and not be sore the next day.
- What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
Love and Hip Hop. I see clips here and there on social media but I refuse to waste brain cells on a whole episode.
- What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
Are you a basketball player?
- What’s your favorite quote?
- What your favorite item you’ve bought this year?
I was overly excited about this Tom Ford beard oil. It is forever in my rotation.
- What kind of art do you enjoy most?
Comedy is life. It’s an art form where you have to be completely vulnerable and honest to be successful.
- What movie title best describes your life?
The Pursuit of Happiness. My whole existence has been overcoming obstacles and getting to happy.
- Who’s someone you really admire?
Oprah. I was an Oprah Scholar at Morehouse and her full scholarship is the only reason I would have been able to afford college and be who I am today. Her investment in black men is truly inspiring.
Where can the readers find you?
My IG is KidArmani (I used to work in Armani Exchange in SOHO in high school and this name has been there since)
I think it’s time for some kids!!!