A group of 22 graduate and undergraduate students travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this month for a biennial professional development conference. Students met with executives at Dixon Hughes Goodman, Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY and the Charlotte Hornets to learn more about these companies and improve their networking skills.
The Office of Diversity and Community Relations worked with the National Association of Black Accountants and Diverse Organizations of Business Students to organize the trip. Janice Branch, coordinator of diversity initiatives for the Haslam College of Business, says the goal was to expose students to multiple careers and the professional environment.
“We wanted students to polish their 30-second elevator pitch, practice networking and learn that there are a variety of paths they can take to get where they want to be,” says Branch. “Charlotte is the financial capital of the South, and the Haslam College of Business has formed many professional relationships and partnerships with organizations there. This was a wonderful opportunity to expand our students’ career passion and purpose.”
Students used the trip to build personal contacts with potential future employers and get their foot in the door at some of the organizations. In addition to their informational sessions, they also attended a social event hosted by the National Association of Black Accountants and a Charlotte Hornets basketball game.
Participants were selected based on their leadership skills. They represented a variety of majors and ranged from first year undergraduates to MBA students. Faculty member Randy Bradly, of the marketing and supply chain management department, also was a facilitator and organizer of the trip.
Fore more information about future professional development opportunities, contact Janice Branch, Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives, Haslam College of Business, 865-974-8835, firstname.lastname@example.org@utk.edu.