The Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) of the National Urban League sponsored a Career Awareness and Planning seminar recently for University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) students. The theme seminar was “L.A.W.S. for a Successful Career“, with special emphasis being placed on Listening, Appearance, Writing and Speaking (LAWS). Presented annually by the Office of Career Services at the UAPB, the seminar began with an orientation for BEEP representatives and UAPB students that are selected to serve as official escorts for the representatives during their stay on campus. The orientation provided the representatives and students with expectations of the seminar and information about the University.
Having begun at UAPB 27 years ago, it is widely felt that the BEEP influence has contributed to the enhanced professionalism of UAPB students. Because of the outstanding program format and participation from corporate executives during the 2011 program, which included UAPB alumni, UAPB was voted “BEEP’s University of the Year”.
The executives spent a day on campus speaking with students about what it takes to be successful in the real world of work. The student escorts were responsible for introducing the executives to instructors and the classes they visited. Most of the interaction was with students in designated classrooms. Faculty in various classes agreed to allow the representatives to speak to their students. They were able to deliver their messages and address any concerns students had about making the transition from school to a successful career or about the companies or government agencies they represented.
The executives were exceptionally qualified practitioners who could: Serve as credible role models who have achieved differing measures of success in their own career fields; Provide students and faculty with an opportunity to learn more about new and developing career opportunities; Provide insight on what skills are needed to succeed in everyday work life; Establish and maintain a free-flowing channel of communication between industry and the University; and Attract support from the public and private sector for faculty and student development, educational programs and financial endeavors.
The Black Executive Exchange Program helps to close the gap between classroom experiences and the real world of work. BEEP is a voluntary effort on the part of industry and government agencies to loan key African American professionals to participating colleges and universities. Expenses for participation are covered by the companies and agencies the BEEPers represent.
This year, two alumni representatives participated – Joe Blanks, Vice President-Consumer Lending, Pine Bluff National Bank and Hannibal Bolton, Assistant Director, USDA Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. A total of five BEEP executives participated in this year’s program along with one National Urban League representative. The other representatives were Shawn Coates, Chief of Staff, CIA; Candice Jones, Senior Manager Talent Acquisition, Walmart and Ann Williams, Executive Director, Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce. The student escorts were: Marquies Carter, Industrial Technology; Kiara Ford, Agriculture Business; Raven Handley, Biology; Courtney Henderson, Accounting; and Charlyse Lawson, Business Administration.
Programs at the University such as BEEP have a rich history of providing opportunities for students to network with professionals who encourage and motivate them to excel in their educational, personal and career endeavors. This program is coordinated by Earnestine McLaughlin, Education Counselor in the Office of Career Services. The next program of its kind will be the Youth Motivation Task Force (YMTF) Program which will be held February 24-26, 2013. Mary M. Jones, Director of Career Service encourages students to visit the Office of Career Services and get involved in making plans for life after graduation.
Additional information relative to BEEP and other Career Services’ events may also be obtained by calling (870) 575-8461.