The theme for the Career Awareness and Planning Seminar was “From the Classroom to the Boardroom…Students in Transition”, with special emphasis being placed on the four c’s: Character, Choices, Commitment and Consequences. The seminar is sponsored by the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) of the National Urban League. It is presented annually by the Office of Career Services at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The seminar began with an orientation for the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) representatives and the student escorts. Students are selected to serve as official escorts for the representatives during their stay on the campus. The orientation provided the representatives and students with expectations of the seminar and information about the University.
The BEEP program began at the University more than 28 years ago. It is widely felt that the BEEP influence has contributed to the enhanced professionalism of our students.
The executives spent one and a half days on campus speaking with students in the classrooms, conducting “rap sessions” in residence halls and participating in a panel discussion. The theme for the panel discussion was “What I Wish I Knew as a Freshman“. It was designed to help freshman understand the preparation they need to begin now so that they will be prepared to transition from college to the work force. The student escorts were responsible for introducing the executives to instructors and the classes that 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 that 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.
Five alumni representatives participated: Joe Blanks, Vice President, FBT Bank and Mortgage; Marques Gardner, District Manager, Murphy Oil Corporation; Kymara Seals, Deputy Stare Director, Office of U. S. Senator Mark Pryor; Roderick Shelby, Sr., Senior Manager Talent Acquisition, Sixth Division Circuit Court; and Lafayette Woods, Jr. Major, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. A total of eight BEEP executives participated in this year’s program. The other representatives were Mairo Akpose’, Director, Human Resources, Sodexo, David Brickley, Corporate Department Manager, United Parcel Service, and Ann Williams, Executive Director, Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The BEEP program is coordinated by Earnestine McLaughlin, Education Counselor in the Office of Career Services. The next such program will be the Youth Motivation Task Force (YMTF) Program which will be held February 23-26, 2014. Additional information relative to BEEP and other Career Services’ events may also be obtained by calling 575-8461.