Career Leadership Academy

The undergraduate and graduate career teams at the Haslam College of Business hosted the Career Leadership Academy in January 2020. The all-day event was designed to enhance students’ professional development through experiential learning in career immersion seminars, inspiring advice from alumni through TED Talks, and networking opportunities with employer partners. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chancellor Donde Plowman spoke at the event, providing her insights on leadership. Representatives from Bush Brothers & Company, PYA, Lowe’s, TVA, Eastman, and 84.51 led the seminars. TED Talk speakers included Mark Smith, senior director of global talent acquisition at SC Johnson; Korri Jones, senior lead machine learning engineer at Chick- Fil-A; Micah Johnson, COO and senior vice president at Bridge Public Affairs; and Bill Fitzgerald, vice president of channel and healthcare systems at ConvaTec.

More than 60 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the event, and each of them received a certificate of completion. Undergraduate participants also received a badge that they could link to professional social media accounts such as LinkedIn. “We consider this event a best-practice model of student engagement, employer partnership, and alumni relations,” says Pedro Gonzalez, director of career management for graduate and executive education. “There is no cost for employer partners to participate, and it provides an excellent opportunity to stay involved.” The 2021 Career Leadership Academy is set for January 22, 2021, and will include speakers from the State of Tennessee, Delta Airlines, Zone Swimwear, and PwC.


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