A group of 22 undergraduate students travelled to Nashville late last month on a professional development trip exposing them to area corporations. Students met with executives at Nissan, VACO, SRS Construction, Dollar General, HCA, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Under Armor, Dixon Hughes Goodman and Deloitte to learn more about these companies and improve their networking skills.
Haslam’s Office of Diversity and Community Relations has organized similar trips to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the past three years. Janice Branch, coordinator of diversity initiatives at Haslam, says these opportunities help students hone in on their career goals.
“We hope to provide students with opportunities that help them stay focused, directed and connected with regard to their future goals,” Branch said. “In the past, these trips have been influential in helping students secure full-time employment and internship opportunities.”
In addition to facilities tours, the companies held panel discussions on pathways to success within their organization and presentations on their mission and field of work. Current students also met with recent graduates to discuss the transition from academia to the business world.
Participants were selected based on their leadership skills. They represented a variety of majors and ranged from first year undergraduates to seniors. Students attended a preliminary training session where they polished their 30-second elevator speeches and practiced networking tactics.