The nine University of Arkansas – Fort Smith spring graduates who earned Certificates of Distinction in Professional Development from UAFS upon graduation have found jobs at companies in Arkansas and beyond.
Students earned the certificates through the university’s Babb Center for Student Professional Development, which offers workshops and networking opportunities for students to develop professional skills that complement the education taught in the classroom.
“Our educational programs prepare students to be successful at whatever career they choose to enter, but the Babb Center helps prepare them to actually land that first job to begin their career,” said Ron Orick, executive director of the Babb Center.
Those preparations involve workshops on resume writing, elevator pitches and interviewing skills, Orick added, in addition to numerous networking opportunities with regional employers.
“Our 100 percent job placement rate among certificate recipients is a confirmation of the work we’re doing in the center. Organizations from around the region are supporting the program and benefiting by connecting with the participants to recruit highly qualified graduates,” Orick said. “I expect the program to continue to grow as we implement it across the entire UAFS student body. The number of participants has doubled in the past year, and we have only two academic colleges participating.”
Graduates and their hometowns, degrees and job titles are:
Fort Smith: Crystal Hardwick, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership, administrative specialist with the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s Financial Aid Office; Jeanetta Henry, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership, career services coordinator with the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s Career Services Office; Elisabeth Jones, Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business, project manager with QualServ in Fort Smith; Spencer Meares, Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, carrier sales coordinator with J.B. Hunt in Lowell; Quynh Nguyen, Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business, supervisor trainee for Simmons Foods in Van Buren; Siedra Tidwell, Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Administration, audit associate for BKD CPAs in Dallas, Texas.
Greenwood: Allie Wilson, Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, collegiate development consultant with the national office of Delta Gamma Sorority in Columbus, Ohio.
Hackett: Ryan Farmer, Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Administration, department manager at Walmart.
Rudy: Jaysa Henderson, Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, staff accountant at Yeager’s Hardware’s Corporate Office in Fort Smith.
The Babb Center was formed in 2013 through a gift from Doug and Kathy Babb, and the center worked exclusively with College of Business students in its first year to pilot the program. Now, the center works with students in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and will add the College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences in the fall as part of a five-year plan to implement the center across all the university’s academic colleges.
Approximately 1,400 students attended the more than 150 professional development activities held by the center in the 2015-16 school year, according to Orick. Students can take advantage of workshops and networking opportunities within the center, with the certificate of distinction an optional credential for students to pursue.
For more information about the Babb Center, contact Ron Orick, Executive Director of Career Services, 479.788.7019, or Ron.Orick@uafs.edu.