UAPB students explore options at career day

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff hosted its 2014 Spring Career Day and Teacher Education Fair on Wednesday afternoon, featuring a number of internship opportunities that could become pathways to full-time positions with companies including Nucor-Yamato Steel, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and Verizon Wireless.

“It is very, very competitive,” UAPB Director of Career Services Shirley Cherry said. “Employers are looking for applicants with certain skills. The opportunities for our STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] students are great. Students with a marketable resume and who know how to sell themselves have a good shot at finding something.”

Christopher Hines graduated from UAPB in December 2010 and is now employed with Nucor at its manufacturing plant in Blytheville.

“I am a burner-bander at Nucor,” Hines said. “We use cutting equipment to weld and join and to cut back sections of steel. I am here today to speak to the students about job opportunities with our company. The work schedule is nice because we work four days and then are off four days.”

“I got an internship with Nucor and was hired on full time after graduation,” Hines said.

Kindra Porter is a senior majoring in industrial technology management and applied engineering.

“I interned with Eaton Corporation last summer and they offered me a full-time position in November,” Porter said. “After graduation I will be part of their leadership development program.”

Porter said she was at the career fair to speak with classmates and to help guide them in their career choices.

“We try to help and push students in the right direction,” Porter said. “Without UAPB’s excellent career services team a lot of us would not have the internships and job offers that we do.”

Annette Henderson is the assistant superintendent of the 14,500-student Fort Smith School District.

“We are looking for people in the areas of special education, physical and earth sciences, mathematics, English and Spanish,” Henderson said. “It is great that universities in the state have events like this for the school districts to find personnel. We are searching for quality educators at the helm of their classroom.”

Kaylan Whitfield is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism.

“I have a sports internship at KATV this semester and I came to the career fair to see what is here,” Whitfield said. “I wish there were a few more employers that fit my major here today but KATV was here so I was able to talk to them.”

Hedoris Wilborn is an industrial technology major who took a different route to UAPB.

“I am a non-traditional student,” Wilborn said. “I am originally from West Helena but moved to Pine Bluff in 1996. I received a two year degree in architectural drafting from Southeast Arkansas College and now I’m working on my degree here at UAPB. The career fair has been very helpful. There are good companies here.”

Earnestine McLaughlin is special events coordinator with the UAPB Office of Career Services.

“We stress to our students the importance of dressing appropriately for a job interview,” McLaughlin said. “We tell them they need to look the role. It’s their opportunity to network and find out what employers are looking for.”

Deena Smith-Jones and Jocelyn Jackson work in human resources with Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“We have openings in information technology and customer service in Little Rock,” Smith-Jones said. “We are seeking graduate students for our I.T. internship program that will have its first group this summer.”

Lindsey Forga is a recruiter with Verizon Wireless in Little Rock.

“We have position openings in our customer service call center and in retail,” Forga said. “We are looking for people with a passion for technology and who are customer-focused.”