School of AREAS Students Attend NAFEO Conference

Sixteen students of the School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences (AREAS) were among 37 Alcorn State University students who attended the annual National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) in Higher Education conference on April 5-7, 2016.

NAFEO, an organization that provides an international voice for the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Public Black Institutions (PBIs) held its 2016 conference at the Millennium Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The trip was coordinated by Dr. Joey Mitchell, director of Career Services, and assisted by Dr. Kenneth Stallings, associate professor, Department of Agriculture.

“The NAFEO Career Development Conference provides great opportunities for students to build meaningful relationships with perspective employers and students from peer institutions,” expressed Mitchell.

Stallings added, “It is critical that our students are given the opportunity to network and receive first-hand information for career readiness with the federal government and private sector employers.”

The students selected to attend were of good academic standing, intrinsically motivated, and displayed a willingness to attend the conference workshops while being open to professional dialogue with conference presenters, developing a career-ready resume, and preparing for one-on-one interviews with potential employers. At the conference, attendees gained opportunities and enhancement of their network with great contacts that can aid in their career development. Opportunities included receiving career readiness strategies, interviewing tips, and highlights for a resume.

Topics in discussion ranged from how to nail the interview to what skills employers are looking for.

“The trip allowed me to see how the different branches of the United States Department of Agriculture operate along with what positions are open in my field,” Alessandria Aikerson-Russell, a junior majoring in pre-veterinary/animal science, said. “I was able to see what employers are looking for.”

For more information on this event and future student-centered conferences, contact Dr. Joey Mitchell at (601) 877-6324 or [email protected].

Student Media Intern, KeAmber Council, contributed to this story.