Preparing to Lead: SU Students take on Baker Hughes Leadership Summit

Director of Career Services, Tamara Montgomery (center-right) receives a check from Corporate partner Baker Hughes on Wednesday, September 14. (Te’yanah Owens /DIGEST)

This year the Career Services Center decided to host the Baker Hughes Leadership Summit off-campus. This event changed the atmosphere for Southern University students and eliminated distractions.

Last Wednesday, the Baker Hughes Leadership Summit was held at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center. The summit was intended to develop students’ professional and leadership skills.

Tamara Foster-Montgomery, Director of the Career Services Center, envisioned bringing professional conferences to the student body, especially those who may not have the resources to attend professional conferences.

“Many of our students cannot afford to attend professional conferences so we brought the experience to them. Each year some of our students get the opportunity to attend the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute held in New York or Washington, D.C. The TMCF Leadership Institute is an amazing conference so we designed a program similar the TMCF conference.”

Montgomery stated,“We wanted to mirror this experience to inspire more students to excel academically and empower them to reach their full potential. Over the years the Career Services Center only receives $142,465 from the General Fund consistently. Our corporate partners support the programs that we organize to benefit our scholars. Our most powerful asset is our students and we believe in investing in their future.”

The Career Services Center has been planning this leadership event for 6 months in collaboration with Baker Hughes. Baker Hughes donated $25,000 to the Career Services Center to host the summit and support career related programs.

The company provided funds to support the College of Sciences and Engineering, the College of Business, Honors College, School of Education, and the Career Services Center. Whitney Ford with Baker Hughes was the lead champion for this student engagement and leadership event. Ford is a graduate of the Southern University College of Business. Kya Thumbutu, a junior marketing major from Houston gave her input on the event. “The summit exceeded my expectations. I already figured the participants would gain relevant knowledge but I had no clue that the event hosts would create such a radiant atmosphere while delivering it. A few of the things I learned today consist of personal brand development, proper dining etiquette, and the importance of LinkedIn,” stated Thumbutu. Nyah Breedlove, a senior criminal justice major from Silver Spring, Maryland stated her favorite moment. “My favorite moment at the summit would probably be the interviewing seminar because it was the most beneficial for me as a senior since I’ll be applying to jobs soon and using those skills,” said Breedlove.

The event hosted a selection of workshops, seminars and other business opportunities. For example, the professional development workshops were on career related topics. Seminar sessions focused on dining etiquette, resume writing, attire, credit, and banking. Interview preparation for summer internship opportunities and networking opportunities were given to students.

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