08:43 AM

Walmart and UHD Invest in Tomorrow's Business Leaders

With the launch of the fall 2014 semester next week, students in the College of Business at UHD will be a step ahead, thanks to a commitment by Walmart and a generous donation from the company to help launch the UHD College of Business Career Development Center.

The Center, positioned prominently near the College's main entrance, will provide students with professional career mentorship and advising to enhance both undergraduate and graduate students' resumes and bolster their interviewing and professional skills.

The Center's state-of-the-art facilities include specially equipped offices, allowing students to participate in mock interviews and work with career advisors to critique their own performances on video.

To help establish the College's Career Development Center and invest in the futures of its graduates, Walmart donated $85,000, including sponsorship of at least four events over the next year to equip students with a competitive edge needed to thrive in today's marketplace. Branded as the "Career Connection Series - Presented by Walmart," the interactive events may include activities such as speed interviewing with immediate feedback, or group interview film studies in which students can learn from their peers and discuss best interviewing practices in informal, low-pressure situations.

Through the planned career development series, Walmart leaders will interact with UHD students and share tools to successfully navigate the process of establishing meaningful career connections.

"Walmart's partnership with UHD's College of Business Career Development Center demonstrates the confidence the company places in the great potential of our students," said Mike Fields, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. "We want our students to begin with the end in mind, prioritizing professional and career development beginning with their very first business course. Through the 'Career Connection Series - Presented by Walmart,' our students can combine their classroom learning with real-world business training to compete for outstanding jobs following graduation."

The Center's one-on-one coaching will be especially helpful for UHD students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, represent minority populations and often have minimal exposure to strategies for communicating their strengths in the context of a job search.

Walmart's longstanding history with UHD and commitment to its students is representative of the company's mission to connect communities with career opportunities through job training and placement, career advice and greater access to resources that help individuals become self-sufficient.

"At Walmart, we're thrilled to support UHD in their efforts to empower the next wave of leaders with the knowledge and valuable skills they need to land a career in Houston's competitive business field through its College of Business Career Development Center," said Todd Manley, Walmart vice president and regional general manager of Houston and East Texas. "As the Houston Chronicle's top employer among retail companies, there are hundreds of job opportunities at Walmart stores throughout Houston with opportunity to grow, and we expect to see some excellent talent coming from UHD and into the business world.

"Providing helpful resources for career opportunities is one of Walmart's main focuses in the communities we serve, and we make sure we live up to that promise by supporting initiatives like the UHD College of Business Career Development Center," Manley said.

Through the 'Career Connection Series - Presented by Walmart,' students participate in interactive events that foster important business skills through mock interviews, networking, and coaching from career advisors, giving UHD graduates a competitive advantage as they begin applying for jobs.

"The College of Business developed its new Career Development Center with an awareness of industry's needs to enable meaningful connections between talented UHD business students and outstanding local and national employers, such as Walmart," said Brett Hobby, director of the University's College of Business Career Development Center. "Walmart has paved the way for future corporate partners to invest in UHD students - and their future employees - to create a win-win for new graduates and companies in need of their in-demand business expertise."