Mesa, Arizona ~ When Christian Harris transferred from Carson-Newman to Benedictine University Mesa his junior year, he never imagined how quickly he would ascend the proverbial career ladder. Yet, just one month into the fall semester and the young business major already has plenty to look forward to post graduation.
That’s because Harris took advantage of BenU Mesa’s lucrative internship opportunities and signed up for the NABA (National Association of Black Accountants), a program he discovered via an email from his career advisor, Elizabeth Corrigan.
“In the email [Corrigan] sent, it mentioned a scholarship opportunity for black accountants to attend the Western NABA Conference in Houston, Texas [from October 12-14]. This conference offered opportunities for minorities to network and interview for potential jobs or internships,” Harris said.
After applying, Harris received an invitation to the Houston Conference, a trip paid for via a sponsorship from the NABA.
“The event was very formal and was held at the Westin Houston in Memorial City. Prior to the conference I was not sure what to expect. I had never been to any conference and it was definitely eye opening in regards to the level of competition within the work force,” Harris said.
On day one, Harris attended the career-expo, where students sell themselves to company representatives in order to gain interviews for possible internships and job opportunities. After impressing from the outset, Harris landed interviews with Kaiser Permanente, KPMG and Edward Jones.
Kaiser Permanente’s Vice President/Finance Compliance Officer & SOX actually interviewed Harris twice in a private conference room, an experience the BenU Mesa student described as “intense,” though he was well prepared for the questions asked -- that’s just his style.
Now, thanks to his experience, Harris no longer feels the anxiety most college students face when nearing graduation.
“I am excited to leave college. I know I am a junior, but I feel well prepared to present myself in the work force. My coaches and professors at BenU Mesa have done a tremendous job providing in-class examples to real world situations,” Harris said.
Benedictine University Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine was named among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017 by Forbes magazine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (602) 888-5500, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu/mesa.