In support of the 2021 White House initiative to advance equity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities, TSU hosted the HBCU Summer Summit hiring event presented by the US Department of Labor (DOL.)
More than 150 students and faculty members interacted with DOL representatives and career services professionals to gather input for new training, mentorship, internship programs and opportunities to promote career development and long-term employment opportunities for the federal government.
DOL representatives were on-hand to answer questions about specific career opportunities in the southeastern United States, as students learned about federal careers, how to navigate the federal government job site – USAjobs, and how to write a federal resume.
President Glenda Glover said it was an honor for the university to be a part of the three-part tour including Jackson State University and Tuskegee University. Glover also noted how grateful the university is to have the Deputy Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, discuss federal government partnership and employment opportunities hands on with the students.
“We want our students to know that we have corporations to come and take such an interest in us. It shows the inclusiveness of what the administration is trying to do,” Glover said. “To focus on minorities. To focus on HBCUs … we are pleased to be a part of that conversation.”
The event was open to students and faculty from TSU and all surrounding HBCUs, along with invites for Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University students.
Jalen Hall, a TSU freshmen majoring in civil engineering noted how informative the event was for his future opportunities.
“As a freshman, I didn’t know much about the Deparmtent of Labor, but after this session I’ve learned valuable information,” Hall said. “Things I can take with me as I expand and matriculate through college … it will be helpful when I start looking into job opportunities.”
Su, the Deputy Secretary of Labor, said the summit event was the beginning of building a longer-term relationship to create a pathway into the federal government for HBCU students.
“We know in order to serve the most vulnerable community and individuals and gain trust; we want to look like the people we seek to serve,” Su said. “The outreach to HBCUs was a very natural part of making sure we’re reaching the full talent.”
During the event, Su gave the students some words of advice when applying for federal government jobs, “tell us who you really are,” she said. “Speak up about the things you care about. To really bring all the pieces of yourself in the application and make sure we can see that.”
She mentioned how the country has not only gone through a public health crisis, but a racial reckoning in recent years, with hopes of finding driven students who are looking for ways to turn their vision of the world into something they can do within their lives and their job.
Lauren Caver, a sophomore majoring in elementary education, couldn’t agree more. Caver told the university that she has hopes of becoming the US Secretary of Education one day, and it was great to see majority of the DOL representatives at the event look just like majority of TSUs population.
“Seeing another woman, another woman of color on stage talking about her position was really inspiring to me,” Carver said.
“It was good to hear about their (DOL) interviewing and application process, and what actually goes into working for the federal government.”
Although several students in attendance were underclassmen, Su assured the students about internship opportunities as well.
“We want them to bring all the things that make them so excellence and passionate,” she said. “We are here because we care about the students as we are also trying to build the best department that we can.”
During the HBCU Summit event, a mobile American Job Centers van was on campus to provide students with a mobile computer lab and internet access for a resume assistance work shop.
For more information about how to apply for federal government jobs, visit www.usajobs.gov.
About Tennessee State University
Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research-intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.