TSU secures top jobs for students, graduates with spring career fair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Amid the pandemic, job prospects continue to look very bright for TSU students and recent graduates, thanks to the university’s rigorous career readiness programs that have some major companies offering full-time employment to students. Many of the students will have solidified and secured job placements before graduation.  

NTT DATA representatives Whitney Wells, Campus Recruiter, left: and Horace Jones, Director of Project Program Management and a TSU alum, talk to a student at the Career Fair. The company has already hired three students from the university since February. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

At TSU’s Spring 2022 Career Fair on Feb. 25, it was disclosed that Bank of America, a longtime TSU partner, which last year contributed $1 million to help with students’ job readiness, and NTT DATA Services, a multinational information technology service and consulting company, were the latest among entities quickly recruiting students for high-paying positions.  

In just the last few months, the two companies reportedly have hired six computer science and business majors from the upcoming May graduating class, as well as offered internships to several others from various colleges.

Russell Marcellus Waters will reportedly make more than $75,000 in starting salary with Bank of America. (submitted)

Among the new hires is Russell Marcellus Waters, a computer science major, from Huntsville, Alabama, who is expected to receive a starting salary of more than $75,000 as a technical analyst with Bank of America. He will join several other former TSU students who currently work for the company.  

“It is really a good feeling to not just go into any job, but one that’s paying well, just after graduation,” said Waters, a graduating senior, who has been interning with Bank of American since his sophomore year. He will be assigned in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he starts in July.  

“The first time I stepped on TSU’s campus my goal was to graduate with a job upon graduation,” added Waters. “The exposure I received from the classroom and the preparation from the Career Development Center, whether it was sharpening my interviewing skills or resume writing, allowed me to apply to Bank of America for an internship, and I was accepted in my sophomore year.”  

Peyton Williams is joining NTT DATA as a Business Technology Consultant. (Submitted)

Peyton Williams, who earned a master’s degree in business last fall, is one of three graduates joining NTT DATA as a business technology consultant. Williams and another former student started in early February in the company’s Nashville office. The third will start in August and will also be assigned in Charlotte.  

“I developed a relationship with NTT DATA Services earlier in my years at TSU by attending events hosted by the College of Business and the Career Development Center,” said Williams, of Sunset, Louisiana. “My education at Tennessee State University helped me to continue to build the interpersonal, strategic thinking, and an entrepreneurial spirit necessary to be an effective leader at a company like NTT DATA Services.”   

Sonecia Nard, a senior biology major, right, talks with Ronald Douglas, Jr., Senior Project Manager at HCA Healthcare. Douglas, a 1999 TSU graduate in Business Information Systems, returns to recruit at his alma mater. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

The Spring Career Fair, a potential springboard to internships, co-ops, and job opportunities for many students, this year brought together more than 140 employers, including Fortune 500 companies, federal and local government agencies, the U.S. military, educational institutions, and individuals. They set up booths and displays to review resumes and hold on-the-spot interviews with students.   

Organizers said more than 500 students attended the all-day fair in the Gentry Center Complex.   

Sonecia Nard, a senior biology major; and Khiri Jenkins, a third-year computer science major, were among the first students at the fair. Nard, who graduates in May, was looking for a full-time position, while Jenkins was looking for an internship opportunity.  

Antoinette Duke, Director of the TSU career Development Center, left, interacts with representatives of BAE Systems, one of the more than 140 companies at the Career Fair. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

“I am looking for opportunities that will help me get more experience in my career field and give me more options of what I want to do with my life,” said Nard, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who was seen talking with representatives of HCA Healthcare. “Although I am a senior, this is my very first career fair. The employers have been very receptive and helpful. It’s been a nice experience.”  

For Jenkins, a native of Atlanta, he is looking for opportunities that can further his education and position him for a bright career.  

Khiri Jenkins, a third-year computer science major, discusses his resume with Emily Burton, Talent Acquisition Manager at JW Marriott. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

“The employers I met were very interested in what I had to say,” said Jenkins. “I am very optimistic about my chances of getting an opportunity with one of these companies.”

The career fair was the second in-person fair since the pandemic. Prior fairs were held virtually. 

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, called this year’s career fair a “home run.” 

“It feels amazing to know that our students are going to be leaving this institution with jobs,” said Stevenson. “That’s our whole goal, to know that they are employable, and have the skill sets that these companies and organizations are looking for.”  

“This is probably one of the better career fairs we’ve had,” added Antoinette Duke, director of the Career Development Center. “We have companies here that have already hired some of our students for the summer. So, this is the place to show up in one location to get as many Tigers as they can.” 

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/careers/ 

Department of Media Relations

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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.