B-CU, INROADS Partner for Corporate Development Program
Calvin Stafford, 19, always knew he wanted to be an accountant, but had no idea how he would get a job in the corporate arena. “I plan to get my CPA, and all of that is great. But I really had no plan on how to get an internship in a Fortune 500 company,” the Atlanta native said.
A new partnership between Bethune-Cookman University and INROADS, a national organization that prepares college students for corporate careers, will aid Stafford and others get their foot in the door. The Bethune-Cookman University Corporate Development (BCUCD)/INROADS program will build requisite skills and qualifications of sophomores, juniors and seniors so that they are competitive and successful as they enter the workforce.
Since February, 40 of B-CU’s best and brightest students began the interview process for consideration to be a part of the inaugural cohort of the BCUCD/INROADS initiative. To date, 22 students have been selected to represent Bethune-Cookman in this partnership.
INROADS was founded in 1970 by the late Frank C. Carr. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s landmark “I Have a Dream” speech, Carr quit his executive-level corporate day job and committed to taking swift and decisive action to increase ethnically diverse employees in corporate management in the U.S., and to help change the way these candidates gained entry into the business world.
Carr launched INROADS in his hometown of Chicago with just 25 college student Interns and 17 sponsoring corporations. Today, INROADS is an international organization with over 35 offices serving nearly 2,000 Interns at more than 200 companies.
B-CU President Edison O. Jackson and Vincent Sams, manager of INROADS Florida region, lauded the partnership as an opportunity to help diversify corporate America.
“This is a great day for Bethune-Cookman and we are grateful to God for the blessing. We want employers to seek our graduates because they are so well prepared to meet 21st century challenges,” Jackson said. “INROADS is one of many new initiatives that will propel the university and its students to new heights.”
According to Sams, this is the first INROADS partnership with an historically black college or university. “This partnership will set the stage in showcasing the talent of our HBCUs,” Sams said. “We have the unique opportunity show our 250 corporate partners the talents of students at schools like Bethune-Cookman.”
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.