SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center took 10 Dedman College students on a field trip in November to visit three Dallas employers: the Center for Nonprofit Management, Sewell Automotive and Southwest Airlines. The kickoff “Hit the Pavement” event introduced students to the organizations’ leaders, as well as career opportunities for liberal arts majors.
“What I liked most about the trip was having that close and intimate access to very influential and prominent people within the Dallas area,” says sophomore George Williams, Jr. “Also, I got to see a handful of current SMU students who are completing internships with Southwest, and hearing their success stories was a very neat aspect of the trip.”
The 10 Dedman College students were selected to participate in the event through an application and interview process. Jessica Lewis, assistant director at the career center, says the first “Hit the Pavement” probably won’t be the last.
“Students were asking me how they can help bring it back in the spring,” she says. “We’ve already had several students who said they will submit their resumes at some of the companies we visited.”
Lewis says the career center targeted liberal arts students because they sometimes have a less defined career path than their peers in business, engineering and the arts. The event exposed the students to internships and jobs that allow them to use the skills they have learned in a wide variety of majors.
Cynthia Nunn, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management, talked to the group about opportunities at nonprofit companies. Carl Sewell ’66 (in photo), chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies and former chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, talked to students about the core values at his company and strategies for success. The group concluded its tour at Southwest Airlines, meeting with interns and a full-time employee who is an SMU graduate.
“The event was a great way to explore potential career opportunities right here in Dallas,” says senior Christie Pearson.
To read more from the students who took part in the job blitz, visit the career center’s blog.
– Chris Dell ’11