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10 WSSU students who attended the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Leadership institute will start 2023 with new job and internship opportunities

Nearly a dozen Winston-Salem State University students will start the new year with new job and internship opportunities.

Ten WSSU students traveled to New York City for the annual Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Leadership institute. The award-winning program is designed to develop student’s leadership skills and make connections with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and graduate program representatives.

This year, the theme of the four-day conference was “Empowered State of Mind.” Empowered is exactly how J’ailon Lewis said she left feeling after the experience. “It was my first time in New York so when we got to the hotel, we were staying at I was just in awe. The companies were amazing the people who work for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund were also excellent it was an all-around great experience,” the junior Mass Communications major said. Lewis wants to pursue a career in journalism and says she’ll learn the skills necessary to be a leader in the newsroom and any other business through the internship she acquired with Vanguard at the TMCF institute.

More than 400 students from across the country attended the event. Ryan Taube, internship coordinator in WSSU’s Career Development Services (CDS) department says the WSSU scholars spent a lot of time preparing to stand out amongst the crowd before they arrived in the Big Apple.

“We spent numerous hours coaching and developing the students over the course of four weeks leading up to the conference,” Taube said. CDS tailored professional development sessions with students attending the Institute to include resume reviews and interview coaching. The students also received tips on business professional dress and a stipend for new business attire.

All the students who attended the conference returned to WSSU with a job or internship offer. I’Nayja Hardy says she also gained a mentor and an experience that she believes she may not have had the opportunity to receive attending another institution. “I’m very grateful to TMCF and WSSU because I have realized as a person of color not many have the opportunity to be in spaces of this caliber,” the Political Science major said.

Taube says he isn’t surprised the students who attended the Institute walked away with such exciting opportunities. “The students who applied to the Leadership Institute can articulate their successes in interview settings very well. They are also very well-rounded students who are active on campus in student organizations and other extracurriculars,” said Taube. Career Development Services takes scholars to the Institute every year. Lewis hopes more of her classmates take advantage of the opportunity. “TMCF has so many opportunities throughout the year so don't even think about whether or not you fit the criteria and if you are worried you won't the WSSU Career Development Services Office will get you well prepared.”

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