The Birmingham Business Alliance’s Magic City Classic Talent Recruitment Project (TRP) provided an innovative platform for leading businesses to engage and make vital connections with 160 STEM and business students from 14 different colleges across the state last Friday.
Bruno Events Team, the City of Birmingham and the BJCC helped sponsor the dynamic event that encompassed over 230 people who engaged in speed mentoring, a panel discussion, a career fair and a networking lunch.
Students attending the TRP event represented several different colleges including Alabama State University, Alabama A&M University, Auburn University, Stillman College, Miles College, Lee University in Tennessee and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“Birmingham continues to increase its presence as a destination city for millennials and recent college graduates,” said Waymond Jackson, vice president of workforce and education at the Birmingham Business Alliance. “Since 2010, Birmingham has seen a 56 percent increase in its young professional population. Efforts to strategically recruit diverse talent to our region and connect them with employers goes a long way towards supporting the continued momentum of talent attraction to Birmingham.”
There was a question and answer period after the panel discussion with Melanie Maddox of BBVA Compass; Jason Watters of Alabama Power Co.; Concetta Lewis of Fetch Marketing; and Kendra Thompson of the University of Alabama at Birmingham participated in a panel discussion where students were also able to ask questions about entering a professional work environment.
“Just be yourself so employers can gain a real sense of who you are and the positive traits you have to offer, rather than putting forth a façade,” said Melanie Maddox of BBVA Compass when asked about confidence during interviews.
To provide a glimpse into the quality of life in Birmingham, students were also treated to a networking lunch with employers, alumni of both Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University, and other Birmingham young professionals at Cantina Laredo in the Uptown district.
“The Birmingham Business Alliance Talent Recruitment Event is always worthwhile to attend,” said Precious Pearson, a previous participant in the TRP program hired by BBVA Compass. “As a former student, I can attest to the exposure to career opportunities and valuable networking experience gained from this event.”