Students head to New York

Six Florida A&M University students have been chosen to attend the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Institute. FAMU students Rachel Hill, Jillian Jones, John E. Williams, Kashif Smiley and Nelson German were chosen to attend the prestigious event. The conference is sponsored by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and will be held in New York on Oct. 24-27.

Williams, a student ambassador, said the conference will help build black leaders.

“It’s a conference that invites students from all the public Historically Black Colleges and Universities to come out and take part in leadership training, a career fair and different sessions that deal with professional development,” Williams said.

Every year FAMU sends five to 10 qualified students to represent the university. This is also true for the other public HBCU’s. According to Williams, in order to qualify you must have at least a 3.0 GPA and strong leadership skills and abilities.

This year, Williams said representatives wanted specific people.

“For this conference they were looking for juniors and seniors, “Williams said.

According to Williams, the students are interviewed by regional representatives who then choose who will attend.

Kashif Smiley, 22, institute recipient from Miami said that the interview was short.

“They gave you a situation and you give them your result,” Smiley said.

Terra King, 22, from Albany, Ala. described the interviewing process as behavioral based.

“We were asked questions such as how we would act in a group setting or about a time you had to take ownership and leadership in a project,” King said.

She also said recruiters wanted prior job and internship experiences. Interviewers also gave constructive feedback on professional attire.

“They are also looking for motivation and determination to network with people from other companies and people who are willing to take on new things and improve their life,” King said.

Williams said he thinks the free conference is a great opportunity.

“The institute covers all the costs except for the registration fees, which the university covers.” Williams said.