On a frosty morning in mid-April, around eighty multicultural Ducks boarded two busses and headed north to Portland for the UO Diversity Career Symposium, a day of workshops and networking at the Multnomah Athletic Club.
Nearly half of the students on the bus came from the Lundquist College's Building Business Leaders cohort and its affiliate, the CEO Network. Both initiatives are designed to foster professional success for students of color.
An inspiring talk from former University of Oregon basketball player and author of Water the Bamboo Greg Bell capped off a day jam-packed with workshops and panel discussions. Next, it was time to head upstairs for the career fair, where representatives from more than forty companies and organizations stood ready to engage with students.
"Employers recognize our students' academic achievements and the crucial perspective they bring to the table," said Ronnie Casanova, Lundquist College Career Services' Portland-based assistant director of employer development.
The driving force behind the event was the Multicultural Career Alliance (MCA), a multidisciplinary collective that includes the UO's Career Center, Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence, and the Office of the Dean of Students, as well the Lundquist College of Business.
Though MCA has organized career-focused days since 2001, this year's event was notable for its scale and the variety of opportunities it provided.
"Our goal was to engage more students with more employers in more valuable interactions," said Tayah Butler, the undergraduate advisor who heads up the Lundquist College's Building Business Leaders initiative. "We pushed the throttle on all three pedals."
Download the event program and get a taste of the excitement in the video above.