Naija White, a junior majoring in Information Systems at Southern Arkansas University, has been selected for the inaugural class of the Tjuana Byrd Summer Internship Program. White was among 15 successful applicants pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and will be placed in an internship at Windstream.
Windstream is a leading provider of voice and advanced network communications and technology solutions for consumers, small businesses, enterprise organizations, and carrier partners across the U.S. The Windstream headquarters is located in Little Rock, AR.
The native of Lewisville, Arkansas, said she feels “blessed with this amazing opportunity. I am so excited to meet everyone and can’t wait to get hands-on experience in the field.”
White expressed her gratitude to SAU’s faculty for helping her throughout the entire application process. “Without them, this wouldn’t be possible,” she said.
In addition to Windstream, these talented, ambitious young women will be placed in internships with Arkansas industrial leaders such as Acxiom, Central Arkansas Water, and L’Oréal USA. “Each company decided on four interns,” explained White. “I was very fortunate to be selected by Windstream. I will be working in the Information Systems Department.”
Her internship begins on May 24.
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas launched the pilot year of the Tjuana Byrd Summer Internship Program, named after the Foundation’s first Black president. In partnership with the four companies, the Foundation offers a 10-week summer internship program for women of color attending college in Arkansas and pursuing degrees in STEM. Thanks to the companies’ commitment to equity and generosity, the internships pay $15-20 an hour, provide free housing for the summer, access to mentorship and networking, and professional development workshops.
White said the application process included making the initial cut and then an interview, followed by a board decision on internship placement. “The internship fits well with my career plans,” she shared. “It will allow me to get a feel on how I can relate my course work to the job field. Another way that it will help with my career is when I start applying for jobs after graduation, I will have experience and connections to help me along the way.”
White chose SAU as her college home because it offers a great program in the David F. Rankin College of Business. “I’m so glad that I made this decision two years ago,” she enthused. “SAU has helped me blossom and connected me with so many people, which has opened opportunities for me.”
The Rankin College of Business provides a world-class education in a unique environment, as evidenced by AACSB International’s accreditation – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. For more information, please visit https://web.saumag.edu/business/.