Most college students are looking for ways to help pay for college. Plenty of businesses need part-time help from able-bodied, college-aged people. That’s where the Okra Works program at Delta State is trying to bridge the gap between the two.
Davlon Miller, director of Career Services at Delta State, has created a program that will connect students who need help to pay for school and businesses who need workers — the Okra Works Program. Currently, the program is in its pilot stage, and Miller is looking for both students and businesses to match up together.
“This is a program that allows students to work in a part-time situation and allows them to focus on their studies on campus,” Miller said. “We mimic it after the amount of tuition needed for a student.”
The student would essentially work for a company and the money earned would go directly to pay for their college.
“We balance it out and allow them to work for that employer for that amount of money,” he said. “But we know that it won’t always work out evenly so there is an option for the employer to give the student a scholarship to make up the difference.”
If tuition is $3,200 and if a student works 10 hours a week over a four-month period, the student would make about $1,700 or more.
“If the student is in good standing and everything has gone well and according to plan, the employer will pay a ‘merit scholarship’ as well. It’s a good incentive for the student to do well,” he said.
While it is in the pilot stage, Miller is searching for businesses to take part.
“I’ve been working on it for a while now and I’m looking to get it off the ground,” he said. “We can try our best to match up students with a business related to their major, but we would place students in businesses that have a need.”
Students can sign up on the career services web page and businesses need to contact Miller directly via email at email@example.com or call him at (662) 846-4646 to take part in the program. Miller is actively searching and seeking both qualified students and businesses. The program will have students ready for businesses to hire.
“We do some screening up front when students apply to see what their need is and their skills are. Businesses don’t normally have time to pre-screen as we do,” Miller said. “We can give them a cross section of students that have applied.”
Okra Works — a program that will benefit both students and businesses.
Delta State University management major Lindsey Lamensdorf was recently named a FedEx intern.
After a rigorous interview process competing against hundreds of students from institutions throughout the Southeast, Lamensdorf is one of just a handful of interns who will serve at FedEx, the global courier delivery services company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
Lamensdorf, a senior from Rolling Fork, Mississippi, is thrilled to begin the position in June. She will specifically be working in FedEx’s freight division.
“It was really exciting to find out I was one of the selections,” she said. “It was very intimidating going through a series of interviews. I’m very honored to have this opportunity from FedEx.
“I think it’s important to get some real-world experience before you go out into a career. You can use that knowledge and actually apply it to the real-world.”
Every semester FedEx travels to universities throughout the region to recruit student interns in the internal auditing department. Applicants must meet certain academic criteria and go through several phases of interviews and callbacks before being selected.
FedEx’s internships offer students the opportunity to take on some of the same responsibilities of senior auditors and audit advisers. They are treated as staff accountants and are introduced to audit customers as associate auditors.
Interns work in teams on small projects, are provided opportunities for business travel and eventually work on larger individual projects. Participants have a significant chance of being hired by the company after graduating from college.
Lamensdorf is also active in a number of student organizations across campus, including the Student Government Association, Business Student Advisory Council, Union Program Council and Kappa Delta sorority.
She thanked Davlon Miller and Amy Cottrell with Delta State Career Services for prepping her before the interviews.
“We are honored that Lindsey will represent Delta State and the College of Business for this prestigious internship,” said Miller. “She is an excellent fit for the position. Our office is here to help students with career guidance, and we encourage all students to utilize our resources.”