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Project Lead Gives ATU Business Students a Head Start

The Arkansas Tech Business School held its first Project Lead Seminar on Sunday, August 14th in the Chambers Cafeteria West dining room.

Thirty-eight students from the Arkansas Tech Business School kicked off the fall 2022 semester by attending a seminar titled Project Lead on Sunday, August 14th.

Highlights include a team-building exercise with Fort Smith-based facilitator and speaker, Dr. Phillip McClure, and a personal presentation from Michele McWilliams, an Arkansas Tech graduate with 25 years of teaching experience and multiple certifications. It contained messages about identifying and leveraging strengths. Coaching leader, individual, team, organization.

The project lead was made possible by a grant from the Loyd Foundation, which has been working on this initiative for five years.

“I was nervous today,” she said. It’s the beginning of meeting people and knowing that someone is there for you.”

An 18-year-old real estate agent, Christensen plans to major in business data analytics at Arkansas Tech.

“I like numbers,” said Christensen. “In the long term, I would like to do process improvement and project management from the business side of a manufacturing company. My mother was an engineer, so I have always grown up around engineering. I think, but from a business point of view.”

ATU freshman Alexis Lara’s business interests lie in sales. She and Christensen met at a seminar at her project lead and became friends.

“I love talking to people,” said Lara, who is from Maumer and will be majoring in marketing. “The older I get, the more I realize how much I love people and how much I love talking to them.”

Lara discovered early on that ATU was the right place for her.

“I loved Arkansas Tech when I visited,” said Lara. “I looked at some other colleges, but I knew…I came here and I literally love this place. The more connections you have, the more successful you can be, and that’s what it takes to get a place.”

Jad Salaita was also one of the participants in the project lead seminar. Originally from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Salaita graduated from ATU with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is about to complete his ATU Master of Business Administration degree this fall with a focus on business his data analytics.

When asked about project leads, Salaita said: “The engagement and energy was really great. I feel that I have improved my communication skills by gaining knowledge about interviews and how to ask questions.”

Project Lead was devised by Kathy and Randy Loyd of the Loyd Foundation and Dr. Russ Jones, President of the ATU College of Business and Economic Development, as a way to help Arkansas Tech business students build better relationships with each other. I was.

Jones thanked Mr. and Mrs. Lloyds for their investment of resources and energy in leading the project.

“Engagement was our focus all day,” says Jones. “You can’t just go to class and go back to your dormitory. I’m very lucky at the ATU School of Business, because every Wednesday for nine months, I have activities for students. From guest speakers to resume building, success. Everything from dressing up for.”

Going forward, high-level student ambassadors from the ATU School of Business will be paired with freshman project lead participants. A networking lunch will be funded where older students can share their wisdom and knowledge with younger students.

“Once seniors enter the world of business and freshmen become seniors,” says Jones. workplace. These seniors can reach out to incoming freshmen and let them know what they need to prepare. Having contacts willing to share. “

After the first day of the program, Christensen already felt connected to the mission.

“I loved learning to communicate better,” Christensen said. “That’s something I struggled with when I was younger. I was always very shy. Learning how to have meaningful conversations is very important.

“I really like the idea of ​​being fully self-aware,” Christensen continued. “Know your strengths, know your weaknesses, and learn how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. .”

For more information on the ATU School of Business, please visit