By Emmanuel Freeman
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Thirty TSU students are taking part in a paid, seven-week virtual summer experience with PetSmart, the nation’s largest retailer of pet products and services. The TSU Career Development Center is coordinating the training, which began June 21 and ends August 6.
Participants, who are mostly freshmen and sophomores, receive training in personal development, business, and leadership as part of PetSmart’s diversity and inclusion initiative. The initiative offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in areas such as relationship building, effective presentation, emotional intelligence and team building.
“This training allows me to take another look at myself as I prepare for the business world,” says Tanya McNeal of Milwaukee, a young agricultural science student with a business concentration. “They really go out of their way to make sure you understand yourself and how you develop as an individual in terms of emotional control.”
Zoe Brown, a sophomore in psychology with a minor in entrepreneurship, says it’s been very encouraging for PetSmart to reach out to students to learn more about its business practices.
“In entrepreneurship, you learn how to run a business primarily on your own and it can be challenging and challenging,” says Brown, of Austell, Georgia, “For PetSmart, which has been around for years in terms of professional development to tend hand and providing this opportunity is really helpful when I have my own business.
Denzel Wilcox, a sophomore of commerce from Nashville, adds, “This summer experience gives me an edge in learning the ropes to become a good intern. It exposes me to the corporate world as a business major.
Participants in the PetSmart Summer Experience Learning Series earn $15 per hour for three hours per week. The retail giant is backing the training with a $20,000 donation to the university.
Lauren Givens, Emerging Talent Manager at PetSmart, explains that the training program aims to fill the void in soft skills such as emotional intelligence, which are not taught in school, as well as to develop a pool of students ready to fill a potential internship or full-time employment with their company.
“At PetSmart, we seek to develop and retain top talent from all walks of life to truly drive innovation and deliver superior results,” says Givens, adding that TSU’s offerings of supply chain focus, Business, marketing and fashion merchandising programs were essential in reaching out to college.
“So one of the things we’re developing this program for is to really create a career path. If individuals come to this summer experience, the hope is that when we start opening up our internship or full-time opportunities at PetSmart, we will have a pipeline of ready-to-go students that we can contact.
Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of TSU’s Career Development Center, says the center’s goal is to provide career preparation opportunities to “prepare our students to enter the workforce,” and the summer experience from PetSmart helps achieve this goal.
“The center is proud to partner with PetSmart to bring this first summer PetSmart experience to our students,” says Duke. “We are excited about this seven-week business and leadership series which gives these 30 students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the retail industry, as well as gain career readiness skills. careers sought by employers.
Based in Phoenix, PetSmart has approximately 56,000 employees and operates approximately 1,650 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.