BY: KIARRA DELOUIS
The Black Pre-Professional Society (BPS) had its debut meeting at American University, Wednesday April 17 in the Butler Boardroom. This chapter was inspired by a similar society founded at Columbia University in 2017, according to a statement made by Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Duval on the BPS' Facebook Page. The BPS' goal is to develop programming that will connect students of color with alumni, employment opportunities, and internships.
A mixture of underclassmen and upperclassmen attended this event, evidence of this organization's refreshing appeal. An excited line of people rushed to get the food catered by Oohs and Aahs, a popular soul food restaurant in D.C. Afterwards, everyone returned to their tables and participated in a 45 minute discussion that was centered around the BPS' future goals.
"A friend of mine started a chapter of Black Pre-professional Society at Columbia University and after seeing the incredible opportunities that her organization created for its members, I knew there needed to be a chapter on AU's campus. I'm a part of AU BPS because I want to see Black students excel professionally and academically. I want there to be an environment where Black young professionals can network, gain career insights, and share our experiences. I'm hopeful that AU BPS will foster that environment," Duval said.
During the 45 minute discussion, students rose their hands and shared stories about the difficulties they have encountered in the job/internship search process and what resources can be improved at AU.
Junior Kerry-Ann Lombela, a public relations major with a business and entertainment minor, said that sometimes it can be challenging to not get caught up or discouraged by the big name companies that people post and flaunt on LinkedIn. "Its important to learn how to be happy with earning an opportunity even if its with a company or organization that has a small name," Lombela said.
Sophomore Jamaal Beazer, a business administration major with a concentration in entrepreneurship, said that he chose to attend this event because he wants to be a part of a positive environment run by and attended by black students on campus.
"Here we struggle to find true authentic spaces where black people freely fellowship and lift each other upâ€¦It's no myth that we as a community are fractured, and I want to do all I can to make sure I'm pushing our community in the right direction," Beazer said.
BPS members have hope that the club will continue to grow in the future, but count their first meeting as a success. "It was a great turnout," Chief of Marketing, Sophie Austin said. Follow the BPS' page on Instagram @aubps for information about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.