Guest View: Paul Quinn’s Corporate Work Program Expands Networks, Horizons

Evin McElway, Dallas Reginal Chamber Paul Quinn Intern

Evin McElway

Paul Quinn College is an institution full of opportunities, milestones, and benefits for aspiring individuals looking for success in the real world. Being only a second-semester freshman at Paul Quinn, I have already benefited from some of the school’s goals, values, and teachings relating to success in the workforce and the corporate world.

Paul Quinn is the nation’s first Urban Work College. This designation requires that if I live in on-campus housing, then I am expected to work on the campus. In turn, this grants me a $2,500 scholarship per semester, adding up to $5,000 per year. This system was implemented by our school’s president, Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, to help students avoid taking on large amounts of student debt. Students get paid monthly from their on-campus jobs, and the posts can range from working in the fitness center to being a student ambassador for the school, to working on the student/staff-maintained Paul Quinn WE Over Me Farm. Each job depends on the interests and career aspirations of the student.

This translates into the next innovation of Paul Quinn, demonstrating just how much the school invests in student success. After showing exemplary performance in my on-campus job while also maintaining great academic achievement in my studies, I was selected for an interview and internship with the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC). While working as an intern with the DRC’s Education & Workforce team, I gained valuable knowledge and experience. I learned about corporate etiquette and company culture by working in the downtown Dallas office of the DRC and attending meetings with my team. I expanded my communication skills, from learning how to use Outlook to contact multiple DRC departments, to making phone calls to various schools and school districts in the Dallas Region to update a mission-critical DRC database.

The benefits of the Paul Quinn’s corporate work program are considerable. The extensive work exposure and experience students gain in the corporate world can be leveraged to build their resumes for future careers. I have substantially expanded my professional network through the people I met at the DRC. For example, my fellow team member, Elizabeth Caudill – Managing Director of Higher Education – took me with her to meetings so I could gain confidence and exposure in the corporate world. Traveling with the education team has also helped me improve my ability to navigate the Dallas Region, which, as a new resident of the city, has been one of the most important bonuses to me.

Aside (and perhaps more importantly) from gaining corporate work experience and building an incredible network at the DRC, I also ate delicious food! The atmosphere, culture, and people of the DRC made this an awesome experience from the start to the end of my internship. I would not have been in this great position had it not been for Paul Quinn, its Corporate Work Program, and the Dallas Regional Chamber. I will always be thankful for this opportunity, and I look forward to the experiences I will have in the future to leverage this exposure.

Evin McElway is completing his freshman year at Paul Quinn College in Dallas.