When Terrance Boyd was a freshman, he was like many University of Arkansas students starting college careers. He had to adjust to a new town – one different from his native Pine Bluff – and to newfound independence. To help ease the transition, he participated in the Connections Mentoring Program, offered through the university’s Multicultural Center. “It’s how I met a lot of the people I still keep in contact with,” he says.
In the program, freshmen are paired with upperclassmen, who serve as mentors. Moved by the experience, Terrance decided to continue his participation in Connections, as a mentor and now as president.
He says he found mentoring so rewarding that he became a counselor for the Business Leadership Academy, which is designed to create awareness of retail industry careers. The 13-day summer residential program for freshmen is sponsored by the Center for Retailing Excellence and the Office of Diversity Programs, both outreach centers at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Boyd says he immediately noticed something when he saw all of those fresh faces. “They grouped up like they had been friends for years,” he says.
Terrance says it was family that got him interested in the University of Arkansas and the Walton College. He says he used to hear stories from his older sister, Whitnee Boyd, about how much she enjoyed attending the university. Her stories of campus life and programs made a lasting impression.
“I would always see things she would do,” he says. “She’s always been a spearhead and trail blazer.”
Now, Terrance is contemplating which trails he will blaze.
Majoring in accounting with a minor in both Spanish and retail, Terrance says he’s keeping an open mind as to what the future holds. He says he likes the idea of working for Walmart as a buyer, perhaps, or a product manager at the Colgate-Palmolive Co. Yet, he wouldn’t rule out going to graduate school or using his Spanish-speaking skills to work with Northwest Arkansas’ Hispanic population.
Then there’s auditing, which he says also fascinates him. “You have to be ethical,” he says. “You have to be alert.”
Terrance says the person who first mentored him in the Connections program now plays a significant role in his day-to-day college activities: they’re fraternity brothers in Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, where Terrance serves as keeper of the records.
His mentoring experiences also led to something else: taking on leadership roles. He serves as vice president of the university’s chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. He says the group recently went to a conference in Austin, Texas, to learn career development skills while, on the home front, sponsoring seminars on resume-building and professional etiquette. It also does community service projects, such as participating in Make a Difference Day, he says.
Terrance also is a Walton College Student Ambassador. As a student ambassador he gives Walton College tours to prospective university students.
While he’s gaining his leadership skills, he says he continues to look up to the leaders at the Walton College, who continue to share their knowledge and inspire.
“The faculty and staff are people with experiences who can tell you, ‘This is how you do it in the real world,’” he says.