Students in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s College of Business have a tremendous resource in the State Farm Business Skills Lab where they can work on improving their communication skills.
The lab was established in 2017 with financial assistance from area State Farm agents and a State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship grant. On Wednesday, Jan. 24, State Farm presented $38,000 of a $68,000 gift to the UA Little Rock College of Business for continued support and operations of the Business Skills Lab. The donation includes $30,000 in gifts from 14 State Farm agents in central Arkansas, $30,000 provided by the State Farm Employee Matching Gift Program, and an $8,000 grant to the College of Business.
“State Farm is proud to support the Business Skills Lab at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock through individual donations and a grant,” said Tim Brown, State Farm Sales Leader. “Helping students excel in their studies and preparing them for the workforce of the future benefits all of us.”
“We are grateful for the continued support from State Farm and its local agents,” said Holly Rose, executive director of development for UA Little Rock. “Our students benefit greatly from this resource which helps equip them with the skills and confidence needed to begin or further their careers.”
Hundreds of students have benefited from using the lab, located on the second floor of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business and Economic Development. The lab is equipped with an interactive system that allows students to record sales pitches, marketing presentations, and conduct mock-interviews in a fixed environment. Panelists, professors, and corporate partners can watch live and provide students with instant feedback. Students also use the lab to practice presenting data for their capstone courses.
“Improving your soft skills, being mentored by corporate executives through the software, and the ability to create digital portfolios that our students can share with potential employers or even their families has been a game changer for our students,” said Dr. Lenita Davis, chair of the Marketing Department.
In the photo at top right, area State Farm agents present an oversized check to the UA Little Rock College of Business for the State Farm Business Skills Lab on Jan. 24. Seated (from left): UALR senior marketing student Cliff Haney; State Farm agents Heather Powell of Hot Springs Village and Whitney Owens of Little Rock; and Dr. Jane Wayland, Dean of the College of Business. Standing (from left): Dr. Lenita Davis, chair of Department of Marketing, and State Farm agents Dennis Bost of Little Rock, Pat Frizzell of Little Rock, Anthony Smith of Little Rock, Eric Hodson of North Little Rock; and Anthony Otwell of Maumelle.
Agents who gave but not pictured: Eric Andrews, Don Barrow, Charley Benson, Ike Eisenhauer, Mike Hart, Anthony Smith, and Alvin Smith.