Ebony Wyatt’s third job interview with General Mills Inc. didn’t exactly go as planned. At the first one, she was dressed in her best business suit and was invited back for a second-round interview. That went well, too.
Or so she thought. When she didn’t hear back, she began to wonder.
Dr. Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, encouraged Wyatt to reach out to General Mills. That’s when Wyatt learned the recruiter had left a message for her several days earlier, but her roommate never relayed the message. Worse, the recruiter, who was in town to interview job candidates, was packing her bags for a return trip home.
There was still hope, however.
The recruiter asked Wyatt, a senior finance student at the Walton College, if she could meet her in 30 minutes for an interview. She told Ebony to come as is, and Ebony rushed to meet her, wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, and fielded questions as to why she was the best person for the internship.
She nailed it.
“Had it not been for Dr. Lofton telling me to email the recruiter and follow up, I probably wouldn’t be working for General Mills today,” Wyatt says.
Now, more than a decade later, Wyatt has worked her way up to Senior Customer Manager with General Mills and works with brands such as Hamberger Helper, Progresso soup and Old El Paso. She also manages a team of five employees.
Though Wyatt has a bachelor’s degree in finance, she says her job requires her to understand all aspects of business, from product marketing to the distribution and supply chain network. “It’s great to see your work from beginning to end,” she says.
Wyatt says her core business classes at the Walton College helped her develop a broad sense of business and not just a finance viewpoint. “I feel like I had a very well-rounded experience at the Walton College,” she says.
Wyatt grew up about an hour south of Fayetteville in Fort Smith. While in high school, she attended the Accounting Careers Awareness Program, a one-week residency program designed to introduce high school students to the accounting field and other areas of business administration through a carefully tailored curriculum. The experience led her to enroll at the University of Arkansas and, more particularly, in the Walton College. As a student, Wyatt was the recipient of the Arkansas Academic Challenge and Yvonne Keaton-Martin scholarships, among others.
Throughout her college career, Wyatt turned to Lofton for guidance. Anything that I needed, Dr. Lofton was able to help,” Wyatt says.
Now, Wyatt returns the favor by visiting the Walton College as a recruiter for General Mills, giving soon-to-be business graduates an opportunity to learn more about working with the Fortune 500 company. She also serves on the Walton College Alumni Advisory Council and the University of Arkansas Black Alumni Society Board.
While not at work, Wyatt and her husband, William, are parents to a toddler son, Cannon. “Although I’m managing a fast-paced job, a dual career household and being a new mom, I’m enjoying every minute of it,” she says.