“I look at this as marketing with a purpose.”
Whitnee Boyd, BSBA ’09
Student Development Specialist and Recruitment Coordinator
Student Support Services
University of Arkansas
Whitnee Boyd now has an office. It’s located in the office of Student Support Services here at the University of Arkansas. And she realizes that not long ago, she could have been a student sitting in the chair that’s in front of her desk.
Boyd works as a student development specialist and recruitment coordinator, but she says she often draws from her knowledge gained as an undergraduate at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “My students kind of serve as my customers,” she says.
Boyd assists students with matriculating through the university and keeps them moving toward graduation. She also recruits students for Student Support Services and speaks to different groups and organizations. Still, the students leave the lasting impressions. “I think that’s the most rewarding part of the job: developing relationships with the students,” she says.
In turn, she tells them to build relationships with others. “Take advantage of the things you learn inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom,” she tells them.
Boyd, formerly of Pine Bluff, is experiencing her first year in the “real world” after earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing at the Walton College and a master’s degree in higher education at Louisiana State University in 2011. As a business student, Boyd worked for Walton College’s Center for Retail Excellence and became president of its student advisory board. She also had a summer sales and management internship with Bridgestone/Firestone at a store in Baton Rouge, La., when she was an undergraduate.
Boyd says she wanted to pursue a career in higher education that would allow her to use her marketing skills. She became a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Undergraduate Fellows Program, which provides mentors for undergraduate students wishing to learn more about fields in higher education and public affairs. Her duties as a Walton College Student Ambassador, where she gave prospective students tours of the business school, also provided early experiences in recruiting. Along the way, she became interested in student retention and how she could help students stay in school.
Boyd says her support system at the University of Arkansas, which included her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, carried her to other areas. When she was elected to the University of Arkansas homecoming court in 2008, she was surprised to receive so much support. “I felt a lot of love from my Walton family,” she says.
While working toward her master’s degree in higher education, she says she found her business knowledge helpful; she was a teaching assistant in a business class offered at Louisiana State University. When she had earned her master’s degree, returning to the University of Arkansas was a natural fit for her, she says.
“I felt like I got a lot when I was here, and I felt like it was a chance to give back to the university,” she says.
Boyd does it through her marketing skills. She jokes that she promotes the program and builds customer relationships by using “The Four Ps of Marketing”: price, product, placement and promotion – something that was drilled into her as an undergraduate. She also gives “supply and demand” talks to her students. “I look at this as marketing with a purpose,” she says.