Small town girl joins UA Little Rock Alumni Association
June 10-16, 2019
By Cait Smith
After high school there was no looking back for Reteisha Byrd. “I knew I wanted to go to school in a large city,” she said. “UA Little Rock was the perfect fit for me.” Not only was it the right school, it landed her dream job. As a research manager at Boyette Strategic Advisors, Byrd is able to learn different skill sets, travel to new locations and meet people along the way.
Coming from the small town of Helena, Arkansas, Byrd stated that population was the key factor for her move to the big city. “I always had dreams of being a CEO of a big company,” she said. That inspired her to pursue a degree in business administration at UA Little Rock. During her time there, she volunteered in several campus events and worked part-time for the Single Parent Scholarship Fund – an organization that allows single parents to go back to school by assisting with their funds for housing, food supplies, bills, etc.
Once Byrd received her undergraduate degree, she weighed her options. “I said to myself, what do I do know,” she remembered. “Thankfully, I was working for a nonprofit organization at that time which encouraged me to get my master’s in public administration.” Thus, she continued her education at UA Little Rock.
While Byrd attended graduate school, she also interned at Little Rock Port Authority. A recommendation from the executive director of Port Authority, Brian Day was her introduction to a new job. “The manager at Boyette called and said, ‘I need someone who can do research for me.’ Brian Day said, ‘I have the perfect person,’” she said. During her last semester, Byrd officially started working for Boyette Strategic Advisors.
Although Byrd has found her niche, there are still struggles. “Getting acquainted with new people in new areas is always tough. But I’ve learned to embrace it,” she said. The right attitude has taught her how to conquer the business world. “I get to learn which is the bigger picture – [...] I think whenever you stop learning, you can’t truly enjoy what you do,” Byrd stated.
A few encouraging words from Byrd’s employees at Boyette got her interested in joining the UA Little Rock Alumni Association. “It’s a way for me to give back to my school as well as be involved. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities that they present to us.”
Alumni board members assist in developing scholarships, receive recognition for their noteworthy achievements, utilize career related assistance through alumni mentors and enhance relationships, among other things.
Since joining, Byrd has nothing but good things to say: “I’m on the scholarship committee so being able to read their personal essays and learn what students are going through – it’s a great way for me to be engaged. The school has a lot of great things planned and I’m excited about that.”
An introvert, Byrd has come out of her shell since moving to Little Rock. “Being from Helena, Little Rock is the place to be. There are various opportunities here, I’m lucky to have caught onto one,” she said.
Some information taken from UA Little Rock Communications