Presbyterian College Hosts Black History Month Alumni Panel


The Black History Month Alumni Panel had great advice for current undergraduate students preparing to enter the workforce.

Mitchell Mercer, Staff Writer

During Black History Month, Presbyterian College hosted an alumni panel featuring black students that had graduated from Presbyterian College in the past.

Hosted on February 25th by the office of Career and Professional Development, the panel had five alumni in attendance: Noelle Carter ‘15, Devron Glenn ‘16, Floyd Michael Nicholson ‘14, Jada Suber ‘15, and Stephon Williams ‘12.

Kim Lane, Director of the Career and Professional Development, said that the event was intended for students to know more about the transition from the post-college world to the workforce, and the different career paths that each of the alumni have chosen. 

Career & Professional Development hosts a variety of career programming for students on various topics. Our recent alumni panel showcased talented Presbyterian College alumni so that current students could see how to make the transition from college student to working professional successfully.  Our programming is intended to expand the worldview of our students to see the variety of careers attainable with a liberal arts degree and to leverage their connections with alumni to move their career plans forward” she says.

Some of the alumni in attendance were former Presbyterian College student athletes. One of them, Nolle Carter ‘15, says being a part of the women’s basketball team during her PC days helped her later on in the business world. 

“I think it was huge. Any business, any role that you’re in your career you have to be a team player, but you also have to be able to push each other to be better. And I think when you’re on a team you really learn how to do that properly. You also learn how to communicate in really stressful situations, listening to what’s being said and not how it’s being said because there’s something going on that is troubling that person. So it’s a ton of emotional intelligence that you learn as being around a group of people who you get to call your teammates and that’s the same when you’re in any role in an organization” she says.

Nolle Carter, a 2015 PC graduate and former women’s basketball player, was on the alumni panel.

Carter is a 2015 Business Administration graduate, currently working as a Product Manager in Philadelphia, and she says that connecting with former alumni from PC played a big role in helping her get to where she is today.

As a point guard on the team, Carter said that the competitiveness from her basketball days translates well into the business field. Part of her job is to make sure that she and her coworkers work well together because her company competes with other businesses in the same industry, and teamwork is essential at her company. 

“There’s also a level of competitiveness that really helps you in the business world. You definitely want to work with your teammates to kill the competition whoever they are and being a college athlete definitely gives you a leg up in that environment” Carter says.

Another PC graduate, Dr. Floyd Michael Nicholson, majored in Chemistry and currently works for the South Carolina Department of Corrections in Columbia as a dentist. Nicholson also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. Following Presbyterian College, Nicholson entered medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina to get his dental license.

Nicholson was one of three African-American students in his whole dental class. Despite this, Nicholson knew that he needed to stand out among his class in order to get where he wanted to be.

“I decided that by being the only African-American male in my dental school class I could use this as an advantage rather than a set back. This attribute made me unique and definitely made me stand out in my class. I introduced myself to everyone and got my name out there. When you are the “only” in whatever situation it may be, that means that you will be remembered. The way that you are remembered is completely up to you. I decided I wanted to be remembered as an individual who was willing to help others and promote the college as a whole, which I did through my leadership and time spent on MUSC SGA, admissions committee for the dental school, and other organizations” he says.

Dr. Floyd Michael Nicholson ’14 majored in chemistry at PC and is now a practicing dentist.

At the event, one of the key messages was for students to find an area of study they’re really passionate about, and do everything they can to reach out to fellow alumni in that field of study so that they can be successful from the start.

At this point, Dr. Nicholson said that employers can’t really see who you are unless you take these steps.

“You will never truly grow and find your true self until you are pushed out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it takes being uncomfortable for a moment to get you in a position later in life where you are extremely comfortable. My advice is this: even if you’re not qualified for a job at all, apply anyway to show that initiative and show that you are wanting to learn and grow and excel in your selected career path” he says.

As for Carter, she says that it is still very important, no matter what field a student goes into, for them to practice what they’re good at so they can be very successful in any post-college atmosphere.

“I think I over prepared and that’s something again that I learned while being a college athlete. You know if you want to do really well, you have to get shots up when no one’s looking, you have to put in the time and effort in practice and that comes with anything. That comes with any craft. So if you want to be a great salesman, you have to practice, you have to study. If you have to be a great product manager, you have to know your product and landscape and be the best at that as well.” So I think preparation is the key to really standing out in my career so far” Carter says.