Texas Tech University

New Student Organization Aims to Support Black Rawls College Students

Jacob Gordon

November 9, 2021

BBSA 2021

The newly founded organization will provide networking and professional development opportunities to Black Rawls College students.

During fall 2021, the Black Business Student Association (BBSA) was founded within the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business. BBSA is the first student organization in the Rawls College to focus on supporting the academic and professional needs of Black business students.

“Our mission statement is ‘Building you into the future,' and this is supposed to be seen in everything we do and provide to these students,” said Olivia Ofoegbu, a finance major and founding member of BBSA.

A major component that BBSA offers to its members is the ability to establish key networking opportunities between students, faculty, employers and the surrounding community. There will also be an array of opportunities for BBSA members to build on professional skills outside of the classroom by attending paneled discussions and workshops.

“All this serves to ultimately equip students with any and all resources needed to reach their desired goals for becoming successful scholars and business leaders,” said Ofoegbu.

While starting a new student organization presents a myriad of logistical challenges, Ofoegbu also had challenges unique to her own situation.

“This was my first year on the Texas Tech campus because all my classes were online the previous year when I transferred,” said Ofoegbu. “I held no knowledge of Texas Tech or Rawls College, but I asked a lot of questions to guide me in the process.”

One of the people at Texas Tech that Ofoegbu turned to for guidance and faculty advisor recommendations for BBSA was Jade Silva-Tovar, senior director of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Currently serving the role of faculty advisors for BBSA are Corey Evans, assistant professor of practice of accounting, and Quepha Lynn, instructor of accounting.

“It's difficult to understate the importance of representation,” said Evans. “Minority students who cannot see themselves represented in the business community may incorrectly believe that they don't have an opportunity to be successful. Organizations like BBSA are changing that perception and providing our Black students with the place to see themselves in the business industry.”

“The Black Business Student Association satisfies a need that Rawls College has had for a long time,” said Lynn. “It will provide its members with an opportunity to meet professionals who have succeed in environments where the rules were not necessarily established by people who look like them.”

Ofoegbu, who currently serves as the president of BBSA, will work closely with Evans and Lynn in order to achieve her own personal goals for the organization.

“I am looking forward to the impact that this organization creates,” said Ofoegbu. “I want to make sure more than 80% of the students who join this organization find an internship or find that the resources we provide help them in the long run.”

For Ofoegbu, the professional aspect is a key selling point to BBSA, especially when compared to other social organizations on campus like the Black Student Association (BSA).

“Both organizations are very necessary for the kind of institution we attend, and I believe they help Black students find their place in the institution,” said Ofoegbu. “BBSA was organized to meet the needs of African American students as they relate to business.”

Currently, there are approximately 86 student members in BBSA. The organization has bi-weekly meetings on Tuesdays. Interested students can email Ofoegbu for more information.