UVI Students Capture First Place at Hewlett Packard HBCU Business Competition

(L-R) Gerald Bellot, Joevarny Herbert, Jamilla Connor, Joash Liburd and Orian Stapleton

Five University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) students won the 2nd Annual HP HBCU Business Challenge competition on Nov. 12. The national competition was hosted and sponsored by Hewlett Packard (HP), a multinational enterprise information technology company. The competition is designed to inspire future talent, foster emerging careers in technology and increase student business acumen.

The students representing UVI were Gerald Bellot, Jamilla Connor, Joash Liburd, Joevarney Herbert and Orian Stapleton. Each student will be gifted a HP laptop and printer. If the students choose to apply for one or more open internship positions at HP, they would have the opportunity to present an interview at the HP Boise and Palo Alto locations in California during the week of Jan. 13. While in California, they will have dinner with the president of HP.

“These students deserve all the credit for what they have accomplished. Their entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and amazing tenacity blew the HP executive team out of their seats,” said Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship Dr. Glenn Metts. “As a group they represent the quality of our students and the importance of UVI’s Entrepreneurship Initiatives, which provide them with a stage to exercise their talent.”

The 2018-2019 program goal was to reach a greater number of students and to foster a potential, stronger recruitment pipeline for the company. The program expansion comes on the heels of a successful 2017-2018 year. More than 70 students across 22 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) worked in teams to develop business plans tackling real-world challenges that are core to HP’s business, including Personal Computer (PC) Services Innovation and Office Print Relevance. In addition, students visited key HP business sites and met with executives.

Following the 2017 challenge, HP hired four students as full-time interns, proving the efficacy of the program to support HP’s goals to be an employer of choice among diverse talent and giving fuel to scale the program. The 2017-2018 winners who represented Xavier University (Louisiana) and Delaware State University worked on real-time business issues and presented comprehensive business proposals to HP’s print and personal systems business leadership.

Through the Reinvent Mindsets campaign and programs such as the HBCU Business Challenge, HP strives to cultivate a future talent pool and demonstrate the importance of fostering the next generation of all talent.