The HEMM conference will take place this Saturday, September 24, 2022 at Huntsman Hall. Credit: Lillian Xue
On Saturday, Black Wharton will host the 37th Annual Howard E. Mitchell Memorial (HEMM) Conference, a business conference open to all students.
The HEMM conference – which Black Wharton describes as the “first calendar event” – aims to introduce students to the business field, regardless of their graduate school. Students participating in the program have the opportunity to participate in panels with well-known speakers, attend professional workshops and explore career fairs.
Wharton Jr. Jessica Breville and Wharton graduate student Patrick Ngoma, co-chairs of the conference, will chair the event and award HEMM grants to two students for their leadership, community involvement and personal development.
“The reason [the HEMM Conference was] was made to receive [Black students] Bring companies to them to enable further diversity improvements in the corporate space,” said Breville.
First held in 1986, Black Wharton co-produced with Howard E. The HEMM Convention was established to honor the life and legacy of Mitchell, a former Penn professor and one of the university’s first black faculty members. During his time at Penn, Mitchell devoted himself to corporate social responsibility.
“The entire conference focused on corporate social responsibility and diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace,” said Breville. “There are so many possibilities for something that can be valuable [students who attend],
Networking is a big part of the conference program. Attendees will attend career fairs alongside well-known HEMM sponsor companies such as CapitalOne and Morgan Stanley. Students must complete a resume submission to attend the conference, allowing companies to screen and scout students for future business opportunities.
The conference will host scheduled speaker events as well as professional skill-building workshops, which the organizers say is the most valuable aspect of the conference.
“By far the most important part of the HEMM conference is the opportunity to hear from our speakers,” Ngoma said. “I’ve had the opportunity to interact with most of them; These people are wise.”
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This year’s conference consists of panelists working in different fields. Your conversation will focus on the Congress theme of Corporate Social Responsibility and Black Experiences in the Workplace.
Breville and Ngoma said they want to encourage non-professional students to attend the conference. The conference organizers hope that the wide range of activities at the event will allow everyone to take away something of value from the conference.
“Business is all-encompassing, no matter the field of study,” Ngoma said. “Take the time to attend HEMM…there is so much to learn.”