LSU, Alumnus Bradie James Partner to Create Internships for Students

Bradie James Interns11/12/2020
BATON ROUGE – For a second year, LSU alumnus Bradie James and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, or ODEI, have collaborated to create summer internships for upperclassmen. The program has grown from three interns in the first year to five in 2020. Through the Tiger Research Group, the interns spent two weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada, to gain real-world experience in entrepreneurship—from production to marketing and sales.

Mentorship is a critical component of the internship, with students receiving firsthand coaching advice from James, former pro-athlete turned business leader and entrepreneur. Throughout the internship, James shares his life experiences, and ability to navigate obstacles and challenges he has faced along the way.

“Being a student-athlete at LSU taught me how to overcome obstacles by persevering through adversity and execute at a high level while maintaining character and integrity,” James said.

Interns were selected from three different student leadership programs of ODEI—the Presidents Millennial Scholars Program, the Black Male Leadership Initiative, and the Black Women’s Empowerment Initiative.

“What’s so exciting about this internship is that we’re leveraging our partnership with a committed former student to create opportunities for today’s students,” said Brandon Smith, PMSP director. “This is what it means to pay-it-forward.”

Bradie James InternshipOlolade Adeola, a biology and chemical engineering senior from Baton Rouge, was among this year’s interns, and expressed excitement at the classroom to workforce connection.

“I was shocked to see the knowledge that I’ve learned in the engineering classes and chemistry labs transferred over,” she said. “Most of the devices in the TRG labs were instrumentations I’ve [already] used, just on a larger scale. Because of this I was more comfortable and took ownership in the projects and experiments we were involved in.”

Internships, mentoring, and experimental learning are among several strategies employed by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to cultivate leadership and professionalism among its students.

“We firmly believe that undergraduate co-curricular experiences differentiate our students as leaders,” said Dereck Rovaris, LSU vice provost for diversity. “As we accelerate our institutional commitment to equity and inclusion, we hope to develop more opportunities like this in the near future.”

For his part, James encourages his fellow alums to consider creating opportunities for today’s students. He added, “It has been my pleasure to connect and engage with current students to ensure that we all can be Fierce for the Future.” 

According to Adeola, it is a worthy investment.

“It was an absolute honor and privilege to be selected. I was exposed to what many people wish they knew before [graduating]. I grew confidence, and will forever be grateful for this experience!” she said.

The LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a division of the Office of Academic Affairs and provides support, referral and information to students, faculty and staff on issues and concerns.

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Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations


Brandon M. Smith
Presidents Millennial Scholars Program