Bell Family Foundation Supports Future Careers
By Lea Hart
A significant gift from the Bell Family Foundation will impact how NC State University’s Poole College of Management guides current and future students in identifying and securing their career paths.
The Bell Family Foundation Career Center Excellence Fund will provide support to Poole College’s Career Center, which guides and assists students in their personal and professional development –– determining career goals, building their resumes, and searching for internship and full-time jobs. The center also partners with more than 200 corporate recruiters from companies of all sizes to visit campus and host information sessions, interview candidates, or speak with students about various roles with their organizations.
The Bell Family Foundation is directed by McNair and Laura Bell, as well as his siblings and their spouses. McNair and Laura met at NC State prior to graduating in 1987, and recently celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary. Bell says today that he is most grateful to NC State for connecting him to his wife and providing them the opportunity to raise their three children together.
The family and the foundation have lent their support to NC State in a variety of ways over the years, including to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC State Libraries, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and through annual giving. Two of their three children attended Poole College – Brady (‘14) and Austin, a rising senior in Poole College and a member of the Poole College Ambassadors.
McNair Bell is a Real Estate Developer at Marjan Ltd in Raleigh and a member of the Wolfpack Investor Network. He said the decision to support Poole College and specifically the Career Center came, in part, through discussions about the college’s goals and a desire to help students begin their careers.
“Poole College wants to produce graduates who are competitive in the market and capable of making an impact in their careers,” he said. “It made sense to us to support the school and the students going forward.”
Poole College wants to produce graduates who are competitive in the market and capable of making an impact in their careers.
Peyton Stokley, director of development and external relations for Poole College, said the Bell Family Foundation gift will provide a lasting legacy that will lend itself to advancements within career services in areas such as technology, professional development programming and career preparation activities. At the same time, the flexibility of the gift allows the college to be future focused.
“This is a gift that will elevate the opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate career services to move the needle,” she said. “We don’t know what the future holds; that’s why endowments like this are so critical.”
The Bell Family Foundation Interview Room is to be named in recognition of the family’s generosity. The room serves as a space on campus for students to build their interview skills in mock interviews and resume reviews, and well as a space for in-person, phone or video conference interviews that give future graduates an edge in a competitive employment market.
Poole College is one of the few colleges on campus with a dedicated career services branch. Brian Newton, director of undergraduate programs for the Poole College of Management Career Center, talked about the wide role of career services, from assisting students in figuring out what they want to do with their degree, to internship and job search preparation to career events, recruiting and networking opportunities. Within his undergraduate division, 80 to 85 percent of graduates have completed an internship or co-op experience.
“Experiential education is extremely important for our undergraduate students and we work closely with our students,” he said.
Over the last few years, Poole College has revamped its space to create the internal career center. The new layout provides space for undergraduate and graduate career services, as well two dedicated interview rooms, Newton said.
We hope focusing in on career services will have a lasting impact on generations to come and shine a light on the importance of early career support for business students.
He expressed appreciation to the Bell Family for their focus on career and professional development.
“To see this level of support is really outstanding and fantastic,” Newton said.
The Bells recently visited campus to hear about all that is happening within career services, and about some of the division’s goals moving forward.
“We hope focusing in on career services will have a lasting impact on generations to come and shine a light on the importance of early career support for business students,” McNair Bell said.