It was not a coincidence that Jarrion Harris and Delya Jackson ended up at the same place at the same time. Who would have known the path that led them to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff would lead them together?

They will both begin working as programming application analysts at Tyson Foods in Springdale this month. Their combined annual salary range will be $100,000 to $120,000 per year with an additional sign on bonus within the $13,000 - $15,000 range.

When asked about their future plans, they said they hope to advance to higher roles at Tyson and get married after Jackson completes her master’s degree.

Their story began Aug. 17, 2015, when the Greek organizations were assisting with freshmen moving in. Harris, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and Jackson, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., posed for a picture that would be the start of their new journey.

A native of Jennette (in Crittenden County), Harris is a graduating senior at UAPB majoring in industrial technology management and applied engineering. He entered the university receiving the Chancellor’s Full-Ride Scholarship for outstanding academics. Harris made the connection with the Office of Career Services as a freshman.

Cooperative Education

As a result, he was able to obtain Cooperative Education experiences at The Strong Co. at Pine Bluff as an engineering technician and at Lennox International Industries at Stuttgart as a manufacturing engineer.

Cooperative Education experiences provide the opportunity for students to obtain hands-on experience in their field of study. These are paid opportunities whereby students can receive academic credit for the experience. Harris received outstanding ratings on his work performance at both locations and managed to maintain a 3.8 grade point average.

Jackson, from Fort Worth, Texas, graduated Magna Cum Laude May 2016 from UAPB with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in management. She is currently enrolled in the computer science and technology master’s program and is scheduled to graduate in December 2017.


She is also focused on academics and her future. She registered with the Office of Career Services as an undergraduate and participated in several office events.

“Though her matriculation was slightly different from Harris, it is proven that this journey has definitely paid off,” a spokesman said.

The next chapter of their lives has already begun.

“How nice is it to walk across the stage knowing that you are walking into your career?”

With the help of the Office of Career Services, they have both interviewed with several companies for permanent positions. One company in particular showed an interest in both of them. Even though Jackson is not scheduled to graduate until December, she and Harris will work on different teams at Tyson as analysts.

Harris and Jackson thank Career Services for their assistance. They also encourage all students to get registered with the office.

Details: Career Services at Caldwell Hall, Suite 202, at UAPB or call 870-575-8461.

— Tisha Arnold is a public information officer at UAPB.