DENMARK — Voorhees University alumnus and assistant women’s basketball coach Denzel Walls sits in his temporary residence on the campus of Pace University as he begins a paid summer internship at IBM in Armonk, N.Y.

He hopes the internship will result in a human resources position with the corporation.

The 2021 Voorhees graduate and presidential scholar, who earned a business administration degree with a concentration in finance, said his real passion is helping people. He can achieve that through a career in human resources. In December, after his 11-week summer internship, Walls will complete a 16-month master’s degree program in human resources from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

“The talent and development team is where I want to be, and this is a great opportunity for me to experience a corporate environment,” Walls said. “This will help jump-start my career as I work through the field of human resources.”

Walls will be a member of the IBM Transformation and Culture Portfolio and Talent team. He expects to be exposed to all facets of human resources. He also will have the opportunity to interview for a full-time position with IBM at the end of the internship. If he is successful, he likely will receive an offer for employment to begin Feb. 2023 after completing his master’s degree.

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“I want to be able to impact people; look out for minorities to make sure they are treated fairly. I can do that in an HR role,” he said.

As he climbs the corporate ladder, Walls still plans to support the Voorhees Women’s Basketball team as an assistant coach. He will seek employment opportunities to allow him easy access to Voorhees to continue coaching.

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“We are proud of Mr. Walls and his progress toward a gratifying career. We wish him well, and we hope that he will continue to work with us to inspire our students to achieve their next level of excellence,” said Ronnie Hopkins, president of Voorhees.

While Walls would be comfortable in the executive suite of any corporation, his ideal job would be serving as a head coach in the Women’s National Basketball Association or coaching a National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s basketball team.

Walls credits Voorhees with shaping his future in a couple of ways. He was inspired by leaders like Katherine Whitaker, dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, and faculty members Alicia Davis and James Ross.

“Professors Davis, Whitaker, and Ross were my go-to people. They always believed in me and brought the best out of me,” he said. “Mr. (Marion) Wright encouraged me to become a student leader.”

Since his youth, he has desired to help people, but Walls said his greatest motivation was during a study abroad experience in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. In 2019, he visited an orphanage where the Voorhees team, including Hopkins and W. Franklin Evans, the former president of Voorhees, provided supplies and taught students.

“When we asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, they said ‘doctors and lawyers,’ but they had to have sponsors to pursue these careers,” according to Walls. “I want to guide companies like IBM to sponsor students like the ones I met in Monrovia and provide opportunities for them. There are people like that right here in America, too.”

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