Arkansas Tech University student Lily Musengwa's hometown is best known as the headquarters of the world's largest retailer.
She returned to Bentonville this summer to apply the skills she has learned at ATU during an internship at Walmart.
Musengwa, who will be a senior at Arkansas Tech during the 2019-20 academic year, is pursuing a double major in emergency management and cultural and geospatial studies. Her internship is focused on implementing geographic information systems (GIS) software into the daily operations of the Walmart emergency operations center (EOC).
"I'm developing dashboards, applications and maps that will be used every day in the EOC to help display data and information more quickly, including increasing awareness of weather and emergency events in relation to Walmart facilities and Walmart associates," said Musengwa. "This will help disaster preparedness and response be more efficient in the future because it will speed up information sharing."
Musengwa learned of the internship through the ATU Department of Emergency Management and social media. She believes she is gaining valuable experience and connections through her work this summer.
"I'm also learning about emergency management and how disaster management works in the real world outside of a classroom," said Musengwa. "I really like working in emergency management because I’m able to help people and I like GIS because it has so many capabilities. So I know I'm on the right track. I'm also very happy with the work that I'm doing because I know it will actually be used and it will make a difference in the future."
As for her own future, Musengwa would like to work abroad and continue applying the skills she has developed at ATU following her graduation in May 2020.
"ATU has taught me a lot about emergency management and GIS technology," said Musengwa, who has augmented her Arkansas Tech education through involvement with organizations such as Student Government Association and the National Society of Leadership and Success. "Without having taken the classes that I have at ATU, I wouldn't have been prepared mentally for this internship and what to expect out of disaster management."