Tené Green arrived at Henderson State University intent on getting her degree, going to law school, and launching a career as a criminal defense attorney. “I had tunnel vision,” she says. She earned her BA, but in her third year of law school concluded criminal defense was not the right path.
Henderson, however, had prepared her to be “open to new people and new ideas, and to go after what I want. I no longer knew exactly what I wanted, but I could see the next step.” A certified mediator by that point, Green decided to see what a career in compliance would be like and joined Wal-Mart’s Office of Diversity once she earned her JD.
Little did she know that she would call on more than her academic experience in that evolving role.
Despite her tunnel vision, Green had been very involved in student life: Delta Sigma Theta, Student Activities Board, Heart and Key, Reddie Ambassadors—and two and a half years as an RA. “Can you believe they assigned me to the quiet floor?” She still laughs about that. Henderson’s spirit of community was like nothing she’s experienced elsewhere, though she finds many things about Wal-Mart familiar because of Henderson. “I have exposure to people at all different levels. It’s very family-oriented and friendly.”
One side of her job involves investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, but the other side is all about celebrating inclusiveness and diversity. She initiated and plans the Unity awards, a gala event for associates held in Bentonville every year. “Who would have guessed that my practice of law would include party planning?” Thanks to Henderson, she’s got it covered.
Yet she nearly went to an out of state school. “I had never considered Henderson,” she admits. A yearbook competition in her junior year brought her to the Arkadelphia campus; it felt like home right away. As a senior reconsidering that far away school, she realized Henderson was the better fit.
Now she’ll always be a Reddie. Always. “Those are friends for life.” Wherever her career takes her, Green can rely on the lessons she learned at Henderson, in and out of the classroom. “People who are involved know how to get involved and stay engaged wherever life takes them.”