We’ve started a new series, featuring grads that have ended up doing a pretty wide variety of things after leaving their REL classes (graduating either recently or a little while ago). So we posed a few questions to each and let’s see what we learn.
1. When were you enrolled at UA and what major(s) and minor(s) did you graduate with?
I have a Bachelors of Arts majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in Advertising (2007). I was slated to double major, however, in my final semester I discovered that I needed extra, unplanned classes for the Advertising major so I decided to drop it to a minor.
2. When you first came here from high school, what did you think you wanted to do for a career?
I wasn’t really certain what I wanted to do, only that I wanted to attend UA. I knew that I didn’t want to be one of the standards: lawyer, doctor, teacher or engineer. The mother of one of my friends suggested Public Relations so that’s what I originally declared. After my first semester, I switched to Advertising.
3. Any memories from your REL classes in Manly Hall that stand out and, more importantly perhaps, that you can share without incriminating anyone?
I took REL 220 Survey of Asian Religions in my second semester. I won’t name the professor but that class was messy and all over the place and I loved it. I was hooked and declared REL as a second major. I learned that everything that I thought could be clearly defined was much more subjective. It was truly eye opening when I sat in a certain someone’s class and we discussed things like soil and dirt. It was also extremely fun! The department as a whole was small and close.
4. So what have you ended up doing and what path led you there? Tell us a little about your career now.
When I graduated in 2007, I became a restaurant manager for Logan’s Roadhouse. I opened and operated locations in the Birmingham and Huntsville areas. In 2013, I joined the Waffle House team as the Area People Director. I supported 28 restaurants across North Alabama and Northeast Mississippi. I joined Edward Jones Investments in January 2018.
5. Is it fair to think that some of your REL undergrad classes or skills continue to be useful to you? If so, do you have any examples?
My REL background has been instrumental in my success. I use things that I learned in my REL classes daily. Not only did it teach me how to think critically, it also helped me hone my communication skills.
6. If you now gave some advice to your earlier self, the one in classes in Manly Hall, what would that be?
Don’t let others discourage you from your choice of major. Careers as a whole are much more fluid and there are humanities graduates that are very successful. A business degree isn’t your only option if you don’t want a career in one of the standards: law, medicine, education, or engineering.