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Explain your career path
After graduating from Southeast with a degree in fashion merchandising, I took a position as a regional sales representative for Varsity Spirit Fashion while concurrently coaching the cheerleading squad at Southeast (Go Redhawks!) for five seasons. I then moved to Sioux City, IA to coach competitive cheerleading and dance full time at Briar Cliff University, an NAIA institution near the boarder of South Dakota. A move to South Dakota took me to the admission department at the University of South Dakota where I was able to, once again, rock my red and black wardrobe acquired through my years at Southeast. One more move brought me and my fiance to Dubuque, IA where I am now a senior admission representative for Loras College as well as the head cheerleading coach for the school. Throughout all of this time I have been fortunate enough to continue as a staff member for the National Cheerleaders Association and meet cheerleaders and coaches all over the country.
What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?
Human Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Fashion Merchandising
I also have minors in retain management, marketing management, hospitality management, and dance
The fashion merchandising program appealed to me because it combined my love for fashion with the very versatile sales and business side of the curriculum. I knew that was something that would appeal to a variety of employers both inside and outside of the fashion world. The opportunities to pick up additional minors in the business school allowed me to diversify my experience, as well. The dance minor may seem random, but I had studied dance from age three, so the opportunity to pick up additional training in something I love was perfect - and the river campus is gorgeous!
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
I originally looked at Southeast simply because it was close to home, but quickly fell in love with the school. The varieties of majors offered allowed me to study subjects I love, but also gain real, usable, lifelong skills. For me, the opportunity to continue cheerleaidng in college was also important, and, to this day, I love the program at Southeast with all of my heart. The campus became home and my teammates, my family.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
I had wonderful professors at Southeast! My professors in my first year learning team really helped me start off college on the right foot and understand what was expected of me in college. The department my major was in was very small, so the relationships formed with those professors was very important and they remain influential to me in all of my career choices. Ms. Thompson, Dr. King, and Mrs. Moore were invested in my success and interested in my as a person. Dr. Dickson in the business school not only taught me about the business world, but supported me through the completion of my honors project and is still always friendly anytime I see him when I am back on campus. Hillary Peterson in the dance department challenged me and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I am grateful for my experiences with all of these professors!
Share your best college memory.
All of my best memories of college surround my time with the cheerleading squad. I will cherish my memories cheering on the Redhawks forever - especially the homecoming games where we got a chance to mingle and stunt with many of our alumni. My final season at Southeast our football team won the OVC conference championship and getting to be a part of that season is definitely my favorite memory of college.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
The world is so much bigger than me and my personal experience. Southeast taught me that, even though my voice matters, my perspective is simply mine. There are so many factors and so many ways to look at the world. Southeast taught me to look beyond myself and to learn from others.
Describe Southeast in three words.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is taking what I learned at Southeast and being able to turn my passion into a profession.
How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?
Through my training at Southeast I have found ways to make my greatest passions (fashion, cheerleading/coaching, and people) my profession. I never imagined that all those business, sales, and resource management classes would drive my coaching philosophy or prepare me to be a recruiter for both the team I coach and school I work for.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?