1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?
I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with concentrations in management and marketing. I was also the recipient of the Marilyn Mead Burke ’48 and William J. Burke Washington Scholarship.
2. What is your current position (title, company, location)? Can you describe a typical day?
I currently work for PowerSchool as an Application Specialist in Roanoke, Virginia, and I have been with the company for almost two years. I was recently promoted from my position as Senior Associate Online Solution Specialist. I work with PowerSchool’s Enrollment product and a typical day includes meeting with clients to discuss the structure of their online enrollment forms. I am responsible for building and testing the online enrollment system according to the school district’s needs, and then assisting with the import and delivery of student data to their database.
3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?
My major has been an integral part of my success at PowerSchool because I have used many of the skills I gained through courses in database management and management information systems. My work includes the use of spreadsheets, web design, and programming language, and having previous experience with Excel and Access has been very beneficial to my understanding of the job.
4. How did you become interested in your field?
I have always been interested in technology, but I became interested in educational technology after working in higher education for a few years. I enjoy building things and watching everything come together, and I plan to continue building my technical knowledge with various PowerSchool products.
5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?
The best advice I ever received was to always be open to learn new things. In my current job the products are constantly changed and improved, so I always have an opportunity to learn about a new product feature or a new form of technology.
6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?
Professors Brooks, Hubbard, and Machande were incredibly supportive during my time at UMW. Dean Rucker was also one of my biggest supporters at UMW, and he has continued to support me throughout my career. It would take forever for me to list everyone who made an impact, but I think that speaks to the tight-knit community that UMW offers.
7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?
My fondest memories will always be the connections I made with classmates and faculty on campus. I loved being able to get to know my professors and to have actual support from them as I completed my degree. I also loved the activities I participated in, and I miss running around campus with Karmel James on event days.
8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?
One of my hobbies is to study aerospace topics, and I was finally able to return to Space Camp in 2019 to graduate from the Adult Space Academy. I plan to return in the next few years to complete the Advanced Space Academy. I have also had the honor of meeting two of my favorite astronauts, Leland Melvin (a Virginia native) and Mae Jemison. My ultimate goal is to start a group for local students who are interested in STEM topics and fundraise a trip to Space Camp for them.
9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?
Directly from my mother: “Future astronaut with a passion for learning.”
10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students?
Always explore your interests and embrace new opportunities!