YOUNG ALUMNAE SPOTLIGHT: SAMANTHA PERRIN JACKSON
The following post was written by guest blogger, Jessica Storoschuk, Beta Gamma–University of Manitoba.
Alpha Gamma Delta leaves each of us with lasting memories and experiences, but—for some—our collegiate years serve as a time to discover our passions and career paths. Samantha Perrin Jackson, Zeta Nu–Alma College, is one of these sisters. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Alma College and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Dakota. Samantha now works at the University of Louisville as the Assistant Director of Career Engagement, helping students make meaningful connections between their education, career and passions.
Tell us about your job:
I began my role of Assistant Director of Career Engagement in the Career Development Center at the University of Louisville two months ago. I previously served as the Senior Career Consultant at the University of Georgia for about two years.
As Alpha Gams, we strive to Live with Purpose, and my job is all about helping collegians find their purpose. I love working one-on-one with students, learning about their interests, skills and values, as well as helping them make professional connections outside of the university.
As a college student, I had to narrow many ideas of the professional direction I wanted to go; I could have used someone to talk to. I like to be a sounding board for students and help put their ideas into a coherent thought and plan. I also really love event planning and get to dabble in that a bit within my role.
What offices did you hold as a collegian in Alpha Gamma Delta? As an alumna?
As a collegian, I served as the Alpha Experience Coordinator and Chapter President. Last year, I was the Editor for the Gamma Alpha/Athens Alumnae Chapter. I previously served as the Member Development Advisor then Chapter Advisor for Zeta Upsilon–Northern Michigan University. I am now the Chapter Advisor for Theta Omicron–Western Carolina University.
What are three takeaways from your collegiate experience that have helped you in your career?
I doubted my abilities as a leader until I was elected Alpha Experience Coordinator. Being elected showed me that my sisters trusted me to lead our next generation of.
My three biggest takeaways are:
- Always believe you are capable of more than you think.
- Try anything once. We can’t learn without failure. Sometimes you need to try a program or event to see if it will be successful and then evaluate to see if there are ways to tweak or improve.
- Always ask for help. As a collegian, you don’t always want to tell your advisors or campus professionals when you are in trouble, but they are there to help. The same goes for your career. Your supervisor can’t help you fix a problem unless you acknowledge it and ask.
What experiences in Alpha Gamma Delta have directly impacted your current job and how?
My collegiate experience introduced me to the world of Student Affairs and led me to pursue a master’s degree in Higher Education. I love working on a college campus—and my experiences volunteering as an advisor give me valuable insight into the lives of college students that I may not always see while working in career development. I’m reminded that students are whole people and what they bring into their career consultation appointments are not representative of their whole self. They are struggling to balance their personal lives, academics, student organizations and jobs. Even when they are sitting in my office, their professional career isn’t always at the top of their minds. The unique perspective I have from being an advisor helps me remember to take a step back and check on my students as a whole before diving into a conversation.
How do you Live the Purpose through your career?
My favorite line of the purpose is “to possess high ideals and to attain somewhat unto them.” I truly believe we should live our lives by the Purpose and always strive to be ideal Alpha Gam women. I wear my letters proudly and display my affiliation in my office. I am always aware that I am representing Alpha Gam in all of my interactions, whether on or off campus. I talk to students freely about my Alpha Gam experience and how it has shaped me into the professional I am today.
What advice would you give young alumnae tackling the job market?
USE YOUR CONNECTIONS! I can talk about networking until I am blue in the face because it is so important. You are part of a worldwide network of alumnae who want to support you however possible. Whether pursuing graduate school, working at a new company or moving to a new city, there are Alpha Gams everywhere who are ready and willing to help you in your transition.
What advice would you give collegians as they move toward their careers? What can they take advantage of in Alpha Gamma Delta to help them prepare?
Alpha Gam is a built-in social and support network. No matter where you go, you can continue to be involved by advising, volunteering on the Volunteer Service Team, joining alumnae chapters/clubs or participating in the Rose Sisters program. Again, these sisters can help you acclimate to a new community or even find a potential job opening. Having the opportunity to build your resume, search for jobs and practice interview skills is invaluable, and your alumnae sisters want to help you succeed!
Also, take your Member Experience programming seriously. This program is designed to help you successfully transition from college life to the professional world.