When I put on that graduation robe in May, I had no idea how my time at Radford University was going to prepare me for what was to come.
Now that I have been an alumnus for four months, the absence of Radford in my life has really started to set in. I don’t get to sign up for classes for the following semester anymore. I no longer have the privilege of participating in the collegiate habits, such as sleeping in until 10 a.m., leisurely prancing around campus with little cares (comparatively speaking) clouding my mind, or hanging out with friends that I could essentially see whenever I wanted. But even with all of the things I’ve left behind, I carry Radford with me wherever I go with the lessons and memories I had there.
The first job I landed out of Radford is with AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps. This is a volunteer program for American youth ages 18 to 24 to serve their communities through various ways. I trained for my ten month commitment in Vicksburg, Mississippi and am currently deployed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help with the 1,000 year flood that hit Louisiana in August. I am working side by side with FEMA employees in the Joint Field Office, and getting some extremely valuable “real world” experience that all your professors and advisors tell you about.
But what did Radford teach me that I am using today as a graduate? First off, Radford has made my baseline standards for the quality of work that I produce much higher than a lot of my coworkers. Some of the editing and writing errors that slip through the cracks in documents at work are just plain embarrassing. My standard for the way I conduct myself professionally is higher than a lot of my coworkers as well.
I have also realized that my education at Radford has made me an extremely well-rounded employee. I can do just about anything from Excel spreadsheets to constructing infographics, to writing reports to transcribing phone calls with state legislatures. Throw me in anywhere, and I will try my best. Radford truly has given me the foundational skills to succeed in almost anything.
Like everyone says, your time in college goes by extremely fast, and my experience was not any different. Cherish your time at Radford University, but also remember that you will carry the memories and valuable experiences you have there everywhere you go, even if you never step on campus again. I want to thank Radford University to contributing to my success as a full-fledged adult.
I also wanted to give a special thanks to The Tartan and the student staff that make the newspaper happen every week. I know it may sometimes seem like the hard work you are doing goes unnoticed, but just know that all this will help you exponentially down the road.
Published by Radford University’s The Tartan on Sept. 28, 2016