Associate director of alumni relations gives advice to students
Will your major define your career path? According to Associate Director of Alumni Relations Katherine Cummings, that may not always be the case.
Cummings met with students on Sept. 27 to talk about how she used her Guilford College degree. She stressed that students need to know the importance of having a top-notch resume.
“Get someone to look at your resume, and start to think about getting connections,” said Cummings. “You have a broad skill set at Guilford; don’t think when you leave here it’ll be your set course.”
Cummings also talked about the resources Guilford students can use once they graduate.
“There’s a thing called ‘My Guilford’,” said Cummings. My Guilford is a portion of the Guilford home site where alumni can connect. “We are all over the place; there are chapters nationwide.”
Cummings spoke about her experiences and told students that their post-graduate stories may likely be similar to hers.
“I’ve had a lot of different jobs,” said Cummings.
These included teaching courses at a woman’s prison, becoming a community activist against a coal company, and volunteering at a battered women’s shelter before going to graduate school. Her experience at the battered women’s shelter was particularly taxing.
“When I would go home at night, I would only have two emotions: extreme anger or extreme sadness,” said Cummings. “There was no in between.”
Cummings has had a plethora of careers, reinforcing her notion that your major does not necessarily define the rest of your life.
“It was reassuring to hear her say that you don’t have stay on a set path,” said sophomore Faith Krech. “As an English major, her talk made me see how many other opportunities there are out there in the workforce.”
Her current job involves fighting a coal corporation trying to set up shop near Cummings’ home. When she heard this news, she started a communal organization to stop the coal company from coming to town.
“If you want to win, get women on your side,” said Cummings. “We will play any angle we have to. We can be mothers, businesses people, anyone. Whatever it takes to win.”
Cummings also wanted students to know that being a Guilford graduate can help them get jobs.
“Take advantage of being a Guilford alum,” said Cummings. “We will help you make connections.”
Cummings left an impression on the students who came to hear about her experiences, such as junior Christopher Haswell-Henion.
“I think she said to never be afraid,” said Haswell-Henion. “Never set yourself up to be a failure. You can do anything you put your mind too.”
In the end, Cummings brought it back to Guilford.
“Remember to say to people that you went to Guilford. You’ll never know who you might meet.”