Alumni Spotlight: Tori Tensi's Work to Challenge Intimate Partner Violence

The year the Department of Sociology will highlight our sociology major alums' success since graduation. For each of these stories, we asked recent alums to tell us about their accomplishments since they left, what helped them the most from their education at App State, and what advice they would give students as they venture into the real world. In addition, this news article highlights a 2018 sociology major graduate, Tori Tensi. Here are her responses to our questions. 

1. What have you been doing since you graduated from App State?

Before graduating in December of 2018, I decided to take a couple of years off before pursuing graduate school. So for about a year after graduation, I worked two part-time jobs as I applied for full-time employment in my area of interest. In April 2020, I got a full-time position with the nonprofit I had interned with over the summer a couple of years prior. Next, I worked at House of Cherith - a holistic, long-term housing and care program for women that have experienced some form of sexual violence, exploitation, or trafficking - in Atlanta, GA as their Experience Coordinator for a year. This job entailed managing the internship program, coordinating volunteers, organizing the programming schedule, and teaching classes. Following this, I applied and was admitted to George Washington University's (GWU) Criminology Master's program in June 2021. I am now in my 2nd and final year at GWU and have had a partial merit fellowship and a Graduate Research or Teaching Assistant position for both years. Finally, I currently have a part-time internship with a nonprofit here in DC called Protect Our Defenders; POD offers legal aid and casework assistance for survivors of military sexual trauma and advocates for reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 

2. How has sociology helped or prepared you for your recent successes? 

I really appreciated all of the professors' willingness to give guidance and advice. Even if you didn't have them for a class, you got them if you asked for help. I still use at least one of my professors from App State as a recommendation when applying to new opportunities because of the richness of the relationships I cultivated with them. I also found the required internship program extremely helpful. Not only did my internship become a full-time work opportunity later on, but my experiences interning in Atlanta helped me to open my worldview and step out of my comfort zone.

3. What advice would you give a new sociology major moving forward in our program and into the job market? 

First and foremost, be patient! You've probably heard it before, but the job market is tough. I applied to at least 15-20 jobs before I got my full-time position with House of Cherith. With that - take internships when you can, volunteer when you can, and network when you can. It's a cliche, but unfortunately, jobs often come down to who you know. Lastly, don't be too hard on yourself. Even the most successful students can have trouble getting a job (speaking as a former Most Outstanding Sociology Student award winner *hair flip*). Something *will* come along, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with working part-time at Aldi until then!

Thanks to Tori for her insight, and congratulations on your success thus far! 

Tori Tensi
Published: Sep 26, 2022 10:03am