Meet Ethan Flynn. Ethan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a concentration in criminology, deviance, and law. However, through his internship with the Hospitality House in Boone, NC, he found his calling to work with individuals and families facing poverty and homelessness. Shortly after his internship, he applied for and was offered the North Carolina Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA member for the Hospitality House. Here is what Ethan says about his experiences thus far and how sociology shaped it.
After my graduation from the Sociology department I became the NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA member for the Hospitality House of Boone. My job through AmeriCorps is to provide service to the Hospitality House by raising funds, providing an outlet for representation of the shelter, and connecting the organization to resources both in the community and at the university. I am the project manager of the Hospitality House thrift store, Welcome Home Thriftique. In addition to funding, the store acts as a medium to relay the mission of the Hospitality House to the public.
Throughout my undergraduate career in Sociology I learned about our social structures such as the social class, and how social change is not only necessary but also inevitable. Understanding the structures that make up our society, as well as the influences and consequences of social change has prepared me to meet the needs of my project head on. One of those needs is the development of marketable soft skills of our clients through our job skills training program, Foundation For Success. The students of this course come from many different educational backgrounds, and sociology prepared me to understand how the diversity of the students can affect their learning abilities.
I plan to continue working for the Hospitality House in the future. I hope to become a caseworker for the shelter, where I will use my background in sociology as a tool to help manage the various needs of my clients. These needs are turned into goal plans for the clients, which are often comprised of complex issues like obtaining affordable housing for families living in poverty. Sociology has prepared me to understand the number of ways people can be confronted with these issues, which fosters the compassion and understanding needed to address them as a social worker.
For those interested in obtaining their sociology degree, I encourage them to find a specific concentration within the field and look towards careers that benefit from a sociologist with that skillset. As sociologists, we have a unique perspective on the world we live in, and the career paths we follow are only limited to the criteria that we must handle matters related to the human population. Sociology is most useful when paired with another field of study, where our knowledge and skills can be used as a unique asset to those we work with.
If Ethan's story sparks an interest for you in sociology, please feel free to contact the Department of Sociology and ask questions about how you can find your way into a successful sociology-minded career!