Quavian Lewis - Finding Careers with Sociology in Mind

One of our department's strengths is preparing undergraduate students for a life-long pursuit for educational experiences that lead to practical skills and careers. Graduating in 2009, Quavian Lewis left App State with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequalities. Even though he sometimes struggled balancing playing football and going to class, Quavian walked away from ASU with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to see what he could do with his social science skills to help others. However, as many graduates have found since the economic recession of 2008, Quavian struggled identifying the career path that he wanted to take straight out of school. 

As you can read below, Quavian relates his views and experiences with searching for the right career and explains how sociology has helped in his quest. More important to us, Quavian is a shining example of how his sociological mind and skills were instrumental in his success today as an Adult Outpatient Mental Health Therapist and supporting his pursuit of one day working as Sports Psychologist and developing a non-profit organization.

Please take a few moments to read Quavian's responses in an interview about his career choices and if you find yourself interested in learning more about Sociology, then please feel free to contact Dr. Cameron Lippard, Undergraduate Program Director.

Quavian's Experiences

What you do now and what adventures have you had since graduation?

Upon completion of undergraduate studies at App, I did not know where to turn or what I was going to do next. I tried my hand at various jobs ranging from Janitor, water treatment plant laborer, Mental Health Technician, Group leader at a residential treatment facility for at-risk youth, teaching assistant for Counseling Diverse Populations graduate-level course, internships at Watauga Youth Network, Pathways Incorporated and recently at John F. Ingram State Technical College where I did group and individual counseling for incarcerated men and women of Alabama. My humbled work and life experiences have prepared me for my current career as an Adult Outpatient Mental Health Therapist at Southwest Alabama Behavioral Health Care Systems serving Escambia, Clarke, Conecuh and Monroe counties.

How did sociology prepare you for the occupation/work you are doing? What sociological skills have become most helpful in your work?

Sociology provided me with a more broader, in-depth outlook on everything. It taught me how to dive past the superficial and look at other influences or reasons rather than the obvious. Sociology aided me to be more nonjudgmental and take a look at societal factors on development, functioning and systematic dynamics with every particular case. The biggest sociological skills that have been helpful with my career would be communication, interpersonal, cross-cultural competencies and research. I utilize these within my job and they are often useful in treatment with clients or instilling these tools within their toolbox following termination of therapeutic services.

What are some suggestions for students interested in your line of work?

My biggest suggestions for students interested in this line of work would be to take advantage of every volunteer, internship or any other career-related experience that will build networks and skills for the future.  It is never too soon to start building a trademark so I stress the importance of volunteering , free work and time to help develop a name that you can market in the field. I would suggest trying every possible career option and as many jobs as you can until you can find your niche or a passion for something you will be good at and enjoy doing, daily.

What are your future plans?

My future endeavors include completing my Ph.D. in Sports Psychology or just Psychology in general. I hope to either become a professor or work my way into the NFL or NBA administrative ranks doing some consulting or mental health-type work. I hope to have my LPC (Licensed Professional Counseling license) within the next 3 years and hopefully start a private practice. I want to write books, do motivational speaking, and start a non-profit soon; so, be on the lookout for Good Guy, Inc.

Lewis in cap and gown
Published: Oct 15, 2014 2:32pm