From Student to Professional: Two Graduates Give Insight

Meet Katie Beth Caswell and Hope Dearman. Both are 2013 graduates from the Department of Sociology who completed their Bachelor of Science degree and concentration in Family and Intimate Relationships, a popular program of study for ASU sociology students. After completing their courses, both students went on to complete an internship at the Hospitality House of Boone, North Carolina. This internship opportunity gave Katie Beth and Hope experiences of applying their sociological knowledge to assist homeless individuals and families in finding adequate housing, employment, and public services. They also helped with some research initiatives to gather more information about impoverished women in the area, as well as set up several events to raise funds and awareness for the organization's mission and goals.

Because of their sociological background of understanding diversity and hardship, as well as their excellent performance as interns, both were hired as full-time staff immediately following their internships at the Hospitality House. Today, Katie Beth and Hope continue to work hard in their new careers, hoping to help families and individuals find their way to sustained housing and employment.

Below, Katie Beth and Hope have provided some comments about their experiences of being a student and moving into their careers. Please take a moment to read these statements and if you find yourself interested in learning more about Sociology, then please feel free to contact Dr. Cameron Lippard, Undergraduate Program Director.

Katie Beth's Experiences

I decided to go with Sociology as my major sometime during my sophomore year of college. All I really knew is that I wanted to work with the homeless population and that my intro to sociology class seemed pretty interesting. After taking many more sociology classes, I came to realize just how much sociology would help me with what I wanted to do when I graduated. Sociology helped me better understand homelessness, it helped me become more empathic, and it also helped provide me with the skills that I needed to work with the homeless population.

My most valuable experience as a Sociology major was by far my internship experience. I did my internship at Hospitality House of Boone, Inc., where I worked closely with homeless individuals and families. My applied sociology course that I took prior to my internship helped prepare me for my internship mostly by showing me how to apply my sociological skills to real world experiences.

After developing a close relationship with Hospitality House, I applied for a full time position at the agency and got it! I think that coming in as an intern with a strong sociological foundation that my professors provided me with is what helped me land my fulfilling position as Shelter Assistant that I now have at Hospitality House. I would encourage any student to give sociology a try, it is very broad and offers a lot that many other degrees do not offer such as a required internship, and the applied sociology course that helps prepare students for the real world after they graduate. It was nice to know that the professors genuinely care about your success not only in the class room but also in the job market upon graduation.

Hope's Experiences

I graduated with a major in sociology from Appalachian State University this past May. I decided on sociology as my major because it allows various job opportunities after college, instead of limiting one's choices. All throughout my college career, I was very overwhelmed by the idea that I was choosing what I wanted to do and be for the rest of my life. Having so many prospects once I graduated was the first aspect that made this major so perfect for me. The decision to change majors from Elementary Education was stressful, but once I began taking sociology classes I was relieved that I made the right decision. I found the material very interesting and found that it actually applied to life instead of making me question how it would be used in the future. Furthermore, I found the professors very helpful and encouraging, taking the time to help in any way they could, whether it be during or outside of class time.

When considering where I would complete my internship, I was referred by a friend to Hospitality House. I did not know going into the experience how much it would impact my views about the world around me and my life. During the months that I spent at the organization, it broadened what I had already learned from my sociology classes and other life experiences, giving me insight into what I wanted to do with my life, which is working for nonprofits. It also provided me with a great platform to learn more and references when I decide to further my career aspirations. Several weeks after graduating, I applied and was granted the position as a Shelter Assistant at Hospitality House. I cannot express what the time spent at this organization has done for me and am so grateful for how studying sociology prepared me for the obstacles I have come across and have yet to face.

Graduating Seniors
Published: Aug 15, 2013 10:14am