Recent grads launch careers at BU

Story by Jenna

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Instead of venturing off into the outside world after finishing school, some Baker University graduates have decided to stick around campus and start their professional lives in the comfort of their alma mater.

While making the transition from a student to a staff member may pose some difficulties, alumni enjoy seeing the university in a different light and feel that they belong at BU. Here are three recent examples:

THE BAKER EXPERIENCE<strong>THE BAKER EXPERIENCE</strong> THE BAKER EXPERIENCE

The admissions office refers to it.

Not just because admissions counselor and BU alumna Savannah Smith is using the phrase in recruiting prospective students, but because she enjoyed the Baker experience so much that she wanted to extend hers.

Savannah Smith

“I had a feeling that I wasn’t done here. Something was just missing, like I needed to come back and do something. I didn’t know what it was or anything like that, I just felt like I wasn’t done with my Baker experience,” Smith said. “I love to speak about Baker and talk to prospective students about how great Baker is and how it’s a great fit for them.”

After obtaining her business degree with an emphasis in marketing and management in December 2012, Smith served as an athletic intern at BU last spring.

This fall, she found herself in a new role at Baker as an admissions counselor. She said she initially did not plan on using her degree to do this type of work, and she still does not know how she might use her degree in a future career. However, for now, she is happy being on the other side at Baker.

“I just saw admissions as an opportunity to share my Baker experience and kind of share the word of Baker, and obviously I love Baker, so it kind of fit for me,” she said.

As an admissions counselor, Smith recruits prospective students from southeast Kansas as well as from the whole state of Colorado. She travels to high schools to give students basic information about Baker, tells them about academics and organizations and serves as an advocate once students make the decision to come to Baker.

“I like to say that I recruit for the kids who don’t have a coach to recruit them,” she said.

As a student, she got to experience teachers and administrators going out of their way to accommodate her and other students. She now knows this is even truer than she was led to believe.

“I always knew that people at Baker were hard workers and they would do almost anything for you, but now I kind of see the full extent of that in just how far people are willing to go,” Smith said. “It’s really just kind of going the extra mile in trying to get students here and we do anything for students that we can possibly do for them.”

KEEPING IT PROFESSIONAL<strong>KEEPING IT PROFESSIONAL</strong> KEEPING IT PROFESSIONAL

Clarence Scott, admissions counselor and BU alumnus, walks a fine line.

As a student, he had no problem making people laugh. He still has no problem doing just that, but he is more aware of the way he carries himself, as he is now a staff member at BU rather than just another funny student.

Clarence Scott

“You’re so new being a (recent) graduate, at the same time you’re still surrounded by those friends you had while you were in school, but it’s a fine line that you have to walk,” Scott said. “I try to still be as friendly and spontaneous and fun as I’ve always been, but at the same time keeping that professional face on here at Baker, but I’m still enjoying myself here. I’m still having fun and I still love it.”

After graduating in December 2012, Scott began part-time work in January, splitting time in the admissions office and student affairs. When the full-time admissions counselor job opened up, he knew it was a great chance to combine his mass media degree with his marketing and sales interests.

“While I’ve been in the admissions department, I’ve also played a little role in marketing as well, in terms of making commercials and coming up with ideas that are going to help brand our university a little better,” he said.

Scott came to Baker from St. Petersburg, Fla., as a freshman to play football. Though it was a small school in the middle of Kansas, he made the trip to campus and “really, really enjoyed” his visit. He said the small community helped him focus.

Now, he hopes to send the message to prospective students that if he, being from Florida, can enjoy Baker University, anyone can.

“What I do as an admissions counselor is recruit students and also let them know how awesome Baker was,” Scott said. “Since I’m able to recruit students and show them how great this university is, and if a Florida guy can come here, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to come here.”

While sticking around Baker after graduation felt like the right thing to do, Scott has career aspirations outside of this small-town Kansas university, hoping to return to his home state and fulfill his love of sports.

“My overall aspirations are to one day be the head marketing director of a professional team,” he said. “If I could pick one, it’d probably the Miami Dolphins.”

JUST ONE OF THEM<strong>JUST ONE OF THEM</strong> JUST ONE OF THEM

Keith DeMint, BU alumnus and athletics intern, doesn’t get treated like a typical intern. He doesn’t have to run useless errands just to pass the time.

“They’re giving me jobs that they would do on a daily basis,” he said. “So, they’re basically not treating me as an intern, they’re treating me as part of the staff, as an actual assistant athletic director almost.”

Keith DeMint

DeMint, a 2011 BU graduate, is working as the athletics intern in the Baker Athletic Department in order to fulfill graduation requirements for his master’s degree in sports management through Wichita State University.

“After I graduated from Baker, I really didn’t know what I was going to do,” he said. “It was either a job or grad school, and I couldn’t find job, so I went back to grad school. Then the Baker internship basically fell in my plate.”

DeMint said he found out about the internship through Andrew Patch, assistant director of athletics-operations, who posted the position on the Baker athletics website, as well as the Baker athletics Facebook page. It wasn’t long before DeMint contacted Patch and secured the job.

In addition to Patch, he also works with Tyler Price, who is assistant director of athletics-communications, and Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar. His duties include finding sponsors for sporting events, coming up with game-day operations or game-day events such as halftime events and daily operations in the office.

Being an athlete during his time at Baker has given him the chance to see the entire picture of how an athletic department functions, something he knows will prove to be an invaluable experience for his future career.

“Since I was an athlete at Baker, I get to see the other side of the coin, of what they do to get ready for events and prepare and all the stuff that actually goes into events that athletes usually take for granted,” he said. “Now I have a whole picture of what an athletic department is.”

Recent grads launch careers at BU