Baker alums share post-grad realizations

Story by Levi Blaylock, Writer

Many upperclassmen eagerly anticipate the day they hear bagpipes playing inside Collins Center as they walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. However, many of those same students are unsure of their future once they leave Baker.

After earning undergraduate degrees, recent Baker alumni acknowledged that the path they set up for themselves upon graduation is not the same one they are traveling now.

Off the path

Alumnus Devin Wilson finished school at Baker with a degree in mass media that emphasized broadcasting. Today, Wilson works as an event specialist and regional director for Primetime Sports, a sports management company based out of Dallas.

“I don’t think Baker directly prepared me for what I am doing now since it is not a position someone with my major is expected to get,” Wilson said. “However, Baker did a great job preparing me how to manage my time and get my work done efficiently.”

Wilson also finished school in May 2013. When he graduated he had to make the decision to move to Dallas for an internship that could turn into something bigger or stay in the Kansas City area where he had two management job offers.

“I decided to do the internship in Dallas,” Wilson said. “I showed out and they offered me a full-time position in Dallas.”

On the right track

After graduating in May 2013, alumnus Reggie Harris was unsure of what direction he wanted to travel.

“I wanted to go to graduate school, but there were still more steps to take,” Harris said. “I was thrown into the real world with a sink-or-swim mentality.”

Just a year and a half removed from college, Harris is a personal trainer as well as a football and track coach at Olathe South High School.

“The internship I did my senior year put me in a great position to step up once a position opened at (Olathe) South,” Harris said.

Harris credited the education he received at Baker for allowing him to be able to have a backup idea after his first career aspirations did not work out.

“Baker did a good job at preparing me for what I do now,” Harris said. “My original plans fell through, but Baker still helped put me in a position to be successful.”

Back to school

Some alumni decide to continue their education and pursue a graduate degree. Alumna Stephanie Nelson is one of those students.

“Right now I am working towards my MBA at St. Ambrose University while working as an assistant coach for the track and field department,” Nelson said.

Nelson graduated from Baker in May 2014. Nelson said she has a clear goal in mind for her future and is taking the necessary steps to achieve it.

“After I get my MBA, I will apply for an occupational therapy position,” Nelson said. “Once I get a few years of experience in occupational therapy, my goal is to own and operate my own business.”

Nelson credits BU and her former track and field coach Zach Kindler with connecting her to St. Ambrose University.

“Baker created many opportunities for me to continue my education and coach Kindler put in a good word with the coaches here to help me land this position with the track program,” Nelson said.

All three of these recent graduates have taken different career paths after graduating from Baker, but when asked to reflect about their experiences at BU, they all had positive things to say.

“There isn’t anything negative about Baker,” Nelson said. “There are many life lessons to be learned there. Every day at Baker is a present.”