Where the Consecrated Class is now! (Part 5)
Complied by Joey Nunez, a senior from Harrisonburg, Va.
WILMORE, KY—On May 9, 2009, the Consecrated Class of 2009 graduated. The 305-member class departed Asbury’s campus to pursue various summer plans before continuing further education or starting a career in the work force. In this update, you will read what some of our Consecrated alumni are up to these days, exciting changes in their lives and their memories from Asbury!
I got married in June 2009, was hired in June as a web-designer for Vest Advertising, and bought a house in November. I work in Louisville, Ky., and live in New Albany, Ind.
The most important class I took, and I did not realize it until I got out, was the Media Communications Senior Seminar. If Dr. Owens is teaching it ... listen up. The Special Events class also taught me how to handle a studio environment.
My favorite memory was DJing on the roof of Kresge with Seth Parker ’10 ... for a WACW event ... I promise.
It is hard to believe that just eight months ago I was in college. Not only does it feel like a decade since I was living in Kresge and taking final exams, it feels like those four years took place in an entirely-different dimension. After doing the ol' cap and gown routine, I packed as many of my belongings as I could into Corey, my reliable Corolla, and headed north to Chicago. I stayed with my parents for a week before beginning a two-month long journey. I drove to Charleston, Charlotte, Asheville, Lexington, Dallas, Houston, Bryan, Nacogdoches and San Antonio, Texas before settling in Austin, Texas. I could not be happier. After one week of being here, I found a job at a local bakery -- Sweetish Hill. There were over 100 applicants for the position, but apparently I had that somethin’ somethin’ that says “hire me please! I can foam milk within an inch of its life and serve cupcakes with a smile!” and that is pretty much what I do.
I am off work by 3 p.m. most days, which gives me plenty of time in the evenings to write. I am working on a novel, “Of Poets and Priests.” I have also been writing plenty of poetry and submitting to literary journals across the country. My poem, “Fresh Baggage,” was accepted into the spring issue of Inscape, the literary review published by Washburn State University.
Austin is an incredibly diverse city, giving me an opportunity to meet amazing people that I would not otherwise have come in contact. Several weeks ago I met the owner of a local vintage store and we ended up talking business strategies while he altered a dress for me. After exchanging numbers we met up a few more times and I have become his “unofficial” personal assistant (meaning, I get paid in vintage clothing, alterations and haircuts). My first task was to get all his tax papers in order. I applied my research skills, and after spending several hours online and talking to the local small business association, I was able to get it all sorted out. Next on my agenda is building his Internet presence and accompanying him on his buying trips to local flea markets and estate sales. Once his business starts making steady money, this opportunity has the potential to turn into a full-time paid position.
I have also begun my first writing project for the director of a non-profit organization that works with felons to secure them jobs and assist their transition back into society. I am learning grant writing and may be able to turn this volunteer work into a contract position as an Americorps Vista. When I reflect on my time at Asbury, I always come back to one thing -- the professors. I will never regret my college experience because I am confident that I could not have received a better education from better people than the professors at Asbury College.
Even though I only graduated in May, it seems live I have been away from Asbury for quite a while. Immediately after graduation I relocated to Pinedale, Wyo., where I worked as an Operations and Internal Audit intern for a community bank. I was primarily responsible for working on a project to ensure that all of the banks’ accounts met federal / state regulations and complied with bank policies. I also provided ad-hoc research briefs, analyzed the local competitive landscape and streamlined the client information management process by digitizing bank records.
After three months in Wyoming, I hopped the pond to begin my first placement on the Barclays Graduate Development Programme. I am currently based in Northampton, United Kingdom (UK) and work as a product strategy analyst for Barclaycard UK’s Marketing Analytics team. Barclaycard was the first credit card company in the UK and now is the market leader, issuing more than 12 million cards domestically. We also have an expanding global presence in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia combining for another 12 million cards. I am currently responsible for building models to forecast the way customer behaviors drive profit and losses of new products / partnerships. It is a really interesting area to work in as I constantly need to collaborate with external partners and different internal teams / business functions. The project-based nature of my job ensures I am constantly working on new assignments, and I get the chance to be in a forward-thinking area. I enjoy what this opportunity gives me to see where the business is moving, think innovatively about creating new products and be involved with confidential projects.
I feel that my time in the Business Department at Asbury gave me the confidence to ask questions, challenge my colleague’s assumptions and produce quality work. The small size of my classes at Asbury forced me to interact with my professors and classmates and enabled me to take charge of my education -- which has translated into my ability and desire to be proactive in advancing in my career. After spending four years being molded and developed by Asbury’s dedicated professors, I feel prepared to step into the work place and accept a demanding project load. Also, the collaborative nature of many Asbury’s businesses classes has proved invaluable as I am currently involved with many different teams that are each tackling a different project. Being able to prioritize my workload, manage my time and collaborate with colleagues in offices all over the world has been an essential skill that Asbury was more than able to adequately prepare me for.
Following graduation, I spent the summer working part-time at my church. I also helped lead a college-age Bible study and worked with the music ministry. In August, I left on the World Race, an 11-month, 11-country mission trip through Adventures In Missions. So far, I have done street witnessing in Ireland, run kids clubs in gypsy villages in Romania and done prayer ministry in Montenegro and Turkey. I helped teach Sudanese refugees English in Israel, and preached and completed door-to-door ministry in northern Uganda. I am currently in Nairobi, Kenya, awaiting my team’s next ministry assignment, which will probably be somewhere here in Eastern Africa. I am about six months into my nearly-year long journey and am learning so much about the Lord and about myself. It has certainly been the most challenging thing that I have ever done, but I know that I could not be doing anything else that would be stretching me and helping me grow more.
I cannot express how much my time at Asbury prepared me for what I am doing now. Living in community is one of the hardest parts for many members of my squad, but living in a great community at Asbury gave me such a leg up on the transition to living with six other people in challenging circumstances. I also grew so much spiritually at Asbury, and I know that without the growing of my faith during my time there, I would certainly not have stepped out into doing something like this opportunity. I am so thankful to the men on my hall, Firehouse, for keeping me accountable and challenging me to step out even more. My advice to young Asburians is to get plugged in, especially to small groups. Your time is going to fly and I can tell you that some of my best memories are those challenging and deep conversations during small group and accountability times. This life is hard, and the Lord did not mean for us to do it alone. You may never have such an amazing community around you again, so take advantage of it!
After spending two more months in Eastern Africa, I will move on to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, for a month each. I will be doing all kinds of ministry from church planting to orphan care, to combating the sex trade and human trafficking. I plan to be back in July 2010, and I will probably find myself in the position of most college seniors, having no idea what I will be doing. I always appreciate prayers so much, and if you would like to follow my journey, you can do so at http://adamcoleman.theworldrace.org
The day after graduation I moved with my husband Matt Pittman ’08 to Raleigh, N.C., where he had taken a job at a software company called Sageworks. I was able to attain a contracting position at Sageworks for a few months while I searched for a job that fit my personality a little better.
After only searching for a couple of weeks, I was blessed to get a job as the Development and Volunteer Coordinator at the Council for Senior Citizens in downtown Durham, N.C. Though I was an English major in college, I managed to take as many sociology classes as possible with Dr. Mike Cuckler. In those classes, I first became aware of the increasing need in our society for more activities and programs involving older adults. They are the largest growing age group in our population, and there is just not a lot for them in our society, so they tend to get neglected and even abused. I love being able to help raise money in order to better their quality of life and work with wonderful volunteers everyday!
Within a 6-month time period, I got married, graduated from college, moved 13 hours away from my family to a state where I knew no one, started my first job, moved four times and bought a house that we are completely renovating. Everything has been great, with a lot of transition!