Whether it’s an incoming freshman who has high hopes of becoming a nurse, or an ambitious transfer student who wants to own a business, they both have one thing in common: they both want to get a college degree.
Most people have been told by one person or another to enjoy their time in college because “it’s all downhill from here,” but that’s not the case for two recent graduates.
Liz Eastin and Kiersten Jackson both graduated in May 2019, and they are both ready to take on the world.
Eastin attended UMKC because she’s a Kansas City native and wanted to be in the comfort of her hometown while earning her college degree. During her studies, she discovered her love of persuasion in COMM-ST 317.
“Persuasion is an important skill to have and to understand,” Easton said. “I liked how we had an open discussion in class.”
Jackson also ran across a number of great professors while attending UMKC, but there was one who stood out and added a meaningful touch to her college experience.
“My favorite professor at UMKC was Dr. Steven Melling because of his intelligence and fun facts during class,” Jackson said.
After graduating, Eastin started a job in sales at Sun Life Financial. Her degree in communication studies with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication provided the tools she needed to be successful at selling insurance.
“It’s very important to be good at communicating and building relationships in this role,” Easton said.
Communication Studies gave Eastin the opportunity to work in a business-related job and graduate on time.
Jackson, who also earned her degree in communication studies, plans to use her degree to pursue a career in public relations. She also enjoys the versatility that came with her degree program and believes her degree was worth her time, energy and money. She said it allows her the ability to make connections no matter where she goes.
“It makes me a more personable asset,” Jackson said.
She is now aiming at a master’s degree in public relations.
Now that both graduates are taking on the real world, they’re looking forward to accomplishing their goals, but they did acknowledge they’re going to miss some parts of the college experience.
“I’m going to miss the freedom,” Eastin said. “In college, there was so much freedom and so much time to do other things. I’m going to miss how social it was.”
Over the past years, these women have developed wisdom, grown in numerous ways and persevered. Eastin shared it’s important to enjoy the good times that college brings, and Jackson encourages students to stay focused.
“The advice I would give freshmen in balancing school, work and activities is to not lose themselves to the chaos and newness of it all,” Jackson said. “I would tell them to definitely get involved with events and organizations, but also stay true to the person they were before coming to college,” Jackson said.
In the next five years, Eastin sees herself either living in the South or staying true to her roots and living in Kansas City.
“In five years,” Jackson said. “I see myself living in Tampa Bay, Florida, working for a company in its public relations department and also being its project manager.