Recent graduates of Union University, Jake Williams and his wife Betty Kay, have found Jackson to be a solid place to start their life after school.
Graduating in 2013 with a degree in business administration, Jake’s focus at Union was accounting. He has since taken a position at a public accounting firm in Jackson, Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC, otherwise known as ATA.
Working as part of an audit staff, Jake credits Union for teaching him the skills needed to perform the job as well as the professionalism used in a work environment.
“Every class you take will help prepare you for some aspect of what the workplace will be like,” he said.
Betty Kay received her family studies degree in May of this year. Shortly after, they got married, on May 31.
Betty Kay currently works at Milan Express in her hometown of Milan, where she is primarily involved with payroll and human resources.
Even though this job is not in the field she directly studied for, Betty Kay has seen how Union has prepared her for a career.
“Through my classes I was able to really learn about people, their behavior, and how we all interact with each other,” she said. “I think Union prepared me to show my co-workers compassion and understanding, and how to make the workplace more joyful.”
Beyond work, the alumni have found several ways to be involved in the Jackson and Union community.
Both are actively involved in a local church with a small group of newlyweds. They were involved in Greek Life at Union and continue to help when they can. They recently attended the 17th Annual Scholarship Banquet, and Jake was able to help with the Jackson Relay for Life through his job at ATA.
The couple highly recommends Union and attributes the school to experiences that will affect their life and work.
Jake said he appreciates the intentionality of professors to invest in students’ lives. He liked having instructors that would invite him over to dinner or even offer free financial consulting to show that they wanted him to be successful.
Betty Kay said she enjoyed the close-knit community Union offered. Remembering her time at a “very personal and very caring campus,” she carries her experience to her workplace.
While all of their professors encouraged them and offered advice, one professor’s words continue to impress upon the couple during the early stages of their careers.
Dr. Howard Newell encouraged them to live joyful lives and to “understand that all the resources we have ultimately belong to God.”
The Williams believe in a strong work ethic and will push themselves to see what they can achieve, another piece of advice given to them while at the university.
“We believe what the Bible says about work in Colossians 3:23, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men,’” the couple said.