“Graduating from UU and then turning around and working as an enrollment counselor is the best full circle,” said Kait Martin, a former public relations major here at Union.
She graduated in May of 2017, so she’s not far removed from being a student herself, now working with all the people that gave her exams and sleepless nights just a semester ago. The transition from student to staff can be awkward, so having someone to lean on can really be a blessing.
For Martin, that someone was Ashley Blair, a communications professor. Blair was the first person outside of Martin’s family that Martin called after she got the job in the admissions office. She’s also the person that Martin has grown closest to as a peer since becoming an employee.
The most jarring change during her transition was adjusting the way she addressed her former professors.
“The weirdest thing about making that shift from student to peer at Union is now I can call my old professors by their first names,” said Martin. “That is still hard for me to do because I feel like they will fail me if I do it. Using the first names is a different ball game.”
She also highlighted the difference in her perception of the school since she became a staff member, noting that as students we tend to trivialize making changes around campus. Martin realizes now that everyone on campus is making a real effort to improve life at Union. She carries a new sense of school pride because she sees how much the employees love this institution and care about the students.
Martin loves Union just as much as any professor or other staff member. The impression that these people made on her left a lasting impression that drew her back.
“I decided to come back because I just couldn’t give Union up yet,” said Martin. “To be surrounded by wiser adults who understood that I was new to the adult world and have enough patience to help me while still giving me all the responsibility of my job is a God-send.”
Photo courtesy of Kristi McMurry Woody