UT alumni thriving with respect to competitors

Katie Balevic

UT graduates are thriving in comparison to graduates from national competitors, according to a study released in December by Gallup, Inc.

The report, which surveyed over 70,000 graduates from 14 schools, measured “well-being and workplace engagement” based on five elements: purpose, social, financial, community and physical.

“Undergraduate experiences help students find success and well-being after graduation,” UT President Gregory Fenves tweeted in mid-December. “This new @GallupHigherEd poll shows UT alumni see that impact in their lives.”

For nursing graduate Kathleen Keahley, UT gave her unique experiences and a solid foundation to start her career as a nurse at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.

“UT had a huge impact on where I’m going to be at Dell Children’s just because (I was) in the nursing school in Austin,” Keahley said. “All major medical centers know about UT nursing, and they know the standard that UT holds for their students.”

Keahley said UT provides an environment that helps students find their purpose.

“Nursing is my passion,” Keahley said. “I don’t think I would have gone through four-and-a-half years of nursing school if it wasn’t my passion … But I know that it is what I want to do, and I’m so glad that UT emphasized that passion for me.”   

Professors also shaped graduates’ experiences and growth, accounting graduate Henry Stipe said.

“We had discussion-based classes and professors that were willing to have those discussions instead of just telling you their opinion,” Stipe said. “With some of the smaller schools that I was looking at, I don’t really think I would’ve gotten that.”

Stipe, who will start a job with IBM in Chicago this summer, said college allows time for trial and error that can influence your future.

“UT gave me the opportunity to shape my own beliefs,” Stipe said. “It gave me a good idea of what I’m interested in and what I want to do with my career, and that gave me more confidence going into the workplace.”

The atmosphere in Austin granted opportunities for new experiences beyond college, said Katie Lamberth, human development and family sciences graduate.

“In Austin, there’s so much variety,” Lamberth said. “There’s big tech corporations, athletic industries, business centers — all kinds of different things that make this city very prosperous. It lets us find cool internships and get jobs out of college. There’s people that move (to Austin) just to live here … You might not get that at other schools that are college towns, not a city.”

College life also allows time for organizations that can help shape your path, said Lamberth, who will be biking to Alaska this summer with Texas 4000 to raise money for cancer research.

“UT gave me a lot of options for things to join,” said Lamberth, who was involved with two cancer support organizations and a sorority. “I picked three and got really involved with them, and that helped my purpose along because it gave me something that mattered. It gave me something and someone to support in life.”

Lamberth said UT played an important role in shaping her future.

“I don’t think I would have gone anywhere else,” Lamberth said. “I got everything out of college that I wanted to, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”