It is a wonderful thing when students come to college, obtain a degree in their field of study and go on to have a successful career. These graduates are encouraged to give back to their alma mater through volunteering and financial contributions; however, there are some who give even greater contributions by becoming professional employees at their alma maters and investing and contributing their time and efforts into helping students reach their full potential.
That is what one University of West Georgia (UWG) alumna decided to do once she finished her degree. She is now dedicated to student success in higher education as well assisting students achieve their dreams and goals.
Stephanie Parker is an alumna of UWG and works as a business operations specialist for Housing and Residence Life. A native from Bremen, GA, Parker entered UWG as Business Manager Major in 2005. Parker stated that the university was experiencing major changes when she enrolled.
“The name had just changed to the University of West Georgia when I got here in 2005,” she said. “The school mascot was also changing from the Braves to the Wolves when I came here.”
Parker developed her love and interest for business management from watching the hard work of her parents when she grew up. Her father was a sales and business man and her mother was nurse, and it was the sacrifice and dedication of parents, particularly her father, that inspired her to go into the business. Her love for the arts led her to come back to UWG in 2009 to obtain a degree in art education.
Parker credits her success in the business world and staying at UWG to the position she held at The West Georgian. She served as the business and advertising manager for all four of her years at UWG. She says that her experience at the newspaper gave her outside-the-classroom knowledge of business management.
“I came here as a business management major and I wanted to seek an internship or work experience that gave me knowledge and skills in working in an office environment,” Parker said. “I love sales and understanding networking and meeting local people in the community.”
Parker saw the business manager position listed in Career Services and was interested in learning more about the position. After an interview with the former advisor of The West Georgian, Doug Vison, she was offered the position shortly after. While she was excited about being offered the position, she remembered being very nervous about not having the proper knowledge and skills to be successful in the position.
“For it being a student run position, I really didn’t have a lot of management above me,” said Parker.
During her tenure as the business manager, Parker was able to self-start as well as learn how to self-manage. She was able to get to know the writers and editors of the newspaper and meet faculty and staff from various departments, and saw increases in ad revenue for the newspaper.
“The West Georgian was a busy operation when I was working there. Everyone had different schedules and were coming in at different times,” Parker said. “I would even leave the door open because even local people were coming to see me.”
With Parker as the business manager, The West Georgian had financial support from local businesses in Carrollton to local and even national political figures that wanted their campaign ads in the newspaper.
“I went outside of my normal work hours to give sample newspapers to our local businesses in hopes that they would support us.”
While Parker enjoyed and misses her position at The West Georgian, she is extremely proud of the continued growth and legacy of the campus newspaper, as well as the rapid growth of UWG as a whole.
“I think that the university has greatly expanded and become very well developed due to the amount of marketing and advertisement that has been vital to the overall growth of the campus,” Parker said.