Alumni bring unique perspectives to TCU positions

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    The university has a reputation for hiring many of its alumni. The things that keep these graduates coming back are a family atmosphere and the people that make up the university, said an alumna.

    Dede Williams graduated from the university in 2001 and returned as the director of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Next Generation Leadership Program in 2006. Williams received degrees in sociology and business and said she always thought she’d end up in the corporate world after college.

    After working as an intern at a nonprofit adoption organization, Williams said she realized her needs were better served helping others. She said her current position allows her to use her passions for the business world and helping others to develop the next generation of leaders at the university.

    Williams said alumni bring unique perspectives that employees who come from other universities cannot.

    TCU students are different than other students in that they come in to college with more diverse experiences and are more focused on developing themselves, Williams said. Knowing the type of student who attends the university has helped her to give students a better experience, she said.

    A senior student who plans to take an internship at the university after he graduates this month agreed.

    Senior history major Jimmy Hopper plans to work as an intern for Student Development next semester. He said that although people coming from elsewhere may bring a fresh perspective, graduates add experience and passion for the school to the mix.

    “Obviously I am far from knowing everything about this school, but I do know a lot about this school,” Hopper said. “I know a lot about the students: how they work … what they want, what they don’t want.”

    Although Hopper plans to work elsewhere after next semester, he said is looking forward to his internship because he will be working under experienced employees from whom he can learn a lot.

    For Williams, working at the university is a family tradition. Her parents are both alumni and her mother, Deidre Williams, has worked as an administrative assistant for the Center for Professional Communication for 12 years.

    Deidre Williams, who graduated in 1968, said she began working at the university when her daughter was an undergraduate student to help pay for her daughter’s education. Working around students helps keep her young, she said.

    Dede Williams said that the family atmosphere and the devotion of faculty and staff have not changed since she attended the university, but the school spirit on campus has.

    In previous years, she saw students wearing shirts from their individual organizations. This year, on the other hand, she has seen more TCU shirts and more enthusiasm about school spirit and athletics.

    She said the success of the football team brought a lot of these changes to the university. The publicity the university has received from it would continue to bring the university to new levels in terms of recruitment, admissions and the way people around the world view TCU.