Undergraduate Alumnae and Alumni

Career Pathways of Undergraduate Alumnae and Alumni

The Sociology Department of Vanderbilt University has a strong group of medical sociology faculty, and there is a good sequence of courses in the department for students with a pre-med or pre-health career path. In the graduating class of 2012, three students plan to go to medical school, one to a  graduate program in health services administration, and one to a program in social work. One student has a job in human resources and recruiting in a health software company.

Another strength of the department is the study of politics, law, and institutions. The sociology degree is a good background for law school, and four students in the class of 2012 plan to go to law school. Another student will be working in a nonprofit organization for a year and then going on to earn a master’s degree in nonprofit management.  One student is headed to Washington, DC, to work in a nongovernmental organization, then she plans to pursue graduate study in social policy. Another student is headed toward a career in journalism.

The focus on politics, law, and institutions, plus the methods sequence, is also good preparation for careers in the private sector. A combination of sociology and economics led one student to find a job in an economics consulting firm that focuses on public policy and business strategy.  Students also accept offers for jobs in public relations, advertising, development and alumni relations, and training for management.

The strong methods sequence and theoretical training in the sociology program also is good preparation for graduate school and careers as educators and researchers. One student in the class of 2012 is going on for PhD in sociology, another is going on to study Latin American Studies, and another student will be in the Mississippi Teachers Corp.

Examples from the Class of 2013:

  • Aynalem Ameha plans to work for a year before applying to medical school.
  • Mariel Behnke has secured a position as a business analyst.
  • Brooke Burton is working with Teach for America and plans to attend to graduate school.
  • Marianne DeAngel is working as a project manager/implementation consultant for a healthcare software company.
  • Hannah Dimmitt is attending graduate school for a degree in Child Studies.
  • Paige Diner has joined Teach for America and plans to obtain her master’s in educational leadership, public policy, and/or a MBA.
  • Raven McKinne is working on her Master’s in Nutrition at Exercise Science at Lipscomb University.
  • Amanda Milster is working in nonprofit communications and development in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, or wildlife.
  • Chantella Mitchell is earning her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University.
  • Molly Morley is earning her Masters in Public Policy with an emphasis on Social Policy at George Washington University.
  • Emily Natoli has joined Teach for America.
  • Allison O’Neil plans to work for an organization that specializes in human rights, domestic violence, or refugees.
  • Perry Peguillan is interested in conducting health care research for health policy.
  • Briana Perry plans to work for a year, then apply for a Masters of Education & Public Policy at Peabody.
  • David Reichley is working in food service.
  • Remingio Silva II is applying to Law school.
  • Candace Smith is working for a year, then apply to Law school.
  • Gabrielle Smith is attending graduate school in Sports Psychology.
  • Kristen Sueing has joined Teach for America.
  • Mary Wachs is employed with a company that works with consumers to get affordable health-care
  • Kristen Webb is working on her Master’s of Education in Leadership and Organizational Performance at Peabody.
  • Sarah Zavaleta plans to work at a nonprofit organization, and then apply to a sociology graduate program.

Examples from the Class of 2012:

  • Lisa Branding is studying for a Masters of Health Services Administration at the University of Michigan, and she plans to go on for a career in hospital administration.
  • Genevieve Gail is staying at Vanderbilt for a year to work with Steven Tepper at the Curb Center on his next book. She then plans to travel and go on to graduate school.
  • Abigail Gravenhost is Research Associate at Economists Incorporated (Washington, DC), a firm that does policy analysis.
  • Jamie Hooker is Recruiter for Human Resources, Epic Systems, a health software company.
  • Cecile Lauzan plans to develop her own events planning business and is currently interning in Washington, DC, at the Carlyle Group with their corporate events team.
  • Ethel Mickey is in the Ph.D. program in sociology at Northeastern University.
  • Laurie Nordland is in the School of Social Work, University of Michigan.
  • Aurelia Patterson is in the Cecil Humphrey’s School of Law, University of Memphis.
  • April Philley is in the School of Law, University of Texas (class of 2015).
  • Jinsu Sohn is in the School of Nutrition, Columbia University, plans a career in research.
  • Keisha White has a complete four-year scholarship to study medicine at the University of Connecticut.
  • James Whiteside won a Greensboro Graduate Scholar Award to study in the MFA program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He plans to go on to college or university teaching.

A Few Examples of Careers of Undergraduates from Previous Years:

Amy Cooter (BA, 2005) finished her PhD in sociology at the University of Michigan. With the generous support from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, she conducted more than three years of fieldwork with the Michigan Militia, and she is writing about what the group can tell us about lower-middle class, white men’s understandings of nationalism, politics, race, and masculinity. She is currently a lecturer at Vanderbilt in the Sociology Department.

Matt Doyle (BA, 1991) is a real estate attorney in Charlotte, NC, in his own law firm. He writes, “Despite the troubles in the real estate world over the past years, our firm is doing well. My wife, Erin, and I have a son named Sean, who is two years old”

Sadiki Etienne (BA, 2006) is Senior Consultant with Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Dakar, Senegal office. Dalberg is a private consulting firm that was started some years ago by two partners from McKinsey & Company and has 10 offices globally. Dalberg advises corporations, financial institutions, NGOs and governments, specifically in emerging markets, in a variety of areas including access to finance, private sector development, strategy and performance, and global health.

Tara Kane (BA, 2009) worked for two years with Pittsburg Health Corps, then became a wellness associate with AmeriCorps. She is working on a master’s in community counseling at Indiana University.

Zhubin Parang (BA, 2003) attended law school at the Georgetown University Law Center, then spent four years practicing commercial litigation in New York City. He then left the profession to pursue a writing career, and he is currently a staff write on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.



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