Life beyond graduation: Utah Tech alumni shine in diverse career paths

At Utah Tech University, “active learning. active life.” is what is taught, providing countless opportunities for students to put their foot in the door of a career they are interested in. Students are let go into the world after graduation with the hope that their university prepared them to do extraordinary things. Cora Mark | Sun News Daily

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A year after tossing their graduation caps into the air, these alumni have shaped their lives after graduation with preparation from what they learned at Utah Tech University.

Attending a university helps equip students to pursue a career, but do you ever wonder where Utah Tech alumni are in life post-graduation?

Natalie Riggs

Natalie Riggs is working at a gym to get her personal trainer certifications by day, and she is a Utah Jazz dancer by night. Riggs graduated with her associate degree in May 2023. She majored in exercise science but moved to Orem after graduation to find better career options.

Riggs said her biggest accomplishment in her career since graduating is being a dancer for the Utah Jazz.

Riggs said: “[Being on an NBA team] which I think is awesome, and it’s really helped me with my dancing and my performance and character. It’s really built me up a lot and it’s been a cool experience, to say the least.”

Advice Riggs would give to anyone attending Utah Tech is to stay consistent. Find ways to build your resume whether it be attending auditions in Riggs example or learning new skills.

“Because like the real life is, it’s hard…getting into real life is like crazy,” Riggs said. “I feel like college can really prepare you, so really make sure you listen and take all the advice you can get.”

Makenzee Clements

MaKenzee Clements graduated from Utah Tech in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education. Clements is now a seventh-grade social studies teacher in Delaware.

What prepared Clements most for post-graduation was the Career Services office. Career Services helped Clements find a job over 2,000 miles away.

“They had all the answers and they were super, super helpful and I’m really glad I went to them,” Clements said. “And I guess I wish I went to them sooner so that I didn’t have to feel as nervous for as long as I did.”

Clements would tell all future graduates to take as many pictures as they can and to appreciate the college experience. She notes not everyone is always going to remember what campus looked like and the friends made. Memories will fade faster than some may realize.

Preslee Harris

Preslee Harris loved her time at Utah Tech. Being an alumni ambassador and in the Multicultural Inclusion Student Association, she was busy and enjoyed her time being a student. She graduated with a degree in marketing in May of 2023. Harris is now the director of marketing at Red Rock Media.

Harris said she is grateful for all the networking opportunities and organizations she was a part of because they gave her opportunities to learn and grow as a student.

“Companies like to see it [school involvement] even if it’s not in what you really want to do,” Harris said. “But that goes a long way and I feel like people don’t expect that.”

Some advice she would give to students is to slow down. Harris wishes more people gave her similar advice while she was in college.

Harris said, “I wish there would have been a little bit more talk about like, [people telling me] it’s okay to just chill out.”