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*Scott Barks and Kumiko Barks met at a 'Meet the Freshman' event, attended the same church and both found a home within the sociology department. They got married in July 2015 and have been happily married two years now.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I work with both families and children who have been in situations of abuse and neglect.

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for your career?

Kumiko & Scott: Being a sociology major, many people often asked us first off what it was, why that major and how could we ever have a successful career with this type of degree. Our response would be that sociology is probably the best critical thinking degree that anyone could ever gain. Within both the sociology and social work program, we gained not only the opportunity to think outside the box but to see and understand people within their cultural context and social norms. Overall, CMU prepared us to challenge the status quo, wear different hats and love our community even more.

What was your transition like from being a student to your current career position?

I went from working full-time jobs while attending college and volunteering my time, to focusing in my attention and abilities on something I am passionate about. The transition was simple enough — it’s about finding what you were meant to do.

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position?

Courtesy
Courtesy

My presentation in professionalism and my drive. First impressions matter but your employer needs to see what it is that motivates you.

What advice would you give to incoming college students?

College will give you little if you’re there for the wrong reasons. If you want it to matter, then approach it like a job. If you can’t do that, then your convictions towards what it is you want to do are pointing you a different direction. Be willing to adapt and learn to operate under pressure so that you’ll be well-prepared for life — not just school.

Published 5/16/2018