By KAITLYN STODDARD | OBU News Bureau
Ouachita Baptist University has sustained momentum in equipping students for postgraduate success, consistently reporting career outcomes rates that far exceed the national average. Graduates are pursuing opportunities in a variety of fields, including technology. For example, five alumni working at Apptegy, an education software company in Little Rock, Ark., are developing software for K-12 school marketing. Their contributions include software engineering, designing user-friendly interfaces and ensuring client success with Apptegy products.
According to its company website, Apptegy is dedicated to powering a K-12 school’s “identity” by building its schools’ brands with an “ADA compliant school marketing strategy.” For seven years, Apptegy has provided a tool called Thrillshare, an app and web platform that enables schools to share their story across multiple platforms with the tap of a button, allowing them to “control the conversation” regarding their brand.
Ouachita alumni at Apptegy include Jasmine Thomas ’10, a studio art and communications & media graduate who is a user interface/user experience designer; Elva Rosas ’16, a finance graduate working as client success manager; Seigen Caton ’20, a business administration/entrepreneurship and Christian studies graduate leading the client success team; Sarah Yates ’21, a mathematics and computer science graduate who is a software engineer; and LaCameria Clark ’22, a communications & media/strategic communications major who joined Apptegy as a client support representative after her December graduation from Ouachita.
Each shared how Ouachita prepared them for their careers by cultivating a passion for education and the community, growing well-rounded individuals in the liberal arts tradition and building problem-solving skills.
Caton said professors at Ouachita taught her to “work diligently, think critically and live a life in pursuit of walking with the Lord.”
“While at Ouachita,” Yates recalled, “I learned how to problem-solve, work with people and find meaning in the work I do.”
As a student, Rosas said she developed “real life skills, such as how to communicate effectively, build healthy relationships and manage a healthy lifestyle.” She reported using lessons today that she learned in Ouachita classes such as Business Ethics, Business Law and Psychology. Beyond the classroom, she also valued the environment Ouachita cultivated.
“Being able to meet people from all over the nation and world helped me understand the importance of being intentional at all times,” she recalled. “I made lifelong friends who I now consider family. I will always be grateful for my time at Ouachita.”
Rosas is not the only one who came away with a fresh point of view.
“I learned a lot about perspective during my time at Ouachita,” Caton said. “It wasn’t something I gained from any single class, but more something I observed through multiple classes, professors, clubs and friends. Perspective is monumental to how you approach conversations, challenges and relationships, and the amazing thing is that you have the ability to choose it.”
Caton’s Ouachita experience has impacted not only her, but also the team she leads in achieving client success.
“At Ouachita, I was encouraged to ask questions and not settle for easy answers,” she said. “That’s something I now coach my team on daily.”
“Ouachita helped mold me into a well-rounded individual. I gained valuable knowledge that goes beyond being a skilled professional in my industry,” Yates reported. “I learned the importance of investing in my spiritual growth and serving my community through my church.”
When asked which Ouachita courses prepared her for Apptegy, Yates said, “Specifically, I think about some of the concepts from Algorithm Design and Analysis. I focus a lot on performance and the efficiency of our programs.”
Learning to manage a busy campus schedule that included mandatory chapel attendance, practicum, meetings and Arts Engagement activities helped prepare Clark for the fast pace of her work with Apptegy clients.
As a student, “I thought it was too much, and sometimes unnecessary, but that’s not the case in reality,” she said. “I realized how helpful it is, to be used to having a full day of events and balance everything.”
The Ouachita alumni at Apptegy represent different degree programs and emphases, accounting for five of Ouachita’s seven undergraduate schools, not including the core curriculum.
“Job markets are shifting pretty quickly these days, but we are seeing our graduates find work that is meaningful and uses their skills and degree in ways they may have never dreamed,” said Adam Wheat, director of career & calling at Ouachita. “From Christian studies majors in technology, to musical theatre majors practicing law, to business majors in medical school, my team and I find joy in helping students think creatively about their next steps.”
Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university, is in its 137th year as a Christ-centered learning community and is ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Ouachita continues to break records for enrollment – reporting its highest headcount in 56 years during the Fall 2022 semester and a Spring 2023 headcount that is its highest in 26 years – and career placement rates, reporting that 99% of its 2022 graduates are employed or furthering their education. To learn more, visit www.obu.edu.
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