UTC Students Prepare for Life After Graduation

By: Janay Roberson


CHATTANOOGA (UTC/The Loop)—Graduation is intended to be a great accomplishment to anticipate. Many students have stayed up long hours to study for exams, finish projects, and even put their personal lives on the back burner to succeed in college. Most  are ready to graduate, but for others, reality is sinking in and it’s beginning to bother them.

Some students are nervous about finding a job after college and moving to a new city. Others feel like they are losing their college support system  and having to move out on their own. Students who stay on campus and graduating in May from UTC have a few days after graduation to move out.graduation1ik9

Some students aren’t in a rush to be completely on their own. Even though moving back home may not be at the top of most students’ lives, there can be some pros for moving back in:

  • Students may not have to pay rent or utilities
  • Gives students the opportunity of saving money
  • May be able to work for a previous employer while back at home
  • Don’t have to worry about spending money on furniture
  • Gives students the opportunity to spend time with family that was lost while away at school

Amanda Standefer is a Human Resource Management major from Dunlap, TN who is graduating in May.  She is like any other college student who has enjoyed the college life, exams, homework and the experience of meeting new friends. The only difference between Standefer and other college students is the fact that she has been staying at home with her parents since she started school in 2006.

“I drive an hour every day to get to school. So I am comfortable with staying with my parents. I will definitely be staying there after I graduate until I start my career but I’m in no big hurry, Standefer says.”(misplaced quotation marks)


Moving back home just doesn’t sit well with too many college students no matter the benefits that it might have.  Latasha Spears, who is a Finance major from Memphis, TN, says that moving back in with her parents after graduating in May is not an option. Spears is currently working at BlueCross BlueShield in the security department. She is interested in moving closer to her family between Memphis and Nashville, but refuses to move back in with her parents.

“I have been living on my own for a while and I can’t put myself in a situation where I know I will be living off of anyone else,” Spears says.

UTC anxiously await for Graduation day

UTC anxiously await for Graduation day

With the down  economy and the job market to match it, some students are looking forward to grad school. Standefer is definitely considering graduate school in the fall after working in the summer to save money.

“I feel like the economy is bad,” Standefer says. “I feel like nowadays a college degree is basically like a high school diploma so graduate school is the best way to go.”

 After a student graduates and see that they are ready to apply to a graduate program, they need to first figure out what the best programs are for their major. According to viewspoints.com, the top five graduate schools of business are:

Harvard University is in the top graduate program for Business according to viewpoints.com

Harvard University is in the top graduate program for Business according to viewpoints.com

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Pennsylvania
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. Northern University

In Spears’ case, she doesn’t believe that graduate school would benefit her because she is looking to follow in her father’s footsteps. Spears’ father has been an owner of a chicken wing restaurant for the past eight years and she is looking to become owner of the restaurant one day.

“I want to be my own boss. I’m going to be an entrepreneur so me attending graduate school is not necessary,” Spears says.

For Criminal Justice major Talesha Wade from Milan, TN, graduate school is not even a question. “For my major, I have to go to law school, so the only problem that I’m facing now, is getting accepted into graduate school,” Wade says.

On May 2nd, UTC students will walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and start their journey into the real world. Some students will find themselves scrambling for ideas and opportunities that will lead them on the right path to success for life after college.

Local Accessories to Give a “Hoot” About

By: Laura Kelton

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) – One UTC student is watching her dreams come true before her eyes as her eco-friendly accessory line OwlEyes’ Accessories takes flight.

UTC junior Rebekah McCallie is the creator of OwlEyes’ Accessories, designing felt and feather pieces to compliment any outfit. McCallie says her inspiration comes from “watching countless hours of Project Runway, movies and books about renowned fashion designers, and old Audrey Hepburn movies.” But she comments that anything and everything fabulous, pretty and unique inspires her designs. “I just enjoy creating adorable accessories and hopefully adding to someone’s already fabulous outfit.”

Rebekah in the "Brown and Red Indian" headband. $10

Rebekah in the "Brown and Red Indian" headband. $10

As McCallie runs her own business, it has allowed her a lot of leeway in design of both products and the brand itself. She derived the brand name from her own love of owls. She says, “Well, it’s no surprise to people who know me, but for those who don’t: I have a serious obsession with owls. There are probably 20 owls decorating my room, and you will rarely catch me without an owl necklace on.” As far as the product, she takes custom orders at no extra charge. Up and coming Chattanooga fashion blog, Jank is Swank, says that this is their favorite part of OwlEyes, “You can special order any design you desire, from hair pins, to clips and of course headbands.”

Her product line began with felt and feather headbands and earrings, and has expanded to hair clips, pins, brooches, and even a few miniature hats. McCallie says she was motivated to start her own line after shopping one day, as she does frequently, and finding a headband for $30. She says, “I knew I could make them for myself and my friends much cheaper.” UTC junior Brooke Dobson says that McCallie’s creations “cost so little but look so expensive. They go with everything…I own five headbands and a pair of earrings.”

Brooke Dobson in a felt brooch. $8

Brooke Dobson in a felt brooch. $8

McCallie has already seen a large growth in her entrepreneurial business. Dobson says, “I’ve known Bekah for a long time. She is a very driven person and great business woman. OwlEyes will be a huge success.” The accessory line is already available at numerous nearby businesses, including Leo’s Handmade Gallery and Sugar Plums Antiques.

Rebekah in a "Shades of Brown" felt headband. $8

Rebekah in a "Shades of Brown" felt headband. $8

What does the future hold for OwlEyes? “I want it to be selling in many more stores, and eventually grow to a point where I can start my own store,” says McCallie. “I just want to make as many people as fabulous as possible. I hope to see OwlEyes really grow.”

OwlEyes’ Accessories can currently be purchased online from ShopHandmade.com and Etsy.com, as well as through the Facebook page.