For two graduating seniors, commencement means the end of a great college experience, but the beginning of lifelong dreams. UTC graduates Erin Murdoch and Erin Candler are passionate about beginning their new careers.
Erin Murdoch has come a long way from organizing her grandmother’s Tupperware cabinet as a girl. She applied her organization skills to her accounting major at UTC and landed a job post graduation.
“Accounting really makes sense to me-there’s nothing like that feeling of doing a balance sheet and it actually balancing,” she said. “I loved the business program at UTC. It gave me so many opportunities throughout my four years at UTC. The classes were great and the professors were very helpful.”
Murdoch, a student in the University honors program, will be graduating with a 4.0 GPA as well as with highest honors for her Departmental Honors Project.
“I have always been motivated academically. I like to set high goals for myself and I am always determined to work hard enough to achieve them. I think the biggest thing that helps me stay focused and achieve my goals is the support from my family. They’ve always been there for me and encouraged me to do my best. Without their support, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today,” she said.
After graduation, Murdoch will be joining Joseph Decosimo & Company, a local accounting firm.
“I’m really feeling a mixture of things about graduation. I am of course extremely excited and ready to start my job. I’m a little sad too because I really do love school. My experience here at UTC was absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I loved being a part of the College of Business and the Honors Program. I met a lot of great people and I have a lot of good relationships with professors that I know I will keep in touch with for years to come. I am very proud to become part of the UTC alumni,” she said.
Erin Candler will be trading the mountains of Tennessee for the beaches of California. The interior design major will be working for Joan Behnke & Associates, a Los Angeles based interior design firm.
“My interest in interior design has kind of been around since I was little. It started out as always thinking of new ways to rearrange the furniture in my room and then I became more aware of the ideas behind design through watching design shows on TV when I was in middle school,” she said.
“I am interested in interior design because interior spaces are so important in our lives. I love that there are so many different ways to approach the design of a space and how much it can impact the people who use it. Most people think interior design is just picking out fabric and paint colors and putting accessories in a room. But I love interior design because it is so much more than that, it’s about making a space safe, functional, and desirable,” she continued.
Though Candler admitted to stressful times when finishing design projects for her classes, her experience in the program was very positive.
“I believe my classmates and I were lucky to get to have the professors and adjunct faculty that we had, since they included architects and interior designers with focuses in different areas, such as textiles and healthcare design. After completing my internship class requirement over the summer, I can say that the program prepared me for entering the design field,” she said.
Candler received a job offer after completing her internship at Joan Behnke & Associates.
“My new position will be an entry level designer where I will be assisting senior designers on projects by doing sketches and working drawings for specifications, writing specifications, assisting in materials and finishes selections, as well as contacting vendors for samples and pricing along with other organizational tasks. I’ve really enjoyed working there so I am excited to continue work out there, but am also nervous about moving so far away,” Candler said.
“I am glad to be graduating and finally starting my career. I have enjoyed college and seriously love the friendships I have made. Being in such a small program, I was fortunate enough to get to spend time with and become great friends with the same few people over the last four years. I have many fond memories of all-nighters in the studio working on projects with everyone. It’s just one of those things you can’t understand unless you are an interior design major,” she said.