Tuesday, March 11, 2014

30 for 30 Member Spotlight: Sarah McKay

Garland, TX. Ever seen King of the Hill? Yep, “Arlen, TX” is based on my hometown. FAME!

College(s) attended:
University of Missouri, where I earned both my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and my Master of Education in Counseling Psychology.

Job title(s) and department(s) past and present:
Current: Senior Academic Advisor in Economics
Past: Associate Academic Advisor in UGS

How did you end up at UT in the first place?
I decided to move back to Texas after grad school so I could be a little closer to my nephew (and now niece) in Dallas. I visited Austin during my last year of grad school, and set my sights on moving here. I had a lot of experience working in higher ed as a student, so it seemed like a natural progression after my counseling degree.

What is your favorite part or being a part of ACA?  
Getting out of my office, hearing new perspectives, and free breakfast J

Here's where we'd like an anecdote about a favorite ACA memory or a memory that includes another ACA member.
Probably the most memorable experience was the time Kristin Tommey and I made 6 dozen cookies FROM SCRATCH for the ACA holiday party. Because we were like “pshh, slice n’ bake? Lame.” We…kind of hated cookies for a while after that. I can cross “professional baker” off my list of alternative career options, not because I’m bad at it, but because baking en masse really takes the fun out of it.

What advice would you give to new advisors or new staff members at UT?
UT Austin is massive, and there’s tons of stuff to learn and synthesize. You might cry a lot in the first few months. THIS IS NORMAL (that’s what I told myself, anyway)! Learning this much information, especially for someone who didn’t attend UT as a student, takes time. It helped me to talk to lots of different people on campus to start feeling more connected, and to be open to lots of uncertainty at the beginning.

What legacy would you like to leave behind at UT? 
If I can leave feeling as though I’ve helped students feel listened to and supported, if I can make this enormous campus slightly easier to navigate, I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded.

Anything else you want to tell us?  

I have a love/hate relationship with reality television. No apologies.

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