Soaring Beyond: Asiah Claiborne

MEET ASIAH! She is graduated from UNT with a degree in Integrative Studies. She works full-time for UNT as Student Organizations Coordinator. 

We asked Asiah some questions about her plans for graduation, advice for current students, and how UNT helped her to succeed and SOAR BEYOND!

When you started at UNT, what were your plans after graduation? How have these plans changed (if at all)? I am a first-generation student who came to UNT because of a TRIO program, Upward Bound Math & Science. I started off undecided, but knew that I wanted to continue learning about and helping others. I took classes that interested me such as Social Work and Psychology. From there, I was able to declare Integrative Studies as my major with focus on Counseling, Psychology, Behavior Analysis and a minor in Spanish. My junior year, I was still undecided on what career path I’d follow. I formed a mentorship with my student organization advisor, Daniel Suda, who then helped me cater a path to pursue a career in Student Affairs/Higher Education. I picked up a certificate in Leadership Studies, got involved with NASPA (a professional national association for the field), and got admitted into the College Student Personnel Administration graduate program at Illinois State University.

What advice do you have for prospective or current students as they decide what they want their next steps to be (internships/careers/etc.)? My advice for prospective or current students would be to get involved and utilize your resources. I don’t believe I would have gained the network and friendships I have today or have learned the depths of my interests and skills if it weren’t for trying new things on- and off-campus with organizations, departments, volunteer work, etc. It doesn’t stop there. Once you are involved, connect with the individuals around you. Find a mentor, find someone who has the job you would like one day and ask them how they got there. Involvement is just another line on your resume if you aren’t intentional with engaging and learning from those around you. For utilizing resources, there are so many people and services on-campus that are here for you. Now that I work at UNT, I look at resources and think “wow, I wish I knew this” then I’d go back through my student email and see that is was available to me. Read the emails you receive, follow UNT departments on social media, read flyers, go to events, etc. There are so many things available to set you up for success.

How did your program at UNT help you to feel prepared for this role? What prepared me for my role at UNT was my Leadership Studies, my involvement on-campus, and mentors. After that, my internships and graduate program furthered my preparation. With these experiences, I was able to get hands-on experience working with others and developing/enhancing a multitude of skills.

How did you find your current role (website, email, word of mouth, etc)? I initially heard about my current role through word of mouth. When you are job searching, it is important to keep your network in the loop of what roles you are looking for and where. I still have many close connections on-campus who knew I wanted to return to Texas and they reached out to me know about the opportunity. I was also able to find the role on multiple HigherEd platforms.

What was the toughest interview question they asked you? Tell me about yourself – so simple, but so difficult if you don’t practice directing it towards the role you are wanting or like talking about yourself! Scenario/Experience questions (Ex. “Tell me about a time that you…”) – these are always difficult if you overthink things or think a lot! Rule of thumb, when you have an interview, review the job description provided and come up with examples for every point.

How did the Career Center help you? It wasn’t until my junior or senior year that I truly started to utilize the free resources/services provided on-campus (I really wish I had begun sooner). The Career Center helped me enhance my LinkedIn profile, further my interest in diversity and inclusion by attending the Equity and Diversity Conference, increase my confidence in navigating professional settings with the Etiquette Dinner, build up my professional wardrobe through the UNT Suit UP: Free Professional Clothing event, and lift a huge burden of having stable technology and a quiet place to conduct all of my graduate school/internship interviews.

Would you like to be featured in our Soaring Beyond Success Series? Email Jeanette Hickl. We’d love to share your story!

By Jeanette Hickl
Jeanette Hickl