From textbooks to tassels, UNT graduates hit the job market and travel the world
May 16, 2010

The UNT Coliseum was filled the rich traditions of academic caps, gowns, and tassels as over 3,600 graduates crossed the stage at the spring 2010 commencement ceremonies.  Dr. V. Lane Rawlins, UNT's 15th president, conferred degrees to over 115 undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management (SMHM). For many graduates across the nation, the thought of entering the job market during an economic downturn is rather daunting. Fortunately, SMHM graduates have found the transition to the job market both swift and smooth.  


Lauren Pruett credits her success to the advanced training she received in the master's program in merchandising. "I was offered three jobs from three highly respected companies in the industry," says Pruett.  "They were impressed with my resume and comprehensive skill set," she adds. Upon graduation, Pruett begins her position as an allocator in decorative bedding at the JCPenney headquarters in Plano, TX.

Hannah Snowden, who received her bachelor's degree in hospitality management on Saturday, will launch her career with Sweet Tomatoes, a division of Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation as a service manager.  Like most UNT students, Snowden is no stranger to balancing the rigors of academic study and work. She acknowledges the important role the faculty played in creating a program that enhanced her overall job competitiveness. "Each step along the way, our School provided opportunities for me to network and gain a real-world industry perspective," says Snowden.

While many students will enter the corporate world after graduation, Karen Even, a merchandising undergraduate, will use this transition period to build her portfolio by traveling abroad. "This is a chance of a lifetime to see the world and build my resume," says Even. "My experiences at UNT and in the SMHM program have given me the maturity, leadership skills, and knowledge to succeed on a personal and business level," she adds. No stranger to global experiences, Even participated in the Hong Kong/China and New York study tours. "This has been an amazing four years of my life, and I am proud to leave knowing that I have grown in so many positive ways," says Even.

More than just the usual pomp and circumstance, the 'turning of the tassel' for the spring 2010 graduates symbolizes the hard work, determination, and sacrifice which culminated in their college degrees. Ready or not world, here they come!

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