Ohio University (OHIO) alumna, Casey Arnold, is the perfect example of how your life after college does not have to follow a specific path in order for you to be successful. Arnold has shown huge successes since she graduated from OHIO in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, she attended Yale Law School (wow), which helped her realize what she did and didn’t want in life. She admits it is OK to still be figuring it out, which is a piece of advice many Bobcats should take from her. Originally from Little Hocking, Arnold made the move back to an area close to home and is now working for the OHIO Alumni Association. OHIO is lucky to have her.

Graduation Date:  May 2011
Area of study at OHIO: History and Public Administration with a Certificate in Environmental Studies
Current role: Assistant Director of Campus Relations, OHIO Alumni Association
From: Little Hocking, OH
Current Location: Athens, OH
Involvement(s) with the CLDC: I serve as the Alumni Association’s liaison to the CLDC.

What is it like being a Bobcat Alumni?

I come from a family of Bobcats: both of my parents and both of my brothers are also OHIO alumni! In addition to attending school here, I grew up about 30 minutes from Athens, so I spent quite a bit of time here when I was younger and Athens really is like home to me. Returning to campus has been more fun than I expected; I had a really positive experience here as a student, but I’m finding that connecting to the campus as a young professional presents all sorts of new opportunities and challenges. The best thing about working here, though, is that every day I get to give back to a place that I love.

What did you do after graduation from OHIO?

After graduating in 2011, I attended Yale Law School (YLS) in New Haven, CT. It was an amazing opportunity to get to learn from the YLS faculty and my fellow classmates, and I enjoyed the change of scenery that came from moving from a rural Ohio town to a small city in New England. As I approached the end of my three years at Yale, however, I realized that practicing law wasn’t the right fit for me (for a variety of reasons). Because I had some experience working as an Orientation Leader and Peer Mentor, I decided to try working in higher education and applied for a handful of positions at OU. Less than a week after my graduation from Yale, I moved back to Ohio to start work at the Alumni Association.

Describe your current role.

I work on the Campus Relations team at the Alumni Association and have a variety of responsibilities that involve working with our many campus partners. I am involved in the planning of several of our large-scale events, including our Networking Week programs and On the Green Weekend. I work closely with faculty for our Alumni College program and as the university liaison to the Emeriti Association, and I’m also involved in some of our office’s student programming.

What is your favorite thing about your role at OU?

My favorite thing about working for the Alumni Association is that no two days are the same. We’re always brainstorming for a new program or getting ready for our next event. Our office, including our student employees, very much operates as a team, and I really enjoy getting to work on projects with people who care about their work and their coworkers.

What does your relationship with the CLDC entail?

My office collaborates with the CLDC on several events. During the 2016-17 school year, we have worked together to host two post-Career Fair networking receptions, to organize panels and company visits for Chicago Networking Week, to host multiple Dinners with 12 Strangers, and to send a group of Restaurant, Hotel, and Tourism majors to visit the Columbus Hyatt on a networking trip. Partnering with the CLDC allows both offices to maximize the number of connection-building opportunities we can offer, and we’re already excited to start collaborating for the 2017-18 school year.

What has surprised you most about post-grad life?

I’ve been surprised by how little is set in stone. If you had asked me when I was a college student, I would have said that I would have it all figured out by the time I was 27. I’ve always been a planner, and I expected my adult life to follow a very clear path. When I decided not to practice law, however, it pushed me onto a new path, and I’m still figuring out where that leads. I’m excited to see what comes next!

What advice could you offer to current students at OHIO?

My number one piece of academic advice is to attend office hours. It’s the easiest way to build relationships with professors, to get your questions answered, and to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your academic experience. On a more personal front, I’d say my best piece of advice is to make sure you enjoy Athens as you’re experiencing it now. It will always be home and you can always come back, but the connection you have while you’re a student is special and can’t be replicated easily!

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