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Evangel alumni perspective: Kameron and Danielle Nettleton

Name: Kameron and Danielle Nettleton

Graduation Year: 2016 | 2017

Major: English | English

Current Position: Sports Information Director at Oklahoma Wesleyan University | Curriculum Developer/Editor

City and State: Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

Kameron:

Just started working in the athletics department at Oklahoma Wesleyan as the SID. Previously worked at a private Christian high school as an English teacher and basketball coach.

Danielle:

I work as a curriculum developer and editor for Essentials in Writing, a curriculum company geared toward students who struggle with grammar and literature. Many students are intimidated or confused by the rules of English and the various parts of literature, and we strive to create curricula that help students not only understand grammar and literature more easily but also helps them enjoy the learning process. As part of the curriculum development team, I help create the writing and literature curricula for students in grades 1-12, and I then edit each level and make sure each part of it corresponds to the accompanying video lessons before it goes to print. While we are not technically a Christian company, our founder, as well as the majority of employees and customers, are Christians, which often results in great discussions concerning the literature we use in our curricula and how it glorifies God even without an explicit “Christian” label.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

Kameron:

Too many to really list; I met my wife, I met some of my best and lifelong friends, and I had so many professors and other EU personnel who poured into my life that picking one memory is impossible. The entirety of the experience was so pivotal in my life, and I look back on those years so fondly.

Danielle:

So many amazing things happened at Evangel that picking one favorite memory would be almost impossible, but I always enjoyed the final week of the semester, not only because I was excited for Christmas break or summer vacation but because I enjoyed the atmosphere on campus (especially on my floor) as everyone prepared to take their finals and travel home. The special events during this week, like DVD Bingo and various club parties, were always fun as well. There was always just an ineffable excitement in the air as we made the final push toward freedom.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Kameron:

Evangel provided me with as much opportunity as I could want. English majors are a unique breed, because our schooling doesn’t train us so much to “do” something as it does how to approach life and problems. The opportunities I had at Evangel to write and develop friendships and passions in the context of a spiritually vibrant atmosphere continue to shape me.

Danielle:

I first learned of Essentials in Writing (which is based in Springfield, Missouri) through Evangel and, as a result, was able to work for EIW as an intern during my junior and senior years at Evangel before working as a full-time employee after I had graduated. While I had known since high school that I wanted to work in an area related to English and writing, I hadn’t given much thought to working with curriculum but soon found it to be an area where I could utilize both my strengths of writing and editing instead of just one or the other. Without Evangel, I never would have learned about Essentials in Writing and would not be working here today!

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

Kameron:

The people at Evangel helped me to realize that I could and would survive life after graduation. That transition period is so difficult because it is the first time that the “next” thing is not always obvious. It definitely wasn’t obvious for me, but I knew I had developed skills and become a better overall human being during my time there.

Danielle:

Attending Evangel provided me with a well-rounded four years of higher education that not only prepared me for life after college via my classes but also through the extracurriculars in which I participated. At various points in time, I was a member of student council, devotional leader, senator, and editor-in-chief of Epiphany Magazine (the literary magazine published by the Humanities Department). My classes prepared me academically, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but being able to participate as a member of these student organizations also helped prepare me for life after college in other ways beyond the classroom, especially in regards to other people.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Kameron:

I got so much conflicting advice when I graduated, and I don’t want to muddy the waters any worse. I would just say to be ready for change and to be willing to let God do something you’re not expecting. All of the jobs I’ve held after college were situations where God moved in ways I didn’t expect and couldn’t have foreseen, but I can look back on those moments with joy because I know that God used them to prepare me for whatever is next.

Danielle:

Work hard in your classes and learn for the sake of learning (not just getting good grades), but also keep in mind that employers are interested in more about you than just your GPA. Your GPA can be a signal of your work ethic and self-discipline, but you also want to communicate to prospective employers that you’ll be an asset to the company in other ways beyond academics. A good way to do this is to show interest in the world beyond what is immediately necessary for graduation, such as volunteering or campus clubs. A resume that shows a student who was able to maintain a high GPA while participating in several extracurriculars or other activities proves to an employer that the student would be able to manage multiple and varied aspects of an employment position. That student will also be more impressive than the student with a 4.0 who did nothing outside of classes.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

Kameron:

I would probably say well-rounded experiences. Evangel provides students a lot of opportunity to do all sorts of things, and I think that’s such a big deal. Job descriptions only tell part of the story. You never know how the random experience you had one summer can come up in your new job. Employees who are flexible and open to learning new things. Don’t let yourself get put in a box just because your degree says you studied whatever it was you studied.

Danielle:

I would definitely be looking for students who displayed a combination of dedication in their classes as well as a consistent interest in areas or activities outside the classroom. Students can easily lean too far in either direction, showing too much devotion to either academics or extracurricular activities, but I would be looking for students who were able to balance all areas of their collegiate life with equal strength and devotion and excelled in all areas as a result. Employers look for candidates who stand out from the majority!