Career Services

Alumni Inspiring Muleriders-Morgan Daniel

This is an interview with Morgan Daniel, an SAU Graduate, who enjoyed his time at SAU and is interested to give back to current and future SAU students through experiential knowledge.

Q – Why did you choose to attend SAU, perhaps over other colleges?

Morgan Daniel – I enrolled at SAU as a non-traditional student to complete my Bachelor’s degree. SAU was able to credit many of my previous course credits into my degree plan and I was able to get a nice non-traditional student scholarship.

Q – If you completed an internship while attending SAU, where was it at and what did you do?

MD – I completed two internships while at SAU. My first was with the Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council (TRAHC), and my second was with Southern Aluminum, who hired me on full-time once I graduated.

Q – What were some key lessons, either positive or negative, that you took from that internship?

MD – I heard it all the time as a student: “Deadlines don’t wait”, but I truly grasped that when the deadlines became real. When working for a grade I didn’t always entirely grasp that I was working for my career as much as I was. The margin of error is much smaller as a member of the workforce than as a student. Another lesson I picked up is to ask questions. At first, there was this pressure that I was expected to already know how to do everything, but in both internships that wasn’t the case. In my experience, team leads want you to ask questions. Questions often lead to the job getting done right, and in most instances whatever I was doing someone else had already done before and was able to provide some valuable guidance from experience.

Q – What were some skills or tasks you learned from working there & how have they helped you in your career?

MD – It wasn’t so much that I learned a lot of new skills as much as it was that I was able to sharpen and improve the skills I already had through practical use.

Q – What is the most valuable professional trait you learned during your time at SAU?

MD – Learning how to present something. For me, making things was the easy part but presenting them was a whole different challenge.

Q – How do you think an office like the Career Services Office is beneficial to students?

MD – I think anytime you can get actual non-simulated real-world application experience, that’s invaluable. If you don’t know where to look it can be hard to find, and if you’re going about looking for it on social media it can be quite difficult to navigate such a vast amount of information. Having a resource like Career Services to help find and prepare for that experience is of great benefit to those that want it.

Q – What do you wish you would have known before entering the workforce?

MD – It’s okay to not know everything about what you’re doing before you’ve ever done it – this was a pressure and expectation I put on myself. In my experience however each place has its own way of doing things, and questions aren’t only OK, they’re encouraged. Make sure your skills are sharp and your foundation is solid and you’ll be just fine.

Q – Were you a member of any organizations while at SAU?

MD – I was part of the Photography Team, though I’m not sure how official that was.

Q – How did participating in those organizations help prepare you better for your career? Did you learn anything crucial to your career development from them?

MD – I went with a small group to shoot images and videos for a major convention in Ft. Worth. I had to learn how to work with an unfamiliar team and how to shoot, sort, and edit on a very tight timeline with a small turnaround window for a live event. It was hectic but valuable and I’ve used that specific experience many times.

Q – Would you recommend students give extracurricular organizations a try, from a professional development view?

MD – If you find an extracurricular organization in a field you’re interested in, it’s a perfect no-risk opportunity to test the waters and meet like-minded individuals.

Q – How did volunteer or community service opportunities assist you in preparing for your career?

MD – My main takeaway from this sort of involvement was learning to adapt and work with unfamiliar teams to accomplish a common goal.

Q – What is one piece of advice that you would give current students regarding career readiness and professional development?

MD – If you love what you’re pursuing, full dive into it and take every legitimate opportunity to gain real-world experience you can. If you’re not exactly sure what you want to do, pick a focus to work towards, and try some things out as you go. Having a focus will give you a foundation to plant yourself on later as you continue to find your way.

Picture of Morgan Daniel

Morgan Daniel

My name is Morgan Daniel and I am a Graphic Designer at Southern Aluminum. I was born and raised in Prescott, Arkansas. I graduated high school in 2009 before attending SAU Tech in Camden where in 2011 I graduated with an Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Multi-Media. In 2012 I enrolled in SAU as a non-traditional student to continue my education where in 2015 I graduated with a Bachelor of Art with an emphasis in Communication Design. While at SAU I began an internship with Southern Aluminum’s Marketing team which extended to me a full-time position upon graduating. I live in Magnolia with the love of my life Kelli Longino and our wonderful cats. I have a love of the arts and I enjoy occupying my time with video games, music, fishing, and dabbling in a variety of hobbies. Life can go in many directions and my path through SAU has helped me to shape my life, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

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