The Sociology Department of Vanderbilt University has a strong group of medical sociology faculty, and there is a good sequence of courses in the department for students with a pre-med or pre-health career path. In the graduating class of 2012, three students plan to go to medical school, one to a graduate program in health services administration, and one to a program in social work. One student has a job in human resources and recruiting in a health software company.
Another strength of the department is the study of politics, law, and organizations. The sociology degree is a good background for law school, and four students in the class of 2012 plan to go to law school. Another student will be working in a nonprofit organization for a year then going on to earn a master’s in nonprofit management. One student is headed to Washington, DC, to work in a nongovernmental organization, then she plans to pursue graduate study in social policy. Another student is headed toward a career in journalism.
The focus on politics, law, and organizations, plus the methods sequence, is also good preparation for careers in the private sector. A combination of sociology and economics led one student to find a job in an economics consulting firm that focuses on public policy and business strategy. Students also found jobs in public relations, advertising, development and alumni relations, and training for management.
The strong methods sequence in the sociology program also is good preparation for graduate school and careers as educators and researchers. One student in the class of 2012 is going on for PhD in sociology, another is going on to study Latin American Studies, and another student will be in the Mississippi Teachers Corps.
Examples from the Class of 2013
- Aynalem Ameha. Working, then applying to medical school.
- Mariel Behnke. Business analyst.
- Brooke Burton. Teach for America, followed by graduate school.
- Marianne DeAngel. Project manager/implementation consultant for a healthcare software company.
- Hannah Dimmitt. Graduate school for a degree in Child Studies.
- Paige Diner. Teach for America followed by a master’s in educational leadership, public policy, and/or an MBA.
- Raven McKinne. Master’s in Nutrition at Exercise Science at Lipscomb University.
- Amanda Milster. Nonprofit communications and development in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, or wildlife.
- Chantella Mitchell. Masters of Social Work at Columbia University.
- Molly Morley. Masters in Public Policy with an emphasis on Social Policy at George Washington University.
- Emily Natoli. Teach for America.
- Allison O’Neil. Plans to work for an organization that specializes in human rights, domestic violence, or refugees.
- Perry Peguillan. Health care research for health policy.
- Briana Perry. Work for a year, then Master of Education & Public Policy at Peabody.
- David Reichley. Food service.
- Remingio Silva II. Law school.
- Candace Smith. Gap year then law school.
- Gabrielle Smith. Graduate school for sports psychology.
- Kristen Sueing. Teach for America.
- Mary Wachs. Company that works with consumers to get affordable health-care.
- Kristen Webb. Master’s of Education in Leadership and Organizational Performance at Peabody.
- Sarah Zavaleta. Will work in a nonprofit organization and then apply for a sociology graduate program.
A Few Examples of Careers of Undergraduates from Previous Years
Amy Cooter (BA, 2005) finished her PhD in sociology at the University of Michigan. With the generous
support from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, she conducted more than three
years of fieldwork with the Michigan Militia, and she is writing about what the group can tell us about lower-middle
class, white men’s understandings of nationalism, politics, race, and masculinity. She is currently a lecturer at Vanderbilt in the Sociology Department.
Matt Doyle (BA, 1991) is a real estate attorney in Charlotte, NC, in his own law firm. He writes, “Despite the
troubles in the real estate world over the past years, our firm is doing well. My wife, Erin, and I have a son named
Sean, who is two years old.”
Sadiki Etienne (BA, 2006) is Senior Consultant position with Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Dakar,
Senegal office, Dalberg is a private consulting firm that was started some years ago by two partners from McKinsey
& Company and has 10 offices globally. Dalberg advises corporations, financial institutions, NGOs and governments,
specifically in emerging markets, in a variety of areas including access to finance, private sector development, strategy
and performance, and global health.
Tara Kane (BA, 2009) worked for two years with Pittsburgh Health Corps, then became wellness associate
with AmeriCorps. She is working on a master’s in community counseling at Indiana University.
Zhubin Parang (BA, 2003) attended law school at the Georgetown University Law Center, then spent four years
practicing commercial litigation in New York City. He then left the profession to pursue a writing career, and he is
currently a staff writer on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.