Alumni Spotlight: Sophia Mick
By: Bailey Timmis, 2018
This summer, I began working on the third floor of the Ave Maria University Canizaro Library, with the Office of Advancement. I had the pleasure of meeting Sophia Mick, one of the University’s newest alumni. Rather than returning to her home state of California or venturing somewhere new, she stuck around Ave Maria and is now the Program Manager of the Phone Center and Alumni Relations. We sat down to chat and I had an opportunity to hear about her experience at Ave Maria University and her plans for her new position.
Bailey: When did you graduate? And what was your major?
Sophia: This year! 2017. I majored in Business Administration.
Bailey: When did you first hear about Ave?
Sophia: Let’s see. It would have been December 2014, when my sister, Caitria, a freshman at Ave, called me and said, “You have to come to Ave- it will awaken a love for your faith!”
Bailey: Where were you before you transferred here?
Sophia: I graduated from a community college in 2011 and then took 4 years off to work. I was working for Starbucks as a Supervisor for two years and then I worked at a casino. I started signing people up for memberships, and then transferred over into their coffee shop so that I could train their baristas. Then, I began my Bachelor’s degree here!
Bailey: I often hear my fellow students say they like Ave, but they have plans to move to a bigger city after graduation. What made you decide to stay?
Sophia: I think that Ave is the most beautiful community that I’ve ever experienced. I am spoiled, living in a beautifully manicured town and it is all centralized around the Church, too. I tried and tried to get this job so that I could specifically stay here in Ave.
Bailey: I understand you are in charge of the Phone Center and Alumni Relations. How did you learn of this position? Did you start as a student?
Sophia: Last summer, I knew I needed to stay for the summer to take summer classes. I sent Rebecca Alves, in the Office of Advancement, several emails, begging her to give me an interview. She interviewed me and they hired me as a student caller for the Phone Center. Then, in the fall semester, I received a promotion as the team leader of the callers, so it was a natural transition. In February, I began speaking with my supervisors regarding a possible position after graduation. Closer to graduation, I received an email that I was in consideration as a candidate for the Program Manager position to work with the Phone Center.
Bailey: What are you plans for the Phone Center and Alumni Relations?
Sophia: Sophia: I aspire to make the Phone Center more streamlined and efficient. Our callers have come a long way since last summer and I will continue to guide and propel them towards success. Regarding Alumni Relations, I hope to kick start something wonderful with our alumni and keep them connected with the University through Ave Stories. Email blasts are sent out by the Office of Advancement every month which we will use to start highlighting more alumni and their success stories. We have also begun to plan an alumni specific website that will be a part of The Ave Story, a page featured on the main Ave Maria University’s website. Our team have been throwing around a lot of exciting ideas for alumni! So hopefully, with the support of the team and their input, we will be able to connect with our alumni and give them all something to look forward to.
Bailey: How has your degree in Business Administration from Ave prepared you for your current roles?
Sophia: I have always been business oriented, which is why I decided to major in Business Admin. The classes I took were able to prepare me more for life in an office and how to interact with external partners in a way that will promote success and ethical dealings.
Bailey: Are you planning on staying in Ave?
Sophia: Forever! Yeah! I want to get married and raise kids here.
Bailey: In what ways do you feel Ave has changed you?
Sophia: When I first came to Ave, I did not know anything about my faith. I was a Christmas/Easter Catholic. My parents always went to Mass every Sunday, but I started working and fell away from everything, though I still called myself Catholic. Being able to come to Ave where you are just so immersed in the Catholic faith and everyone else is so on fire with it, was just incredible. I have learned everything under the sun from the professors at Ave. I began knowing very little about the Catholic Church and then took classes with professors like Father Bob Garrity, who are so approachable you can ask them anything. That first fall semester truly changed my life.
Bailey: What would be one piece of advice you would give to current students?
Sophia: Even though Ave is small, stick it out, because you will fall in love with this place. You completely will. If you’re here for the right reasons, because God put you here, you’ll graduate and you’ll be sad to leave. Though this is a little town far away from everything, you’ll find out it is like heaven on earth.
Bailey: Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Sophia: I taught ballroom dancing for 9 years before coming to Ave Maria. I’m actually the Vice Chairman of an amazing non-profit back in California that specializes in teaching grades 5-12 ballroom dancing and how to behave in social situations.
Has your contact information changed since you graduated? Update your alumni record so that we can stay in touch and keep you updated with the latest University news! https://donate.avemaria.edu/amu-alumni-relations
For more information about the Phone Center or Alumni Relations, contact:
Program Manager, Phone Center and Alumni Relations