Career specialist for the McWhorter School of Building Science
College of Architecture, Design and Construction
Cassandra Calloway is a career specialist for the McWhorter School of Building Science, where she works to motivate and prepare students for their careers, providing them with the essentials for their job searches through résumé building, mock interviews and professional etiquette programs. In addition, Calloway facilitates on-campus recruitment and the school's spring and fall career expos. She serves as the construction industry liaison, overseeing both the Industry Advisory Council and the Construction Industry Fund. This summer, she put her passion for the construction industry to work outside the university, leading a group of eighth- through 12th-graders on a mission trip to take part in the Raise the Roof Project, a home repair ministry in Mobile. When she's not working, the Auburn native loves to cook, travel, read motivational books, shop, snap family photos, network and counsel others in ways to further their careers. Cassandra has one son, Jalen, who attends Troy University.
1. What led you to your work in the McWhorter School of Building Science and the construction industry?
When I was a child, my grandfather worked for local contractors as a general laborer, so I've always been amazed by and had the desire to learn more about the construction industry. In 2002, I got an opportunity to join the McWhorter School of Building Science as part of the staff. I eventually earned my degree in business administration and worked my way into an administrative professional role as a career specialist within the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. This position allows me to interact and build long lasting relationships with employers on a professional and personal level, attend leadership conferences and spend more one-on-one time with our students.
2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
Truthfully, I enjoy it all! I've been employed with the College of Architecture, Design and Construction for 12 years. I just love the interaction and bond I have with students, faculty and the construction industry. I enjoy having a diverse group of employers come to the Plains to recruit our building science students. To see the smiles on the students' faces when they receive an internship or full-time position is such a joy!
3. You have a number of students moving closer to graduation; what are you doing now to get them ready?
The Building Science Career Services Office prepares students for a career within the construction industry by assisting them with formatting their résumés, allowing them to participate in mock interviews and building their confidence for the interview process. I counsel students about which position and location would best fit them. When I'm asked by students, "How will I know which company is right for me?" I tell them, "When you find yourself getting excited about the idea of getting up every morning to work for a company that believes in you, is family-oriented and is involved within the community to make a difference, that's when you'll know you have found your passion and the right fit."
4. What is the most important piece of advice you give to students as they prepare for their careers?
I tell them that to have earned a degree from the McWhorter School of Building Science is an honor. However, you have to have the "3 Ps" – passion, personality and perseverance – in order to work with others as a team and make it within the industry. Then I tell them to go out there and apply what they have learned and make us proud!
5. What has been your most memorable Auburn experience?
My most memorable experience was traveling to China in August 2011 with Professor Linda Ruth to visit with 10 students who participated in a 12-month international internship between the McWhorter School of Building Science and B.L. Harbert, International. While there, we got a chance to climb the Great Wall, visit the Forbidden City, take the train to Hong Kong, interact with other cultures and taste great food! To hear the excitement from the students about their hands-on experience gave me the confidence that the internship was doing what it was set up to do and has opened more doors for future abroad collaborations. To see the growth, confidence and willingness in each of the students lets me know I have done my job – MOTIVATE, CONNECT, SUCCESS!