My name is Justin Newhart and I am the Marketing Director for several small businesses near Baton Rouge, LA .I graduated from UNC Asheville in May of 2010 with a degree in Classical Studies. Instead of immediately joining the workforce, I applied and was accepted into the Preservation Studies Masters degree program at Tulane University. Once I graduated from Tulane, I was an expert in the field of historic preservation and architectural history, and moved upriver from New Orleans to Darrow, where I managed Bocage Plantation. I was eventually hired by The Cabin Restaurant group to handle the marketing activities for the restaurant, as well as the Cajun Village (a small collection of boutique shops), Bernadette’s Restaurant, and few other family owned businesses.
Although I did not remain in the Classics field after I graduated from UNCA, my major and my internships while enrolled did teach me valuable lessons. Studying the Classics (Greek, Latin, ancient history) requires in-depth critical analysis and consistent research capabilities, both of which were/are critical skills for me in graduate school and which have helped me in my career. The ability to make informed decisions after critically analyzing tourism and marketing research and data drives where I target my marketing efforts on a daily basis. I would be wasting money in my marketing budget if I had not acquired and refined my research and analysis skills at UNCA.
I held a few internships and jobs while at UNCA. One of my summer jobs (and something I volunteered a few years of my time as a student towards) was working as a Student Ambassador in the Admissions Office. Giving tours of campus to prospective students and families really ignited a passion in me that revolved around telling and selling the story and history of place to people. I was able to help connect future Bulldogs to the great traditions and culture of UNCA, much in the same way that I strive to connect people to the historic architecture and unique culture of where I live in south Louisiana. In fact, the skills I gained as a Student Ambassador directly helped me at Bocage Plantation, as I oversaw all tours and helped visitors connect with the historic site.
In sum, my best advice to you is to be present physically, but more importantly mentally, in whatever jobs or studies you undertake at UNCA. You never know what skills you may learn or what experience you may gain will transfer to your future career once you graduate. It will pay off if you pay attention!