“UT embraces the idea of family, and it is easy to see once you spend time on this campus."
Full-Time MBA - Staff
Full-Time MBA - Staff
Ashley Sams joined the Haslam College of Business in October 2016 as an admissions assistant for masters programs in business. A recent graduate from the University of Tennessee herself, she wanted to give back to the community that helped prime her for success.
“I chose to work at the University of Tennessee because of the mentors and professors I had,” Sams says. “I was so fortunate to have professors who not only taught me my course work but also pertinent life skills. My instructors were tough when needed but gave praise freely. They were my encouragers. They allowed me to dream, express creativity and explore—a character trait that I see throughout our educators on this campus. I wanted to do the same.”
Sams hopes to one day become a director in the college, but for now is pleased to be using her degree in communications to manage the specialty masters’ candidates application process and works hand in hand with directors and committee members for candidate review.
As a recipient of financial support during her undergraduate degree, Sam’s readily articulates the impact that donors can have on students’ success, and she hopes to be able to contribute to it.
“This support contributed to books, tuition and other university fees and expenses that I could not have afforded otherwise,” she says. “It was so humbling to receive that support. Because of the selflessness that I received as a student from our donors, I hope to endow a scholarship for students in the future. I believe in passing it forward.”
Sams also sees the impact of financial support in her current work with masters-level students, claiming it is just as essential, if not more so, both to the success of students and the college’s upward trajectory.
“Due to the rigorous nature of each graduate program, these students generally do not have time to have full-time jobs,” she says. “I have seen how important the depth and breadth of financial support we offer is as a deciding factor in recruiting top-level students to the Haslam College of Business. These generous awards allow our students to have an overall better experience and in the end leave them better prepared, career ready and able to get quality post-graduate placements.”
Outside of work, Sams is involved in Young Professionals of Knoxville and the Junior League of Knoxville and serves on both the Zeta Tau Alpha Alumni Council and the Young Alumni Advisory Board for Communications Studies. She is proud to be part of the volunteer tradition and tries to emulate the Volunteer Spirit both within and outside the workplace.
“My experiences with the educators I have encountered along my journey, have inspired me to pursue a career in higher education,” Sams says. “UT embraces the idea of family, and it is easy to see once you spend time on this campus. My professors took a chance on me, and in return, I am inspired to be that light to others.”
In his research, Haileab Hilafu aims to make it easier to extract actionable knowledge from large datasets