Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies
School: Loyola University
Anticipated Graduation: December 2022
After seven layoffs in 20 years, Tamara Davis wanted to pivot. She had been working for commercial and residential architecture firms, but the industry was volatile.
“You hear college is hard, but having regrets is harder,” she says.
Davis started researching potential career changes. “It could be concrete, could be cupcakes — I’ve just gotta make,” Davis says, pointing to a knitting project in her backpack.
School ended up being a perfect pandemic pursuit. Davis took classes over Zoom and earned certificates.
Now, she’s pursuing her capstone project with RefugeeOne, the largest resettlement agency in Chicago, which helps more than 2,500 people every year with English classes, job searches, mental healthcare, and more. Davis is assisting the agency’s sewing studio with educational materials and helping them connect with local clients in need of sewers or sewing projects.
“I’m trying to focus on something that helps people,” Davis says. “That’s the thing that influenced me at Loyola: What are you going to do to help people?”
Davis sees her degree as another step of her educational journey, but not the last. “This BA that I am currently working on might not necessarily be my last one. I might have one, or even two, left in me.”