Unlike other departments at UNCG, the Department of Sociology proved to be the learning space on campus that intrigued me and stimulated my curiosity as an undergraduate student. I found the professors to be supportive, creative and truly interested in how their students learned the material. I found their approach to engaging students to be unique, and consequently I realized that I enjoyed learning about theories of social interaction and the different ways that cultural knowledge and biases intersect with daily living. I found that I began to wonder about how individual behaviors and decisions impacted the greater community. The sociology faculty at UNCG encouraged us to think beyond the classroom and to apply and test what we learned in our daily interactions with others, during business transactions and beyond.
To date, my undergraduate degree in Sociology from UNCG has served as the foundation for my business. Sociology majors are equipped to go out into the world and apply “real knowledge” to excel in the many aspects that make up an individual’s life. After graduation, I quickly began researching the necessary steps to open a bakery business. Currently, I own and operate Clara Marie’s Authentic Southern Bakery. What I learned through my research is that, although I have to make wise and informed financial decisions, the rest of my job as a business owner is all based in sociological theory. I learned that it is necessary to understand the cultural importance of wedding cakes, how face-to-face networking helps me build my business capacity, and that dessert can serve as a symbolic interaction between people. I am now in my 6th year of business, having been featured in Southern Living magazine and having made TV appearances on Fox 8 news and WFYM News 2.