Q: Hi, thanks for doing this! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became an Alma College student?

A: Thanks for having me! My name is Antuan Featherstone, and I graduated with the Class of 2009. I majored in business administration and completed a program of emphasis in organizational leadership. I was born and raised in Detroit, Mich., and when I was a high school student, I was part of the Horizons-Upward Bound program at Cranbrook Schools. A counselor there told me, “You are very active and involved in things here. When you go to college, you don’t want to get lost at a large institution. Sometimes, it’s good to be a big fish in a small pond.” The rest is history!

Q: I love that! Was your counselor right — did you get active and involved in things at Alma College?

A: They were! When I got to campus, I really enjoyed the environment. I think being at Alma provided me with some great opportunities and the ability to explore. I also felt like, as a first-generation college student, Alma provided me with means to access resources that are necessary for students to succeed. My most memorable extracurricular activities at Alma were the Black Student Union, the Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, President Saundra Tracy’s Diversity Council and the Students in Free Enterprise. I helped create and found a student-run cafe that used to be in the library, Highland Java! I was also a resident advisor, which was very interesting.

Q: Obviously, your business skills paid off! What was it like being a business student at Alma College?

A: Being a business student at Alma was exciting because of the faculty. They were deeply knowledgeable, caring and dedicated. They prepared us, not just for the classroom, but for the world. I really appreciated having the ability to connect with them, ask questions and tap into their expertise. It’s made a huge difference in how I perceive business and look at myself. My life as a business student was also intertwined with my life as a member of the inaugural cohort of the Center for Responsible Leadership (CRL), which was a sort-of precursor to the current Center for College and Community Engagement. The CRL taught me that most people will stop at the bare minimum, and that it is vital to go beyond that in order to succeed. Hearing that advice made a world of difference in my life.

Q: Where did life take you after Alma College? Did Alma prepare you well for your new environment?

A: I moved onto Wayne State University, where I earned a post-bachelor certificate, and the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School, where I earned a Master of Arts in higher education where I focused on leadership, management, and policy studies. I have worked at U-M in various capacities for nine years now; I’ve been at the Medical School, the Ross School of Business and now the School of Social Work.

My career has been interesting. I sort of happened upon it, rather than going into it with a gameplan. I think that what stuck with me from my time at Alma College are the opportunities to build relationships by working with various student populations and the college’s faculty and staff in different capacities. The interdisciplinary education you receive at Alma prepares you to be an analytical and critical thinker, which is great for any field you enter.

I would certainly recommend Alma to anyone who is considering my line of work. But I would also recommend it to someone who was in a similar position to one that I was in in high school — someone who has various interests and is trying to figure out what works. Alma gives you a wide perspective and the skills to apply it, which is unbelievably valuable.

 Learn more about the business program at Alma College at alma.edu.