By Andrew Kim
Nic Miller, a Pacific Union College alumnus who graduated this past June, is currently in his first year as a database manager for the PUC Alumni and Advancement Department. With Miller embarking on a new phase in his life, we thought it wise to interview him while he is still “bright-eyed” and “bushy-tailed.” He was more than willing to answer a few questions. We wish him the best of luck in his continued success and role in the PUC Alumni and Advancement Department.
Q: What is interesting or what has been newsworthy from the PUC Alumni and Advancement Department recently?
A: Basically, with the exception of one person, there’s an entirely new department this year. From the chief advancement officer, Kellie Lind, all the way down to the lonely database manager (me) we are a brand-new team. We have four full-time employees here in the office and then we have Christina Im, who works in Tennessee as our advance coordinator. We also have four student employees who work with our database and processing, and two that work with us on our communication.
Q: What is your role at the Alumni and Advancement Department?
A: My role as database manager is to make sure that we always have really high-quality data and to make sure that data refers to the information that we have for our graduates, alums and any organization that gives money to the school. We want to have correct mailing addresses, phone numbers and emails. We also want to connect with social media profiles like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Q: You are a very recent graduate of PUC. What is the feeling or your take now that you work for PUC?
A: In one capacity, I’ve worked for PUC since I was in eighth grade. It’s nice to be a full-fledged employee with a little gold, green ID card. It’s nice to be able to have a good quality job right after graduation. Not everybody is that fortunate, so I am grateful to have been hired into this position after college graduation.
Q: What do you find most enjoyable about your job? Most difficult?
A: My favorite part is probably the people I get to work with, students or the full-time employees. It’s nice to be able to work in a collaborative setting where we’re all working towards the same goals. During the hardest days, in the end, we get to laugh about what’s going on. The challenging part has been watching a new database. We switched database vendors and the database we’re using now is so much easier to use all around but switching databases is not an easy process. We’re still riding the waves of that and there are still things we have to accomplish, but it’s been a huge undertaking and a huge challenge.
Q: What is your perspective as an alumnus?
A: We’ve recognized that PUC is faced with struggles that affect all aspects of the college, including the Alumni and Advancement Department. Especially when you consider that we’ve had almost a complete turnover in our staffing here, that is a huge challenge. That means that communication with our alums has suffered. What we’re working on right now is to rebuild that relationship with people who loved PUC, finding alums who went here for one, four or eight years, and making sure they know that we care about where they are in life, their connection to the school, and making sure that they know they’ll always have a home here at PUC.
Q: What would you want a prospective/current student to know about PUC?
A: Something we’re trying to do is to make sure that we are good communicators with everyone. Building that relationship from the time that someone begins at PUC is important. So, I would want them to know that we care about their quality of stay here at PUC and that means recognizing that the dorms need help, recognizing that not everyone can afford to pay cash to go to school here. People need scholarships and we want to let them know that scholarships are available, and we have generous alums who power these scholarships so people can afford to attend PUC. Also, I would want them to know that PUC is more than just an academic experience, it expands to the level of family. We’re a small enough school that you walk around campus and you will see the same person twice. It’s a fantastic environment like that mixes great academics with ample social and spiritual experiences.