Sorority life prepared alumna for business world

Gail Faustyn

The thought of graduating college can be intimidating to most students. It becomes easy to get hung up on immediately landing that “perfect” job and focusing on living that post-graduation fairy tale ending. Sometimes, though, you have to readjust. Kristina Carpenter, 2011 alumna, knows that sometimes it’s not so easy to just settle down.

In 2011, Carpenter graduated from IU Southeast with a degree in communications and an emphasis in advertising. Originally however, Carpenter started her college career as an elementary education major.

“The advertising program didn’t even really exist when I first began attending IUS,” Carpenter said. “When the program started up, I made the switch, and I’m very glad I did.”

In her time spent at IU Southeast, Carpenter said she was very actively involved with the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, which she said helped her to prepare for her future in advertising and office management.

“Being president of my sorority was like running a business,” Carpenter said. “I had to plan meetings, organize community service events, and it helped me develop a lot of skills that I still use nearly every day.”

During her junior year, Carpenter accepted an internship with NowSourcing, an advertising firm based in Louisville. Her work there focused on social media marketing, blogging and administrative work.

Immediately after graduation, they offered her a position that she humbly accepted. She said she was content, doing exactly what she thought she wanted to do. However, it wasn’t until a year and a half later when she began working for the corporate side of the business that she realized that perhaps this wasn’t the “dream job” she had been working towards.

“It was nice, and business was growing, but I wasn’t happy,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said changes were being made to the business, and she didn’t agree with the way certain situations were being handled.

Fortunately, Lee Sepata, owner of the CertaPro Painters chain in Louisville and a client she worked closely with, offered her a job with his firm, where she still works today.

With CertaPro, Carpenter oversees Internet marketing, direct mail campaigns and takes care of all the customer interfaces.

“Kristina has worked with us for five years,” Sapata said. “We’re hoping to promote her soon to marketing manager.”

Sapata said that he loves working with Carpenter and is proud of the fact that she is a graduate of IU Southeast.

“I can only hope for our community’s sake that everyone who graduates from IUS is like her,” Sapata said. “She has a strong work ethic—dedicated, committed and loyal.”

In addition to the work she does for Certapro, Carpenter is working on getting certified to teach yoga.

With all of the changes that she has gone through, Carpenter said she is very happy with where she is now and proud of how far she has come.

“If I could give any advice to current students, it would be to be true to yourself,” Carpenter said. “Don’t get stuck in something just because it’s good money or within your major. Happiness should come first.”