The UA Fort Smith Alumni Association will feature young alumni and what their life after graduation has been like. If you would like to be featured, please e-mail

Friday, April 2, 2010

Amanda Hargrave '04

I graduated from UA Fort Smith in the spring of 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. My last year at UAFS, I got a co-op position at Rheem in Fort Smith. I stayed there until I got a job at Beverly Enterprises (Golden Ventures), also in Fort Smith. I made it through my first job shake-up when Beverly was sold to a private equity firm. Due to the instability and my short term employment at Beverly, I decided it was in my best interest to pursue other career opportunities. I went to work for AIG, who at the time was ranked Number 9 (in 2009 it was ranked 245) in the list of Fortune 500 companies.

I knew that the job I was taking at AIG was not what I wanted my career to be, but it was interesting. I got to go to a few places that I probably wouldn’t have gone if I hadn’t been working there.

Below is a pic from a trip to NYC when my husband came up to see me on the weekend

When the demand of travelling eventually came to be too much and threatened to interfere with my plans for my destination wedding (total deal-breaker), I again decided to switch jobs. In 2007 I moved up the road to Rogers and began working for the world’s largest retailer. My now-husband (a 2005 UAFS graduate) also got a job at Walmart, and most importantly, my wedding in San Jose del Cabo went great!

My husband, my three cats, my greyhound, and I are all still up in Northwest Arkansas, and I am still employed at Walmart. Currently I am a manager of an accounting team and am getting ready to go through my second system conversion since 2007. I am in my second semester of the Managerial MBA program at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and am looking forward to going to India next winter for a few weeks as part of the study abroad program.

I would just like to end by saying that I loved my experience at UA Fort Smith. I believe the University did a great job in preparing me for the real-world by provoking problem solving, decision making, and analytical reasoning that is very much what is required in the business world. I think that that has a lot to do with the knowledge and high expectations of the students that the professors brought with them to every class.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story. U sound great. I think I want to cancel plans to go to ASU and go to U of Ark on Ft Smith. Thank you for your story