Life-changing connections

Alumnus DeJ'on Slaughter shares the impact of relationships and volunteer service
DeJ'on Slaughter in the lounge of the School of Computing and Engineering

UMKC Grads are Everywhere.

Our students graduate with much more than a diploma. They leave UMKC with the practical knowledge, real-world experience and skills that help them land jobs they love.

DeJ’on Slaughter ’13

UMKC Major: Civil Engineering
Current job: Development Associate

What did you most appreciate about UMKC?

There are many reasons, but the most compelling would have to be the friendships and bonds with my fellow classmates, professors and faculty. I am proud to say that I am still very connected with many of these people. I also appreciated the ability to transform my relationships with professors and staff into mentoring opportunities, which has helped me to grow professionally throughout my career. The challenge, learning opportunities and support didn’t end when I received my diploma.

Favorite thing to do while you were a college student?

By far, my favorite time on campus was spent as chapter president of the National Society of Black Engineers. We spent countless hours serving our community. We introduced local K-12 minority students to life-changing career opportunities in engineering. In a majority of minority communities, engineering is a foreign concept with little to no mentors to look up to. Our team worked diligently to impact as many students as possible to ultimately change the narrative in our community.

If you had an internship during college, how did it help prepare you for your first job?

My internship experience was a “game-changer” in my life. The exposure to the professional environment forced me to grow both personally and professionally.

“The challenge, learning opportunities and support didn’t end when I received my diploma.”

Best career advice you’ve received?

Learn from your mistakes and always embrace adversity.

What advice do you have for students entering your field/profession?

Don’t be afraid to think entrepreneurially. Introduce new ideas and always find ways to improve your professional pathway. You’ll get noticed and your personal stock will rise as a leader in this industry.

Learn more about School of Computing and Engineering

Published: Feb 6, 2019