Tabitha Patterson

Class of 2000

Current Position: Operational Support Manager, BAYADA Home Health Care
Majors: Psychology & Sociology
Other Degrees: M.A. in Community/Clinical Psychology, University of North Carolina
Current Location: Newport News, VA

My liberal arts education has given me a broad knowledge base from which to draw. I specialized in the social sciences, which has helped me to navigate the corporate world with a better understanding of company cultures, as well as interpersonal relationships. I ended up in the business world, first as a Marketing Director and then as a Branch Director, despite not having been a business school major. I had a passion for helping others and my liberal arts background allowed me to be successful even though I took a different path than what I had initially envisioned for myself. I originally thought I wanted to be a child psychologist, but for the last 7 years I have been working with the elderly in the healthcare field.

Majoring in psychology and sociology set the ground work for my graduate training. As an undergraduate, William & Mary afforded me the opportunity to intern at Avalon battered women's shelter, Head Start and Walsingham Academy. Additionally, I worked for the Sociology department in their "research experience for undergraduates" (REU) program. These experiences gave me a strong foundation. In graduate school I was able to further sharpen my interpersonal skills, which has been invaluable in the work environment.

My parents wanted me to major in business but I have always wanted to work with people in a helping capacity. I was drawn into the social sciences and then the world of healthcare - first behavioral health and then traditional healthcare. Ultimately, I have ended up within traditional business roles as a Marketing Manager, and then Branch Director of an agency. I followed my passions and what I enjoyed, and ironically still ended up in the world of business. When I was taking the general educational requirements, I took classes that I found interesting: Greek literature, art history, the anthropology of food, the history of East Asia, and Biomedical Ethics, to name a few. It has allowed me to talk to just about anyone regarding just about anything, and believe it or not that can really come in handy when you are trying to build rapport with people. Relationship building is a key to success.