CareerTop Careers

What I Know Now: Kirstan Cunningham

Kirstan Cunningham

age: 31

hometown: Montevallo, Alabama

career: I currently serve as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at The University of West Alabama. I travel to various high schools around west-central Alabama informing students of how they can make their aspirations a reality by attending UWA. I spend every day telling students about the opportunities, people, and experiences that UWA provided to me and shaped my life. I aspire to be a university Vice President.

education: I attended The University of West Alabama, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies (Theater and Mathematics). College was a whirlwind of fun, personal growth and development, and super busy. I was actively involved in many student organizations, honor societies, fraternity life, drum major for our marching band, and even elected Mr. Universityof West Alabama. My favorite part of college other than meeting my wife and getting a great education was serving four years as Drum Major for the UWA Scarlet Band from Tigerland.

growing up: My response in elementary school to what I wanted to be when I grew up was an actor, doctor, or engineer. Since my dad worked in the medical field, I wanted to be a doctor—until I went on a job shadow as a high school sophomore, saw blood, and learned it wasn’t an option.

my secret to success: I learned at an early age that nothing would be handed to me. If I wanted to be successful, I had to work hard, speak life into the situation, and have a “get it done” mentality.

major influences: I am blessed to have many. I am the product of the metaphorical village, and their support, mentorship, and guidance have helped catapult my success. My parents taught me that knowing about something and doing something about it are two different things: aspirations require action.

advice for parents: Set realistic goals with your children and challenge them to explore all possible career options. Allow your children to make mistakes but support them every step of the way.

advice for teens: It’s okay to be different and not have everything figured out.

rookie mistakes: I purchased my textbooks prior to attending my first class. When I attended, I was informed that the professor didn’t actually use the textbook and just had to list one for the class. That was a waste of $275.

Top 5:

  1. Cooking delicious food
  2. Podcasts
  3. Making music
  4. Acting
  5. Enjoying movies

Fun fact: My best friend and I host the podcast True Comedy.

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