Brandywine Alumni Spotlight: Christina Butler, class of 2010

Christina Butler

Christina Butler.

Credit: Christina Butler

MEDIA, Pa. – Fourteen years after earning her bachelor’s degree from Penn State, Christina Butler, class of 2010, has come back to campus to provide advice for students entering the workforce.

Butler began her Penn State journey at Brandywine in 2006, majoring in English. She said she chose to attend Brandywine because of its proximity to home and its lower tuition costs compared to other universities in the area.

“I had a set of criteria that were important to me when looking at colleges. I was paying for college by myself, so I was on a strict budget. I was also leaning toward starting my college career closer to home so the transition from high school to college would be easier,” she said. “I still wanted to be connected to my network of family and friends in the area, so I had this really strong desire to stay local. With all that in mind, I thought Penn State Brandywine would be a great fit for me.”

Butler was very involved during her time at Brandywine, serving as the editor-in-chief of Lion’s Eye, the campus’ student-run newspaper. She served as a Lion Ambassador and participated in Brandywine Benefitting THON and the Gay-Straight Alliance. She also volunteered for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

“Being involved in so many organizations was great for me,” she noted, “as they were great ways to meet people and build skills that I could put on my resume.”

When reflecting on her favorite memories at Brandywine, the culmination of the student, faculty and staff relationships she was able to build comes to mind.

“I feel like I have this assortment of fond memories of hanging out in the Student Affairs office a lot — they were so welcoming. I would go there for different activities, but I also just wanted to talk and connect with the staff,” she recalled. “I also have a lot of great memories of hanging out with my friends on campus. We would play Frisbee on the soccer field, and if the weather was bad, we would play old video games in the Commons Building.”

After graduating from Penn State, Butler began working in the Brandywine Writing Studio as a writing tutor, and she also taught first-year seminar classes for several years during her tenure. After yearning to do more with her career, she met with Christine Allen, career services coordinator at Brandywine, who helped her explore becoming a career counselor at a college.

“I always give Christine so much credit because she helped me realize what I wanted to do,” Butler said.

She then went on to receive her master’s degree in counseling with a higher education focus and worked at a variety of universities as a career counselor until the pandemic put in-person counseling on pause.

“When I began working remotely, I realized I had an itch to do something else,” she said. “I knew I really liked technology, so I started researching the tools that career centers use, and my current place of employment, uConnect, came up. When I saw the company had an open position, I jumped on the opportunity. I knew I could use my transferable skills from my other jobs in this new position. I’ve been there for just over two years.”

Butler serves as a senior customer success manager at uConnect, an educational technology startup based in Boston, Massachusetts. In her role, she has a portfolio of universities she’s responsible for, and it’s her job to ensure they see success in using uConnect’s products and retain those customers.

“What I love most about my job at uConnect is being able to help colleges and universities help their students,” she said. “The college and university career centers I work with are doing such important work with their students that often gets overlooked. It’s really rewarding to work with people who also want to help others.”

Butler enjoys staying involved with the Brandywine community. In March 2024, she was asked to return to campus for Career Quest Week, a week of career-readiness events hosted by the Office of Career Services. She participated in a communications and English panel with three other Brandywine alumni, discussing what aided them in their success at Brandywine as well as how they ended up in their current fields. They also provided advice to students who are looking to enter the field of communications and writing.

Pursue the things you really like because that will lead you to career paths you’re going to enjoy and find fulfillment in.

—Christina Butler , Penn State class of 2010

When asked what advice she has for current Penn State students, Butler said they should use their interests as a compass for where they want to end up in the workforce.

“Pursue the things you really like because that will lead you to career paths you’re going to enjoy and find fulfillment in,” she said. “When I look back, that’s what worked for me. I didn’t plan to be in the career I’m in now. I figured since I worked with college career centers, I should try to work with the companies that help those people. They’re still very connected, and I get to bring some of my relevant experiences with me.”