Campus Colleagues: Cameron Smith and Allie Talley

March 31, 2021

Get to know Admissions Counselors Cameron Smith and Allie Talley.

The Admissions team welcomed new counselors to the UM-Dearborn community earlier this year. Reporter caught up with two of the new team members to learn a little more about them and to give an opportunity to share what keeps them motivated and positive during changes and uncertain times.

Photo of Admissions Counselor Cameron Smith
Photo of Admissions Counselor Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith

Name: Cameron Smith
Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Outside of a new job, can you share a positive experience that you had during the pandemic?
I got my Dalmatian puppy Cisco during the COVID lockdown. He's kept me company pretty much the whole way. I named him after the War song Cisco Kid since — like the song says, he’s a friend of mine. We’ve pretty much shared my home office space since he didn’t want to be too far away from me. Cisco thinks he’s a lap dog. He’s way too big for that, but I let him try.

What do you like most about the UM-Dearborn community so far?
My education background is in human resources management so the culture of a place is key for me. If the culture isn’t good, I don’t want to be there. You invest so much time at work that it needs to be a good fit. Authenticity is also important when talking with others about how great a place is.

I like the diversity here and how UM-Dearborn has the goal of making education accessible. But for people to want to be here, we also need to be approachable. I experienced how approachable and understanding people are on campus during my first interaction. During my Zoom interview, Cisco barked — and kept barking — and I didn’t know what to do. Instead of seeing it as a problem, the people in my interview asked about Cisco and we bonded over pets. They used an unexpected moment to learn more about me. That’s how you make connections with people. And once connections are made, other opportunity bridges can be built.

Photo of Alexandrea Talley
Photo of Alexandrea Talley
Allie Talley

Name: Alexandrea "Allie" Talley
Hometown: Saginaw, Michigan

What motivated you when looking at colleges? And how does that differ from what people want today?
As a first generation college student, my college search process was influenced a lot by friends. But my mom influenced me too. During tours, I found myself looking to see if I felt at home on the campus and if I could really picture myself there for 4+ years.

I think this really differs from college students today as it seems they are influenced more by if the school has their specific major and if so, will the school and program help them to get a job after graduation. Students today are really looking for a school that will help them maximize their potential in receiving their degree without going over their budget.

What song is your go-to when you are looking for a pick-me-up?
When I am feeling down, the song that gets me motivated is Dancing Queen by Abba. I am a huge Mamma Mia fan and this song always brings me joy and makes me want to get up, do a little dance and get going. I actually listened to this song to get me pumped up for my interview for this current position I am in, so I think it also brings me a little luck every time I hear it.

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