Assistant Director of Admissions Alexandria Alley
Hometown: Bellaire, Texas
College Major: History (minor in Geography)
Territory: Greater Houston and surrounding areas
Office: Houston Admissions Center
Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up in a small area of Houston known as Bellaire and went to Bellaire High School. Living in Bellaire is a unique experience because it is a small town in the center of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.
Q: Why did you decide to attend UT Austin?
A: Coming from a family with six children, I knew from the start that I would go to an in-state public university. Not only did I want to stay close to home, but the break on in-state tuition was a huge factor in my decision. After researching and visiting other in-state public schools, I knew UT Austin was the best fit for me. The open and creative atmosphere of Austin combined with the university’s strong academic reputation made me comfortable in my decision to enroll.
Q: What did you study in college? Why did you choose that major?
A: When I got to campus, I had no idea what I wanted to do “when I grew up." I decided to take a variety of classes my first year and try out some subjects I found interesting. During my first semester, I took a course on the History of American Teenagers and fell in love with the History Department. One of the benefits of attending such a large university is the array of subjects and courses that are offered each semester. During my four years as a History major I took classes such as The History of Jesus in American Pop-Culture and The History of the Modern American City.
Q: What is your favorite place on campus? Why?
A: I love campus. Walking around this university automatically puts a smile on my face! If I had to choose, I would say the South Mall, a grassy area in the middle of the “six pack” where you can sit in the warm Texas sun and listen to the noises of the bustling campus around you. (And don’t worry, we allow students to walk on the grass!) On any given day you will find students studying, listening to music, playing Frisbee or just relaxing under the Oak trees that shade the area. If you are lucky, your professor might even move class outside on a nice afternoon.
Q: What is your favorite UT Austin fact?
A: Behind the Texas Union there is a group of huge Live Oak trees that have been around since before the Civil War. In 1923 the university planned to cut down the trees to make room for a new biology building. As you can imagine some nature lovers were not very excited at the prospect of seeing these trees cut down. Dr. William J. Battle, a professor and former university president, is rumored to have sat next to the trees with a shotgun to defend them the day they were meant to be taken down. Ultimately Dr. Battle got his way and the Biology Building was moved to a different location. Ever since then the trees have been known as the Battle Oaks.
Q: What's one of your fondest memories about your time here at UT Austin?
A: As an undergrad I worked as a UT Austin campus tour guide in the Office of Admissions. I loved my job because I was able to introduce our campus and share my experiences here at UT Austin with others. Although over the years I gave an occasional tour in the pouring rain or in 103 degree weather, I loved every minute of it.
Q: What parts of admissions counseling do you enjoy?
A: The college admissions process can be both an exciting and confusing time in a student’s life, and I am so glad that I can be a resource for them. This is the first major decision that many students will face in life and that can make the process quite intimidating. I enjoy meeting all kinds of students and helping them in any way I can.
Advice to Prospective Students
- Send in an additional resume with your application! If you did more than go to school and come home each day, we want to know about it. Give us a list and description of all of the clubs you were in, leadership positions you held, jobs you had, etc. Be specific! For example, if you are in an organization tell us the name, what it was about, what you were required to do, how much time you spent each week attending functions or doing work for it. We can only know what you tell us, so this is your chance to tell us everything you have been up to the past four years.
- Also, when choosing a school, don’t make your decision based on where your friends are going or how well a university's athletic teams are doing (even though Texas does have some great teams!). Do your research and choose the best fit for your life. The best advice I received was from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”