800 University WaySpartanburg, SC 293031-864-503-5000
Sherry McAamsCareer Services Director
How did you get here? I began college as a business major at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina but quickly discovered that it was not for me. I had completed some volunteer work at John de la Howe School for children and found that I
really enjoyed working with children. As a result, I changed my major to elementary education and finished up with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. I never “sat foot” in an elementary school after graduation. It wasn’t until years later when I received my Master of Education
degree with an emphasis in student personnel services from University of South Carolina that I really felt that I had found my calling. I’ve worked in higher education for about 25 years in various capacities from working with TRIO programs and career services to teaching University 101. Working
in higher education, there’s never a boring day. Recently, I decided to continue my education by earning a second master’s degree in the area of Social Work. After I retire, I want to continue to serve others and human services fits with my current skill set.
What do you like most about working at Upstate? The students are what I like most about my job. In Career Services, we get the opportunity to talk with students about their hopes and dreams for the future and how they can turn those hopes and dreams into reality.
What is the most unusual job you ever had? I worked at a funeral home as a grief counselor. At first, I thought it would be very depressing; however, the families that I worked with had some of the most inspirational stories about their loved ones. I learned
so much about the human spirit during my time there.
Favorite things: I love spending time with my family. I have 6 siblings and lots of nieces and nephews, which means that the holidays are usually very noisy and exciting.
Quote to live by: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
Advice for Students: .Don’t be afraid to ask us questions. That’s what we’re here for and we really do love what we do. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be in this business. Be your own best advocate.
Kristen Perry Career Services Advisor
How did you get here? It has been quite a journey. Upon entering college, I was a Pre-Med Biology major, as a lot of students are; however, I changed my mind. I did graduate with a degree in biology from the University of Georgia, but then went on to graduate school. I received a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Lipscomb University. After earning my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I was a medical sales representative for Quest Diagnostics. Several years and numerous moves (due to my husband's career) later I found myself teaching University 101 at USC Upstate, which eventually brought me to Career Services. I look forward to helping students figure out what career path is best for them.
What do you like most about working at upstate? love that we are always thinking of the students. Whether it is starting a Career Closet or updating our website, we strive to meet their needs.
What is the most unusual job you ever had? In high school, I worked at Sanrio Surprises (the Hello Kitty store). As a young girl, I loved it.
Favorite things: I love spending time with my husband, Kyle and our two boys, Kolton and Kam. I enjoy traveling, exercising and shopping. I especially enjoy organization and decorating my house.
Quote to live by: "Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally. Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do."
Advice for students: Do not stress if you do not know your career path. Many adults still struggle with finding our true passion. Figure out what your talents are and then focus on a major or career path that fits your gifts. If that one doesn’t work out, do not feel defeated. Try something else.
Jessie SahmsCareer Services Coordinator
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How did you get here? I would like to say I took the scenic route! I graduated from Wofford College in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and concentration in neuroscience and took a job working at a psychiatric hospital. After a year and a half, I was headed to graduate
school at the University of Kentucky for rehabilitation counseling. I loved living in Lexington, but decided to complete my last semester of internship back home in Greenville with the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD). I graduated from UK in May 2013 and was hired with SCVRD. My caseload consisted of
clients recently released from the Department of Corrections and clients serving probation, parole or drug related sentences. Although a difficult population to work with, I found it very rewarding and the experience challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone. After about three years, I decided to pursue a
career in higher education and was delighted to accept the position as Career Services Coordinator. I am very excited to be back Spartanburg and to be a part of the USC Upstate family!
What do you like most about working at Upstate? I really enjoy working with the students. Whether it’s helping create a resume, exploring career options or planning an career fair, I am just as excited as the students are about their journey while at USC Upstate
What is the most unusual job you ever had? I worked as a mental health tech at a psychiatric hospital for about a year and a half after I finished Wofford. There was NEVER a dull day!
Favorite Things: I enjoy being outdoors—walking, running, biking, hiking, camping or being at the lake. I consider myself a “foodie” and enjoy going out to eat. And I love my cat, Bourbon, who I adopted while I was in Kentucky.
Quote to live by: “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find something
about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried
something. Now you know something about yourself.” –Amy Poehler
Advice for students: Don’t think you have to have your life planned out. Sometimes we get so fixated on one track that we fail to see the hundreds of other paths that are out there. Don’t compare your plan to anyone else’s—go after what makes YOU happy. And be confident in
whichever direction you chose!
First Time User
Career Services Office Hours
HoursMonday - Friday8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Jessie SahmsCareer Services CoordinatorPhone: 864-503-5124
Kristen Bryant Perry
Career Services Advisor
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Faculty & Staff Directory
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of USC Upstate. Comments or Complaints?