November 12, 2021 – As most people might know, sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. What most people don’t know is how that can translate into a career in tech.
Melissa Adame ’98 has proven that not only can her degree in sociology from UTSA translate to her career, but it is crucial to her every day work.
As a program manager at Webhead, Adame helps to develop technical solutions for different clients in different industries. From a federal department, state agency to a large business to a small “mom and pop” store, she works with them to develop and implement systems that work for their individual needs. And she uses the skills she learned with her degree daily.
“It’s really listening to our clients and understanding their end users to really formulate the best technical solution to meet the client’s business needs and to prompt the end user to take an action,” Adame said. “We spend time researching how the target audience interacts with technology. That’s important when you’re looking at finding the right solution that aligns with the business goals but that also makes sense to the intended audience.”
Apart from studying her clients and end-users, Adame notes that other skills learned at UTSA transfer easily into her career.
“I’m using a lot of what I learned in my statistics classes when I’m doing my data research,” she said. “Part of technology is that we have to do market research when we’re looking at providing a solution. A lot of the tools and theories that I learned back at UTSA, I’m applying now.”
Adame joined Webhead alongside her UTSA classmate, Webhead’s founder and CEO, Janie Gonzalez. As a local company, their office has several UTSA alumni and the RoadRunner pride is strong. Both Gonzalez and Adame serve on the Leadership Council for the College for Health, Community and Policy, and are passionate about giving back to San Antonio and UTSA.
“I am so proud to be a UTSA alumni – I’m a fanatic,” Adame said. “From the first time I stepped on campus until now, that sense of pride and belonging and family has extended and grown over the years.”
Adame initially chose to study at UTSA because of its size and distance to her hometown of Weslaco – just far enough away, but still close to home. She found a kinship in the community of students that also came from the Rio Grande Valley, and once she started taking classes in sociology, felt an immediate sense of home.
“Sociology had never really occurred to me until I started talking to some advisors,” Adame said. “I took a few classes and then I was hooked. I loved my professors, and made some really good, lifelong friends.”
Adame is grateful for her journey through UTSA – the career she landed in because of it, and the relationships she’s established since then. She shares that passion with her 19-year old daughter, who she says inspires her daily to carry on the tradition of hard-working, successful and community-engaged women in her family.
She advises current students to really throw themselves into their studies and take advantage of all UTSA has to offer. “Take initiative to really get involved in the school, and maximize the opportunities the university offers,” Adame said. At the end of the day, you’re responsible for not just your education, but your experience.”