Rafe Hagee works as Lab Technician at Eastman Chemical Company

Posted by Allison Matthews
Rafe Hagee graduated from Emory & Henry in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Environmental Science. He currently works as a Laboratory Technician for the Process Research and Development Group in the Technology Division of Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tenn.

“Emory & Henry prepared me for the workforce by teaching me to think about problems through a variety of lenses,” says Hagee. “This allows me to be adaptable and flexible in my work at Eastman. Additionally, Emory & Henry gave me confidence in my communication skills which allow me to effectively and efficiently communicate with coworkers from a variety of backgrounds on many topics.”

Through the Friends of the Sciences stipend at Emory & Henry, Hagee was able to work in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech as an assistant to graduate students’ research projects. He also had the opportunity to conduct his own field research to help model the sediment loads in water going through a local creek after storm events.

This experience reinforced all the confidence that I gained at Emory & Henry as it let me apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems and let me put my communication skills into practice,” says Hagee. “This experience was a great trial run of my abilities, and it helped shape my decision to enter the workforce after leaving Emory & Henry.”

Hagee says that faculty members helped him transition his academic path when he decided to enter the workforce instead of going to graduate school immediately.

“My two advisors, Dr. Micheal Lane and Dr. Laura Hainsworth, along with the Chemistry and Environmental Science faculty, taught me, not only how to learn, but also how to apply what I learned in the classroom to problems in the real world,” says Hagee. “They were always there for questions when something did not make sense but also challenged me to think more in-depth on the topics that I fully understood. This balance of supporting my weaknesses and challenging my strengths is what I attribute most of my current success to and will be the driver for success in my future.”

Hagee also says that The van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development was a great resource when transitioning from the comforts of campus life into the challenges of the real world.

“The Career Center resources were a great help with creating my professional appearance so that employers would notice me,” he says. “This included learning how to job hunt, write resumes that highlighted my strengths, and create an optimized LinkedIn profile, all of which helped me get my job at Eastman.”

Additionally, Hagee appreciated the Alumni Association for connecting him with E&H alumni with jobs in his field of interest.

“Through those connections, I never met an alumni of Emory & Henry College who was not willing to take some time and talk and try to help as best they could with a problem or question that I had,” says Hagee.

Hagee adds, “Don’t forget that anywhere you see an Emory & Henry emblem, T-shirt, or sticker that you are in good company, who are always willing to talk about this small little place we love and how it shaped who we are as individuals.”

  • Rafe Hagee ’19
The Career Center resources were a great help with creating my professional appearance so that employers would notice me. This included learning how to job hunt, write resumes that highlighted my strengths, and create an optimized LinkedIn profile, all of which helped me get my job at Eastman.
- Rafe Hagee (E&H ’19)

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