Banking Commercial Credit Portfolio Manager Cortez Bennett remembers his days on the bricks with much fondness.
Born into a military family, Bennett spent his years growing up all over. But when he arrived at the University of Montevallo, he found a place to call home.
“I love Montevallo,” he said. “My time there was filled with many great memories. I had many experiences with my fraternity brothers, the Nu Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.”
“Also, getting to see one of my favorite artists on campus when UPC brought Big Boi of Outkast, taking a van full of students to Georgia to support our men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament and in the same year riding the charter bus to watch them play in the national championship. And certainly not least playing College Night basketball for the Purple Side.”
Bennett, a 2012 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in management and minor in accounting and who now serves on the UM Junior Board of Directors, said he owes Montevallo a lot. If it wasn’t for the university, he can’t say he’d have had the career he’s had.
“My career was really something I just fell into after attending a job fair during my senior year at Montevallo,” he said. “In fact, I would say Montevallo is responsible for my career path.”
He said during his senior year the Center for Professional Practice put up flyers about a career fair Regions Bank held in Hoover. This sparked his interest, and eventually changed his life.
“Without those flyers and the encouragement of friends, faculty and staff I wouldn’t have even gone to the fair and received the job offer before graduation,” Bennett said. “Fast forward to today and I celebrated my 10-year reunion at College Night and my tenth year in banking.”
Bennett said he believes UM’s success is due to it being a unique university in Alabama. It’s a liberal arts college in the Heart of Dixie, keeps classroom sizes small and intimate, has great programs, curriculum and a culture that isn’t found outside of the brick pathways that frame it.
“I truly believe receiving a liberal arts education is what makes Montevallo alumni unique because it makes us well rounded,” he said. “The liberal arts piece of our university makes you take classes outside of your normal discipline of study and plunges you into environments you may not necessarily have volunteered to be a part of. This helps people come out of their comfort zone and grow as people.”
“Also, College Night!”