A "Volunteer" Match Made on Campus: Alumni Couple Returns as Volunteers for Professional U


You've heard of a "match made in heaven," but what about a match made on campus? For Adam and Olivia Saul Karabudak, it's not just a "how we met" story.

You've heard of a "match made in heaven," but what about a match made on campus? For Adam and Olivia Saul Karabudak, it's not just a "how we met" story.

The couple began dating their first month on campus in the fall of 2015 when Olivia was an early childhood/special education major, and Adam was an Accounting/Business Administration major. Because of their professional practice as students, both had jobs lined up before graduation.

"We both had hands-on experience, not just theoretical knowledge, and it gave us confidence,"

 explained Olivia, who recalled being the only one of her fellow new hires at her school district who had practiced in mock parent conferences and IEP meetings long before she faced them as a professional. "Especially in the Special Ed department, we had so many opportunities."

Adam agreed, especially when it came to The Zeigler Institute for Professional Development (ZIPD). "Our professors reinforced professional behavior and how to hold ourselves. We were able to meet professionals and build a network as students."  

Because of the professional confidence they gained as students, both Adam and Olivia began volunteering shortly after graduation. They have frequently returned to campus in the last several years to give back to their alma mater. Now a campus recruiter for Kreischer Miller and a volunteer for the Career Intensive Boot Camp (CIBC) and networking events with the Husky Ambassadors, Adam found himself in the shoes of those he used to seek advice from as an undergrad.

“Kreischer Miller always had a campus presence," explained Adam. "As a student, I remember them coming, and I wanted to help students feel confident now that I am in this position."

Olivia volunteered for the Collaborating to Assist Teacher Candidate Hiring (CATCH) Conference, where she learns as much as she teaches.

"If we just learned in college and never had new experiences, our students wouldn't have a good experience," explained Olivia. "Alumni coming back to talk to us made me want to do it, especially since I knew student teachers during COVID did not have the same opportunities and experiences I had. "

Adam returned to Bloomsburg for his Master's degree in accounting in 2020 and asked Olivia to

Adam and Olivia Karaboudak at the latest Career Intensive Boot Camp
Adam and Olivia Karaboudak speak with a student during a mock interview at the Spring 2024 Career Intensive Boot Camp

 marry him while watching a post-hike, upper campus sunset. She said yes, and the couple married last fall. Both intend to return to campus as much as possible to continue helping fellow Huskies transition from college students to confident professionals. They encourage other alumni to start small if they are nervous about volunteering. 
My first time, I was a little nervous with only being a year removed," said Olivia. "But I felt more confident the more questions I answered and was able to give tips within the hiring process since that is what was fresh. Once you're involved, it's not as scary. I see people I wouldn't see otherwise, and it's easier to maintain contact with friends. It's fun, and you get a lot out of it."

"I'm glad we both went to Bloomsburg," concluded Olivia. "We wouldn't be the couple or the professionals we are now if we hadn't."