Silicon Valley Trip Inspires University of Mobile School of Business Students

Amber Kelley Business, News

MOBILE, Ala. – A trip of a lifetime has sent University of Mobile students back to Mobile feeling encouraged, inspired and more equipped to be business professionals.

Five students in the School of Business, and Katie Allred, assistant professor of software and development and digital media, went to Silicon Valley May 14-18 to meet Christians who work in some of the world’s best-known high-tech companies.

The students were part of the Good Work Agency at UM, where Allred serves as director. Good Work Agency is a student-run marketing firm that helps churches, non-profits and small businesses be more effective online. This gives students the opportunity to work in a marketing firm environment before graduating.

Along with eating IN-N-OUT cheeseburgers and taking pictures on the Golden Gate Bridge, these students met with Christians who work at Facebook, Abide and Instagram.

McCall Smith, senior, left San Francisco inspired. Smith says, “I came back to Mobile with a fresh take on technology, business and Kingdom building.”

Sophomore Avery Wilhite was encouraged by visiting San Francisco, California. Wilhite says the trip, “Showed me that not only the academic tools that I gain during college are important, but the spiritual tools are important too, as they help equip me for ministry.”

At Abide, Allred says, “They were so generous with their time. They were all very willing to take time to discuss with us their stories and what startup life is like.”

While at Facebook, the students met with the “Christians @ Facebook” group. This group meets often in the middle of their day to participate in worship together. UM students led this group in three worship songs.

Allison Gray, who graduated in May 2019, says that, “Half of the group that went has at some point been involved with music on campus, so when they asked us to lead worship with them, it just showed us how perfect God’s plan is.”

Wilhite says the trip was extremely fun and entertaining, while being highly educational.

Allred says travel is an important part of the college experience at the University of Mobile.

“Trips like this are important for students because it gives them the opportunity to see and experience things outside their normal. Every single student on this trip had never been to California. It gave them a new perspective on their futures and where God might lead them,” says the professor.

Allred planned the trip and made the connections with the people at Facebook, Abide and Instagram through her Church Communications Facebook group. The Church Communications Facebook group exists to encourage and equip churches in areas like branding, graphic design, the web, social media, print design and other related topics.

For more information about the Good Work Agency, email or visit Visit for information about the School of Business and other academic programs at the University of Mobile.


About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 76 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Amber Kelley

Amber Kelley is the marketing communications specialist for University of Mobile. Amber received her Bachelor of Science in Communication from UM. As marketing communications specialist, Amber writes press releases and other content for UM. She is passionate about serving in her youth group at Redemption Church. She enjoys spending time outside, reading a good book and watching romantic comedies on Netflix.