Job search advice from new graduates
Western's Spring Career Fair drew dozens of employers interested in Western graduates -- and many organizations were represented by Western alumni.
We asked University Communications and Marketing Intern Kristi VanHerweg to talk to these recent graduates about how they launched their careers after graduation:
Position: Senior Human Resources Specialist for Dynacraft, a division of PACCAR Inc. that manufactures commercial vehicles sold around the world
Degree: '08, Human Resources
College experience: Helped students work on their resumes as a peer adviser in the Career Services Center, interned with Western's Human Resources offices.
Meel was also a member of the Northwest Human Resource Management Association and the WWU Equestrian Team.
Advice: Use the career services center. They can help you prepare for interviews and resume writing. Practice interviewing a lot! Dress to impress when going to interviews.
Position: Inventory Control Supervisor for Dynacraft
Degree: '09, Economics
College experience: Worked full time at Lowes throughout college.
Advice: Lack of internships can hurt your chances of getting the job you want. Having relevant job experience in the field that you want to get into is huge.
Also, be prepared for interviews! It makes a difference when an interviewee knows about the company and has proper interview etiquette.
Position: Recruiting Coordinator at Terex AWAP, a division of Terex Corporation.
Degree: '04, Mathematics
College experience: Worked at Target for three years (part-time), participated in Campus ChristianFellowship, went on a mission trip through the INN, a Bellingham ministry.
Advice: Go to the Career Fair and talk to people about your major and what kind of jobs you can get with it. Really make sure what you're majoring in leads to a career.
Also, get an internship!
Position: Software Systems Project Analyst at Clearwire, a wireless high speed internet service provider.
Degree: '12, Management Information Systems
College experience: Intern at MGM Solutions Inc., which develops barcode and point of sale hardware and software solutions for companies. Girard was also a teacher assistant for Computer Science classes.
He says both experiences enabled him to communicate better, and he got to see what a corporate environment was like.
Advice: Get involved in relevant clubs.
ďMake sure you have something to put on your resume that differentiates you from others. Getting any experience, no matter how small, is better than no experience at all,Ē he says.And donít give up! Have a passion for what you do, and youíll make it.
Position: Coordinator for Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, located in Mount Vernon.
Degree: '10, Political Science
College experience: Worked full time during school. Also served as president of the student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and in student government.
After college, Stuart had jobs before where she didnít feel fulfilled. She wanted to work with kids and have a meaningful job, so she applied to AmeriCorps and now couldnít ask for a better opportunity.
Advice: Be patient, especially with the economy. Apply to everything and everything; donít count any opportunities out because you never know where you are going to end up.
ďItís important to do work youíre passionate about," she says. "It will put you on the right path to that bigger paycheck later on down the road.Ē
Position: Recruiting Coordinator, Human Resources for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Degree: '10, Human Services
College experience: Intern at Catholic Community Services, doing drug rehab counseling, and with the DSHS Foster Care Program. Both opened many doors for her, she says, and gave her the opportunity to work one on one in a professional setting.
Williams was also a member of Students for Social Change.
After graduation, Williams worked as a nanny before joining Fred Hutchinson.
Advice: Do not get discouraged if you donít find a job right away, or get a job that youíre not interested in. But always be persistent because there are opportunities out there. Try not to stress out.