Landing a Job After Graduation
Rachel Pukall
rpuka198@uwsp.edu
Finding a job after graduation can be stressful. With the economy the way it is, landing the position you want can be difficult.

Sarah Johannes, a spring 2012 graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point who majored in communication, got a job as a consultant for Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority International Headquarters.

“The job is to start a chapter at the University of Maine,” Johannes said. “It is a year position, so I am applying for other jobs right now.”

Johannes has gotten to meet and know some pretty amazing women, and she has had fun while doing it.

Josh Tomlin, a senior majoring in forest management who graduates this spring, has a six-to-nine month temporary position lined up working for the U.S. Forest Service in South Dakota.

“I would like to continue working for the U.S. Forest Service after my temporary position is up,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin will be marking and cruising timber plots to get them prepped for timber sales.

Ken Matsche, a 2006 UWSP graduate who majored in communication, worked for UWSP as a crime prevention officer. He now works on his farm, Matsche Brothers Inc., and at the Wittenberg Birnamwood school district.

“I am very satisfied with my jobs. I feel very lucky and rewarded to be able to work with the great group of students I do. I know that I am making a positive impact on their lives as well as the lives of people in our community,” Matsche said.

Kea Gregorich, a senior majoring in communication, will be graduating this spring. She has a few job options on the table but nothing set in stone yet.

“I essentially want to work and live in Chicago. However, I know I have to start small to reach my ultimate goal so I am willing to go anywhere to get experience in my field in the working world,” Gregorich said.

Gregorich started applying for jobs in January, unlike Johannes, who wishes she would have started applying for jobs earlier.

“I was originally going to go to grad school, but at the last minute decided to not go because of financial circumstances,” Johannes said. “Start applying for jobs around spring break because graduation will come up fast. Don’t be afraid to ask the career center for help on your resume and cover letters. That’s what they are there for.”

Matsche agrees with this.

“I wish I would have used more resources such as Career Services in my job search,” Matsche said. “I know that their expertise, experience and dedication would have made many things that I had to find out myself a lot easier.”

The best advice Gregorich can give to students and upcoming seniors is to not get discouraged.

“During this whole process, discouragement has been my enemy. Finding a job is a job in itself and graduates are competing with the rest of the world, not a handful of people. Yes, you will be denied from multiple jobs—it’s just how it works—but stay positive no matter what. The right fit will come your way. It just takes time,” Gregorich said.

Tomlin agrees with this.

“Keep your options open. You may have to be willing to move to find a career that fits what you want to do,” Tomlin said. “Positions all around the country open up at different times and close fairly quickly, so checking frequently will help ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities.”
Gregorich also says that individuals can do many things to make themselves marketable.

“It is entirely up to the individual on what they want to do to make them stand out from the crowd,” Gregorich said.

It is important to be professional and be yourself and stay true to that.

“Don’t be discouraged by the jobs that are available. Chances are, you will not land your dream job right out of college. And don’t be afraid to use the resources that are available to you. It’s why they exist,” Matsche said.

Networking is also huge. Talking to people in your field and meeting with professionals can get you far.

“I networked with professionals in Chicago and in Madison, and even though they weren’t interviews, I still treated them as such because you may never know what will happen after those initial meetings,” Gregorich said.

Career Services provides networking opportunities and offers help by critiquing resumes, preparing students for interviews and offering advice with job applications. Creating profiles on websites such as LinkedIn and cleaning up your Facebook can also make a big difference.
“You are your own brand. Sell yourself,” Gregorich said.