Major: Business & Economics
Current Job: Financial Analyst at Schneider Electric
Current Location: Nashville, TN
1. Did you visit the Center for Vocation and Career? If so, about how often and how did they help you?
The first time I visited the Center for Vocation and Career was the fall of my junior year, when I decided that I wanted to spend my junior year spring semester abroad. They helped me understand what programs were out there and then walked me through the process of enrolling in a study abroad program. When I returned from studying abroad I used the Center for Vocation and Career Services quite often. The Center helped clean up my resume, hosted mock interviews that I was able to attend, and kept me in the loop when companies would be on campus for interviews.
2. Did you have an internship in college? If so, what was it? How/why did you chose it?
My last internship in college was with Hewitt Associates (now Aon Hewitt) as a member of their corporate finance team. I chose it because I was interested in a career in finance, and this would be a good opportunity to see if I enjoyed this type of work on a daily basis.
3. How did an internship prepare you for your future? What did you learn?
My internship gave me a taste of what finance is like even though it was very different from the type of work I am doing now. But it was enough to know that the work energized and engaged me, and that was important to me. I learned that I enjoy working in Excel, building relationships with co-workers and business partners, and trying to communicate a story with the data in a clear and concise manner to non-financial people.
4. How did you go about finding a job after college?
I tried to cast my net as wide as possible. For me that meant working my network via past internships, professors, Wheaton Alum, family, friends etc. I applied to jobs on the big sites such as Monster and CareerBuilder. I went to interview days on campus with various companies. Lastly, I went to the Illinois Small College Placement Association (ISCPA) interview. It was ultimately through that ISCPA interview day that I landed a job with Allstate as a financial analyst.
5. What advice would you give a current student about finding a job and/or networking?
You never know where an opportunity for a job will arise. So put yourself out there as much as possible. Go to interview days on campus, get your resume looked at by the Center for Vocation and Career or someone you trust, attend networking events, and rehearse what you will say in an interview and try to anticipate questions the interviewer may ask you. Trying to find a job is like a full-time job so do yourself a favor and take it seriously.
6. What are you doing in your current job?
My wife and I relocated to Nashville at the beginning of June and I have been in my current role for a couple of months now. I am working at a manufacturing plant, which is a complete 180 from working for an insurance company. I have a number of weekly and monthly requirements that are recurring, but the exciting part of my job is being able to go out on the manufacturing floor, talk with the operators out there to identify bottlenecks in our production line, and then try to make sense of the data and communicate that is a clear way to management. I spend a lot of my time in Excel and I am continually amazed at how powerful the tool is and how useful it can be for influencing business decisions.
7. How did Wheaton prepare you for your current job?
Wheaton helped me the most in my ability to think critically and creatively. While as a student it may be difficult to see the value of the liberal arts education and it can be frustrating trying to compete against students from larger universities, but the true benefit of a liberal arts background is realized once you get your foot in the door and secure that job. I find myself continually looking for new and innovate ways to improve processes or a new way to summarize a piece of information, and I think a lot of that stems from the liberal arts background. Wheaton also does a good job helping its students learn how to communicate, which is critical for all jobs in any line of work.