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From College to Career

April 17, 2020
head portrait of a woman
Aline Muanza (Photo courtesy of Aline Muanza)

UW’s career services—and university experiences—help students find their passions and land the right job. 

By Micaela Myers 

It’s the question everyone loves to ask: What do you want to do for a living? Most people spend eight hours a day—or more—five days a week  in their chosen careers, so you want to find the right match. The University of Wyoming’s Advising, Career and Exploratory Studies Center (ACES) offers a variety of career services, including seven job fairs a year, resume reviews, mock interviews, and job and internship search assistance (see sidebar). Here, we speak with several recent graduates who used ACES services. Read on to learn about their journey from college to career.
 

Aline Muanza, quality control scientist for MilliporeSigma

I graduated in May 2019 with a degree in chemical engineering. I am currently working as a quality control scientist for MilliporeSigma. I used the career services in the engineering department a lot, and Handshake was nice to be able to see some of the opportunities out there. 

I also did undergraduate research for a semester, and that helped me a lot in my current job because I learned to be comfortable in a lab setting and work independently. Apart from the classes I took, having instructors who were in the workforce was a great resource for me. My adviser was good about guiding me in some of the choices I made.

My advice would be to know what you want from the beginning, and use all the resources that are available to you. UW is a good place to study. There are so many resources that I wish I had taken advantages of when I first got to Laramie. Laramie is a good community, and I loved the fact that my instructors were willing to help me succeed. They cared about what they were doing and were passionate about it. To me, that’s all students dream of—and, for that reason, UW is one of the best universities out there.

man standing outside
Auburn Flores (Photo courtesy of Auburn Flores)

 

Auburn Flores, president/co-founder of Crux-A Cooperative Marketplace, media director for Bond’s Brewing Co., director of community outreach/connectivity representative for OneLoveSkate, and owner of Auburn Flores Media

I graduated with my degree in business marketing in May 2019. At UW, I used Handshake, and I went to two career fairs. They helped me see what was out there. I also had an internship and job with Fuse marketing as a brand ambassador for Mountain Dew Black Label and Kickstart. This experience taught me creativity, organization, time management and how to set up events and network with the right people. I am a photographer and videographer, so I made sure to network myself with UW Institutional Marketing and Communications. This led me to connect with others about the school contracting with my media business for photography or film for events, concerts and banquets.

UW helped me learn how to do real hands-on marketing for real clients, which is exactly what I do now. Doing projects that have a real scenario or outcome has really taught me more than any book.

My advice is that you choose something that you are passionate about. Don’t pick something just because you think you will make a lot of money. Money always comes in time when true passion is in the mix. I never thought I would get paid to take photos, but I love it so much and really honed in on my skill, and now people pay me professional prices for something I am already passionate about doing. So pick something you’d love to wake up doing each day.

I would recommend UW because it is just the right size for professors to really give you the attention to help you be successful. Plus, the resources and opportunities are so much greater. UW truly cares about giving you the exposure to valuable experiences.

woman standing outside
Eilish Hanson. (Photo by Sarah Herold)

 

Eilish Hanson, associate research analyst at Wyoming Legislative Service Office

I earned my undergraduate degrees in business administration and  agricultural communication with minors in finance, agricultural economics and the honors program in May 2017, then went on for my master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics, graduating in May 2019. During my time at UW, I attended career fairs and utilized the resume, cover letter and interviewing prep services. The help I received from the career center made all the difference in landing the job I have now. It was difficult to transition my resume from my undergraduate to graduate experiences, so the career services staff made it much easier to develop a more professional resume. Practice interviewing really helped as well.

During my undergraduate education, I also completed three agriculture-related internships with 4-H, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Northern International Livestock Exposition. These internships not only helped me graduate in four years by providing UW credits, but they also helped me build a professional network around the country.

My advice to new students is to take classes you’re interested in and start asking your professors about potential career paths. They can be some of your strongest allies!

UW is absolutely the most cost-effective option for anyone wanting a college education. Because of the extensive scholarships available through the College of Agriculture and Applied Science and the entire university, I was able to graduate with two bachelor’s and a master’s degree completely debt-free. When recommending UW, I also speak to the town of Laramie’s attributes and the truly small-town feel, as well as the small campus and classroom size, which made it easier to meet people I shared common interests with and build lifelong friendships!

 

Shawna Muller, aquatic animal health inspector at Wyoming Game and Fish Department

I graduated with my wildlife and fisheries biology and management degree in spring 2019. At UW, I attended career fairs, which broadened my horizons on different employers and helped tremendously with networking. I also volunteered in anything that was applicable to my degree so that I could put it on my resume. UW allowed for real-world experiences while gaining my degree. It also offers many extracurricular activities that will prepare you for your career.

UW has small class sizes, making it easier to connect with your professors, which aids in learning and networking. UW is also a community—anywhere you look, someone is always there for you.

I chose my major because I have a passion for the outdoors—specifically hunting and fishing. I wanted to make sure this wonderful resource was preserved and conserved for future generations. Find something that you love and are passionate about—follow your heart. If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.

 

UW Career Services

In addition to job fairs and resume and interview help, UW’s ACES program offers the following platforms to help you on your journey from college to career.

Handshake: Through Handshake—UW’s career platform—students can apply for jobs, schedule on-campus interviews, look at upcoming career events and more. 

EPIC: EPIC is a revolutionary coaching platform where you learn about career and academic success topics, such as writing a resume, dressing professionally and developing study habits.

SOAR: SOAR connects you with experiences that will shape, engage and prepare you for your career or graduate school. Along the way, you’ll receive badges by attending events, conducting research, participating in in internships and more.

Visit ACES to learn more: uwyo.edu/aces.


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