School of Law Career and Professional Development staff member Dan Winterlin (right) talks with alum John Pavelko during a staged resume scene in the School of Law library June 30, 2016.

Even Before Graduating, Tommies Are Getting Hired

St. Thomas students just plain get hired: The St. Thomas undergraduate class of 2017 had more than 73 percent of students secure a job before, or within a month, of graduating.

Jennifer Rogers can’t help but feel proud looking at the results of St. Thomas First Destinations Survey, which tracks the post-graduation activity of recent alumni. As the results pour in, it confirms what Rogers, associate director of the Career Development Center (CDC), and so many already know: Tommies just plain get hired.

Culled from surveys and online job research, the most recent First Destinations Survey found the St. Thomas undergraduate class of 2017 had more than 73 percent of students secure a job before, or within a month, of graduating. (Taken from surveys and online job research, that rate pulls from knowledge of 80 percent of the graduating class.) Thirty-two percent secured jobs more than four months before graduating; another 26 percent secured employment 1-4 months before graduating.

The previous year, nearly 68 percent of known class of 2016 students secured a job before, or within a month, of graduating.

“It gives us a lot of pride,” Rogers said. “They’re just terrific students coming out of St. Thomas, and they’re achieving their goals.”

One of those students is senior Madeline Schuster, who worked part-time as a student for BMS Intermediaries in Edina. After she graduates with degrees in applied math and music performance, she will tour Vietnam for a month before starting her full-time position as a catastrophe modeling analyst, which BMS Intermediaries offered her in December.

“St. Thomas has prepared me with an array of technical knowledge and a mindset that has complemented my career goals incredibly well and have made me feel prepared to take on this exciting new challenge,” Schuster said. “More importantly though, I believe my education at St. Thomas has helped me become more aware about myself, my abilities and my beliefs, in a way that will be helpful throughout my life, no matter where my career path takes me.”

Similar to Schuster, senior Paige Fellows received her full-time employment offer from Mortenson Construction in December to work in human resources. As a first-year she began leveraging the Business Undergraduate Mentorship Program in the Opus College of Business. That led to her presidency of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Club, which helped create valuable connections within the Tommie network of alumni.

“The biggest advice I have for students is to build your personal brand and develop your professional interaction skills,” Fellows said. “It is important to know how to present yourself and put yourself in situations that challenge and stretch you to expand your skills and network.”

As more St. Thomas students continue securing internships at higher rates and leveraging more CDC services, Rogers said the credit goes to students for making themselves hireable.

"It’s all good news and we’re really, really proud of them," Rogers said. "They take advantage of all the resources we put in front of them. It’s their work and diligence that brings home the offer."