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Monmouth places 98 percent of its '18 graduates

Barry McNamara
Darice Brooks is part of the 27 percent of Monmouth's Class of 2018 who has gone on to graduate school
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – Count Dylan Wong among the many graduates of Monmouth College’s Class of 2018 who are succeeding in their next step after college and are grateful for the experiences they gained at Monmouth.

Wong is part of the 98 percent of his classmates who are either in professional positions or have continued their education. That figure is out of the 81 percent of 2018 graduates for whom the College has reasonable and verifiable information, included those who responded to a six-month out survey by the College’s Wackerle Career & Leadership Center.

Referred to as the “knowledge rate” of a college’s alumni, Monmouth’s figure is 15 points higher than the national average, making for much more reliable survey information.

“We’re really fortunate to have graduates who respond to our survey because they had such a great experience here at Monmouth College and they want to tell us what they’re up to,” said Assistant Director of Career Development Jenny Sanberg, who also serves as the Wackerle Center’s internship coordinator.

Learning to solve problems

Last fall, Wong began working as a wealth advisor associate for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. The program is a two-year opportunity that allows associates to prepare and develop skills for a career as a financial or private wealth advisor.

“My primary responsibilities are to work directly with the senior brokers and portfolio managers with their comprehensive and holistic financial planning needs for new and existing clients,” said Wong. “A large portion of my time is dedicated to modeling different scenarios and adjusting asset allocations for households.”

An economics and business administration major, Wong said he regularly draws on his Monmouth education.

“The relationship management and prospecting side of my business parallel with the liberal arts teaching styles, while the portfolio management side aligns well with the technical education and instruction I received while pursuing my degree,” he said. “Being able to think with both sides of the brain, on qualitative and quantitative levels, is critically instrumental to the success of any individual regardless of profession.”

Wong was part of the 73 percent of his class who secured professional positions after graduating, which also includes grads in service opportunities such as the Peace Corps. The other 27 percent are in graduate school – an increase from the 20 percent figure of a year ago. That group includes Antonetta Axup, who is working toward a doctorate in chemistry at Baylor University.

“In my graduate coursework, I am building on the foundation of knowledge that I gained from my professors, and while in the lab, I can run the experiments as smoothly as possible,” said Axup, who is leaning toward a career in research and development, unless she decides to be a professor. “How the results from the experiment turn out depends on the reactions happening, but I can use my Monmouth learning skills to be able to analyze and interpret the data,” said Axup.

Relationships set Monmouth apart

Axup said the relationships she built with professors were a cornerstone of her Monmouth education.

“Build relationships with your professors and faculty mentors early on because it will help you during your years at Monmouth and the years after you graduate,” she said. “Monmouth professors are very approachable and are always willing to listen and help in any way they can. Go to office hours when you can for help or to just strike up conversation with them. You knowing them and them knowing you helps in the long run. Whether it’s job advice or letters of recommendation, they want to help you succeed.”

Rebecca Guinea has taken the relational mindset she learned at Monmouth into her next chapter, serving as a first-grade teacher at Barack Obama Learning Academy in Markham, Ill.

“I understand the importance of not only teaching my students, but also caring for them,” she said. “The difference between a good teacher and a great teacher is that a great teacher knows more about their students than their academic capabilities.”

Sanberg said the entire campus community plays an important role in preparing Monmouth students to succeed in their next endeavors.

“It’s the academic experience that they have here and the relationships they build with the faculty,” she said. “We also believe in a holistic advising approach. Everybody on campus is on board to help our students succeed – whether they’re talking with someone in the registrar’s office, their academic adviser, a faculty member in the classroom, or someone here in the Wackerle Center – we are all on board to make sure that they put their best foot forward toward succeeding.”

Looking ahead to the Class of 2022

The statistics for the Class of 2018 are strong – including 84 percent of the class participated in at least one internship during their time at Monmouth, which is well above the national average. The early outlook for Monmouth’s current freshmen is also promising.

“This year, we made an intentional effort to meet with as many of our first-year students as possible within their first eight weeks here,” said Sanberg. “We’re really excited about this program and to see it grow over time. We were able to meet with over 60 percent of the first-year class, which was huge for us.”

If Wong had met those freshmen, he would’ve told them to absorb all that Monmouth College has to offer.

“Get to know your professors on a personal level and maintain those relationships throughout college,” he said. “Join clubs and societies where you can meet new people. Study abroad. But most of all, have fun and enjoy the ride, because four years goes by much faster than you think.”