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Wackerle Center helps Oltman land internship, full-time job

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Connor Oltman can pause for a while and exhale, thanks to help from the Monmouth College Wackerle Career and Leadership Center.

A Monmouth senior from Bloomington, Ill., Oltman learned at the end of the summer that he has a full-time accounting position waiting for him at Caterpillar Inc., in Peoria, Ill., following his graduation next May.

Oltman landed the job after a summer internship with Caterpillar, which came about by working with the Wackerle Center.

“I did résumé prep work with the Wackerle Center two or three times, and I also read the interview tips and tricks handout they provided,” he said. “Some of those tips were to do prep work before the interviews, to be confident and relaxed, and to be confident in who you are.”

Oltman interviewed with Caterpillar last year through an opportunity endorsed by the Wackerle Center – a Fall Interview Day offered by the College Career Consortium of Illinois, which serves about 36,000 students at 18 schools similar to Monmouth. Oltman said he still had a little case of the nerves during his interview.

“I was nervous, but it went a lot better than I thought,” he said. “Once I got into it, it started to flow a little easier, and the interviewers were also very helpful. As I left, I was happy with my performance and with how I did.”

Caterpillar was happy, too, offering Oltman a summer internship in the company’s financial services department.

“I got a ton of great experience, and they really treated me like a full-time employee,” he said. “I was recommended for a full-time interview by my supervisor, and with about a week left in my internship, I found out that I had a full-time job offer after graduation.”

As Oltman relayed that information, he couldn’t help but smile.

“It’s just a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said. “Now there’s a lot less stress, and it makes my life a lot easier, not worrying about applying for jobs and traveling to interviews. It’s going to make my senior year more enjoyable, and I can really take time to enjoy the Monmouth experience as much as I can.”

Part of that experience revolves around playing soccer for the Fighting Scots.

“Accounting and soccer are why I came to Monmouth,” said Oltman, who is a four-year defensive starter. “I get to play a sport I love while also focusing on my studies. I really like the small classes at Monmouth. My professors know who I am. I’m not just a number. My experience has been significantly better than it would be at a large school, and the accounting department has really set me up for success.”

Oltman’s parents both have accounting-related jobs, and he’s happy to follow suit.

“I like accounting because I want to be able to make an impact on a business or company, and working in accounting is a good way to help drive a company,” he said. “I’m quite happy with the way this worked out, and I know I’m on the right path.”

Monmouth Assistant Director of Career Development and Internship Coordinator Jenny Sanberg said the Wackerle Center looks forward to helping more students this year. The deadline has passed to attend this year’s Fall Interview Day, but her office can help students register for the consortium’s CareerFest in February.

“Any student can attend CareerFest,” said Sanberg, who is a member of the consortium’s executive board. “Students who are interested in that, or any of the College’s other career and leadership services, can contact the Wackerle Center.”