Baudino, Falkenrath used MC’s career center to secure jobs
Are you getting ready to enter college, or maybe attending Monmouth College as a freshman or sophomore, but not exactly sure what you want to do when you graduate?
Or are you a junior or senior beginning to realize that your college career is nearing its end, but you don’t yet have a full-time job lined up?
Seniors Andrew Baudino of Ottawa and Chris Falkenrath of Highland Park were in similar situations until they discovered the services of Monmouth College’s Wackerle Career & Leadership Center, which aids students in mastering the skills required to gain the cutting edge and continue their success beyond Monmouth College.
Through the Wackerle Center’s assistance, both students have secured jobs that they will begin after graduating in May, and the positions are different from what they envisioned when they began college. Falkenrath, an international business and economics major, has accepted a position as an assistant national bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), working in Schaumburg. Baudino will be an agent aspirant for State Farm in Aledo.
Last fall, Falkenrath had interviews with The Boston Consulting Group, KPMG and the OCC.
“The first two were case interviews, and the OCC had me take a four-hour exam, conduct a phone screening, and pass a behavioral interview after that,” said Falkenrath. “I only received one offer, but it was an offer that I was thrilled to receive, seeing how my competition was from Ivy League schools or other well-established business schools such as Northwestern.”
To prepare for those interviews, Falkenrath leaned heavily on the Wackerle Center for support.
“After contacting (program coordinator) Stephanie Kinkaid about my upcoming case interviews, she invited me to meet with her to go over my options,” said Falkenrath. “I was amazed by how much time and effort she had clearly put toward helping me. She was always ready with new problems and questions for me to solve.”
Kinkaid set up mock interviews with others around the office, reviewed Falkenrath’s résumé/cover letter and passed along hints and tips.
“After a few months of meeting regularly for an hour or more each week, I began entering interviews with a much higher level of confidence,” reported Falkenrath.
In addition to the help that the Wackerle Center provided, Falkenrath spent four to 10 hours per week studying on his own for the interviews by researching the companies, running through practice cases and fine tuning and practicing his behavioral answers.
Baudino credits the Wackerle Center for notifying him by email that a State Farm agent was going to be on campus taking résumés.
“What they did was bring an actual employer to campus for students to meet with and talk to face to face,” he said. “I believe that it was that interaction that set me apart from the rest of the applicants. If it was not for the on-campus meeting, I could have been just another name on their list that did not get chosen.”
Beyond that, Baudino said the Wackerle Center helped him create a professional résumé, practice mock interviews and prepare for interview questions while keeping him “focused and positive” about his job search.
“If you are a student and schedule a meeting with Stephanie Kinkaid or another member of the Wackerle Center staff, they will work with you and do their best to help you find the career you are looking for after graduation,” he said.
Baudino, who is double-majoring in accounting and business, will be entering a field that typically pays around $50,000 annually. Working at such an established company as State Farm is also excellent training for a professional who later wants to have his own agency in the independent insurance agent market.
“It feels great having employment secured while many of my classmates are still searching,” he said. “Now I can enjoy my last semester of college without the stress and pressure that comes with looking for a career after graduation. I can focus on my classes and my last season of baseball and not have the thought of not finding a job in the back of my mind.”