Barry McNamara  |   Published March 31, 2015

How to find a great job

Kickstarted by career fair and Wackerle Center help, Kamzic ’15 lands position
Like all Monmouth College students, senior Nicole Kamzic of Orland Park used spring break as a time to take a pause from classes. But there was little rest for the business major, who spent her break interviewing face-to-face for five professional positions and by phone with seven additional potential employers.
 
Fueled by an Illinois Small College Placement Association (ISCPA) career fair she attended in Naperville in late January, Kamzic was able to set up the dozen interviews to coincide with the college recess during the second week of March. Starting on the Friday of the prior week, she met in person with representatives from Sogeti USA, McDonald’s corporate headquarters, Hub Group, Applied Systems and ENFOS, a company co-founded by 1986 Monmouth graduate Roger Well.
 
With academic minors in computer science, Spanish and economics, Kamzic was looking to combine her business acumen with the technical skills she has acquired at Monmouth.
 
“I was looking for analyst roles,” she said. “I think that type of position is a great link between business and technology. I was also looking for a company where there would be room for growth, with the potential to move into management roles while learning more about the particular business as a whole.”
 
Kamzic used the past tense when describing her job search because she received – and accepted – an offer two weeks after spring break from Applied Systems in University Park.
 
“Applied Systems is an insurance software company in the south suburbs of Chicago, and I have been hired as an associate data analyst,” she reported.
 
“Nicole is savvy enough to know that attending an event like ISCPA’s Career Fest was a great way to find quality employers,” said Stephanie Kinkaid, assistant director of MC’s Wackerle Career & Leadership Center, who accompanied Kamzic to the ISCPA event. “Most students rely on Internet searches and applications for jobs, with a very low response rate, which is usually 10 percent or less. Meeting an employer face to face beats the impersonal application, and Nicole used the opportunity to sell herself and make her resume come alive, which is not easy to do electronically.”
 
“The Wackerle Center really promotes the career fair aspect of the job search,” said Kamzic, who has interned for the center since helping it implement a database as part of a class project her sophomore year. “They’ve definitely been helpful in kickstarting my search, and they must have looked at my resume and cover letter a million times.”
 
That assistance in presenting herself in the best possible light to companies and knowing what to expect at career fairs and interviews was golden, she said.
 
“It was definitely a busy week, but I wasn’t nervous at all,” said Kamzic. “I was well prepared, and I felt that it went well.”
 
Kamzic did get one “day off” after completing her final interview on the Thursday of spring break. Now she is looking forward to her next scheduled break – the week off between graduation and her first day at Applied Systems.
 
“I’ll finally have a little bit of down time,” said Kamzic, who will also celebrate her birthday during that week.
 
Thanks to her diligence and the help of the Wackerle Center, her first present has already arrived.
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