Barry McNamara  |   Published February 18, 2015

Successful outcomes

MC’s placement rate reaches 99 percent for third consecutive graduating class
For the third consecutive year, Monmouth College has placed 99 percent of its most recent graduating class in the work force or in graduate school.
 
The high placement rate supports the college’s lofty ranking last fall from Money magazine, which slotted Monmouth at No. 15 on its list of Colleges That Add the Most Value.
 
Stephanie Kinkaid, assistant director of the college’s Wackerle Career and Leadership Center, cited several reasons for Monmouth’s ongoing success related to positive outcomes for its students. One of the primary ones, she said, is the proactive approach that students are taking.
 
“The majority of the Class of 2014 who have secured employment began searching prior to the spring semester of their senior year or early in that semester,” she said. “What we’re seeing more and more is students taking a more vested interest in their job search. It takes work, and they are putting in that work.”
 
The Class of 2014 landed jobs across the career spectrum and from coast-to-coast. Several also stayed in the region, including Aaron Bromeland and Karrah Kuykendall, who both secured positions at Deere & Co. According to Kinkaid, a networking connection that Kuykendall made with Monmouth graduate Neil Dahlstrom, a Deere employee, led to her position, while Bromeland rode the momentum of an internship experience with Deere.
 
“Internships are something else that helps set our students apart,” said Kinkaid. “Seventy-six percent of the Class of 2014 had at least one internship experience, which is well above the national average of 61 percent.”
 
Bromeland praised the assistance he received from the Wackerle Center for helping to complete his résumé and preparing him for the behavior interview process that Deere uses.
 
“John Deere seeks intern candidates that have the technical knowledge for their field of study, strong verbal and written communication skills, and students who have shown they can successfully lead,” said Jackie Zachmeyer, a 1989 Monmouth graduate who is the finance director for the company’s Construction and Forestry division. She is also a member of her alma mater’s board of trustees. “Monmouth provides opportunities for students to excel in all three of these areas – academics, communication and leadership. In addition, the Monmouth students have similar values to John Deere’s four core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation.” 
 
George Burnette used networking to land his job at ENFOS, a company co-founded by Monmouth graduate Roger Well. Burnette’s business capstone class with associate professor Terrance Gabel worked exclusively with ENFOS and that generated the connection. During a campus visit to meet with the class, Well also conducted on-campus interviews for the position with four Monmouth students.
 
“All four candidates represented themselves and Monmouth very well,” he said. “The logistics were handled very well by Marnie Dugan and her staff at the Wackerle Center. I hope that other alumni take advantage of the opportunity to interview and hire from Monmouth.” 
 
Other recent Monmouth graduates are now employed at top companies such as Aetna, Chase Bank, Ernst & Young and Sogeti.
 
Approximately one-fifth of the respondents to the college’s annual placement survey chose graduate school, including four Class of 2014 members who are studying at Big Ten universities: Jared Johnson (physics at The Ohio State University), Jake Owens (medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Purdue University), Raven Robinson (educational leadership and policy at the University of Iowa) and Justin Frye (library science at the University of Illinois).
 
Members of the Class of 2014 are studying topics at the graduate level that are as traditional as medicine, and as diverse as peacebuilding and comedy writing.
 
“Monmouth is the kind of college that really builds up its students,” said Jess Bybee, who is studying comedy writing at The Second City Training Centre in Chicago. “It has a very personal way of educating students. For me, that’s where the confidence came in, and that’s the confidence I needed to try something as ambitious as Second City.”
 
Kinkaid said she encourages the students she counsels to “be willing to move outside the box. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on a job that interests you, even if you have only 75 percent of the qualifications they are seeking. Don’t limit yourself, you should try, and we’ll show you how.”
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