Members of the Class of 2016 land jobs before graduation
When Ted Boland first arrived at Drury as a business student four years ago, he figured his most likely job path would be in the family real estate business in Washington, Missouri.
But after he graduates next week with a degree in finance, he’ll head to Bentonville, Arkansas, to work in Walmart’s corporate software department. He’s been able to breathe easy all year – he was offered the job last summer following an internship with Walmart.
“It was pretty interesting to walk out of there with my future laid out before me,” Boland says. “It almost felt too good to be true.”
Boland isn’t alone. Graduates from disciplines across the university often find the connections they make during internships, through engaged learning opportunities or with Drury alumni – not to mention their academic preparation – help them land fulfilling jobs after graduation.
Drury’s most recent annual survey of 2014-15 graduates found that nine out of 10 were either employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Of those who were employed, 89 percent described themselves as holding a professional position.
Kelsey Pressnall, who majored in theater and arts administration, has not one, but three jobs lined up for the next 15 months. She’ll be an arts administration intern and housing manager for a theater in Ohio, act on stage in West Virginia, and then work in an arts administration role at a theater in Lexington, Kentucky.
It’s not unusual for employment in her field to be more “gig” based than other fields.
“You have to be okay with change if you want to be successful in this field,” she says. “And I had several other offers, too, so it was nice to be able to choose the ones I liked.”
Bri Hopkins is also an arts administration major, but she’s headed for the corporate world as a recruiter with Global Insight in Kansas City. Recruiting is a passion she discovered as a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. A natural people person, she will soon assist Fortune 500 companies in finding and hiring high-quality employees.
“It’s not what I’d planned on doing, but if there’s anything that Drury has taught me it’s that when opportunity knocks you need to open the door,” she says. “Even though you plan things, sometimes there’s a different plan and you just have to go with it.”
Brandon White, an architecture major from Colorado, is staying in town. An internship and part-time role at Sapp Design Associates Architects will become a full-time job after he earns his five-year masters degree in architecture next week.
“It feels awesome,” he says of landing the job, and he credits Drury’s personalized atmosphere with helping him grow and thrive during his time as a student.
“The Hammons School of Architecture taught me how to be a good architect, but Drury really taught me how to be a good person,” he says. “Because of Drury’s size I was able to easily connect with friends, and I can also feel really comfortable with people I don’t even really know. It feels like a community, and it created an opportunity for me to grow.”
Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.