This spring, thousands of University of Iowa students will don caps and gowns at commencement, receive their diplomas, and open a new and exciting chapter in their lives.
What might these UI students do after graduation? Since 2001, the Pomerantz Career Center has surveyed recent graduates of Iowa's undergraduate programs to find out. Here's the latest report on graduates from fall 2018 through summer 2019, which paints a picture of a bright future for the newest members of our Hawkeye alumni family.
* The study had 3,814 respondents for a 73% response rate.
Recent graduates heading into the workforce often find that experience gained through a college job or internship helps set them apart from the competition. Iowa Magazine recently asked readers to reflect on their first jobs in college and how those experiences may have shaped their future. Here are some responses from alumni:
I worked my way through undergrad at the former Hilltop DX gas station in Iowa City. It was a full-service garage, car wash, and fuel station co-owned by two mechanics.
These guys said very little, but they did not tolerate sitting around. If you were leaning on a countertop or spending too much time at the pumps with a friend who'd swung by, you'd soon get a rag jammed in your hand.
The only praise I ever got was in a letter of recommendation one of the mechanics wrote for me upon graduation to a high school principal in South Texas who would hire me to teach biology. The principal later told me that the letter sealed the deal because it spoke of a hire who worked hard, was honest, and took good care of customers.
After serving as a high school teacher and coach, I returned to the UI for a PhD degree, which led to professorships and my current position as executive director of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council. The work ethic imbued by my first bosses—plus an outstanding education—are to thank for all the opportunities.
Jeff Weld (83BS, 94MS, 98PhD)
Cedar Falls, Iowa
During my undergrad years, I held three different broadcasting jobs. I did the noon news report on WSUI, some weekend overnight shifts at KCJJ, and was extremely lucky during my junior year to get a full-time internship at KWWL, where I worked 40 hours a week and learned how to shoot, write, edit, and produce news for TV.
Those jobs while at Iowa propelled me toward a communications career with plenty of wild twists and turns, including my present position as public affairs officer for the FBI Minneapolis field office.
Kevin Smith (83BA)
Eden Prairie, Minnesota