• Student Success Stories

    So you have a Hamline degree. Now what? The options abound. Hamline's reach extends far beyond campus. Throughout their four years, Pipers participate in internships in all fields and develop contacts at leading Twin Cities' businesses and nonprofit organizations. Many of these experiences lead to full-time work beyond college. Read up on the many CDC success stories and what recent graduates are up to now!

    Cam Smith '14: Major: Finance

    Cameron SmithI recently accepted a job offer for the Financial Analyst Development Program at Polaris Industries. I completed an internship with them over this past summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. (I had a previous internship with Wells Fargo and realized it wasn’t for me). The internship experience at Polaris was extremely challenging and it encompassed much of what I’ve learned at Hamline, but a bit further in depth. I worked throughout the summer creating a financial model in Excel to predictably evaluate future business cases. I also did an analysis to find the profit impact that various current promotional programs have. Beyond that, I had the opportunity to interact with many upper level executives and develop numerous relationships with other finance professionals.

    The CDC played a great role in my success over the past few years. I went to the CDC my first semester at Hamline not knowing what I wanted, but simply looking for advice and guidance in aligning myself for a successful future. They immediately introduced me to the career website Hamline Career Link, as well as Piper Connect, the Hamline alumni network and got me started on a resume.

    My biggest piece of advice for other students looking to obtain internships/jobs is networking! After initially meeting with the CDC, I hopped on Piper Connect, as well as LinkedIn, and searched for Hamline alumni who were in careers that interested me. I started reaching out to as many as I could; letting them know I was a student at Hamline and I was interested in hearing their story and willing to take in any advice they had to offer. After that, I sat down and met with many of them for coffee. I gained knowledge on specific careers from some of them, received inquiries for jobs/internships from others, but all of them were at the very least willing to help. It can be difficult to get a job from submitting your resume online when you don’t have a personal connection to an organization. But by reaching out to alumni, you can establish that personal connection with a company that can help you get your resume looked at more seriously and can lead to more interviews in your job or internship search.

    Claire Walling '13: Major/Minor: Communication Studies, Religion, Psychology

    Claire Walling headshotI've got a job as a staff writer for Exhibitor magazine right after the graduation. Exhibitor is a trade magazine, or “B2B” in industry lingo, meaning that you won’t find it on a newsstand but the format is largely the same. I’ll be spending most of my time researching, writing, and editing—skills that I’ve learned through my three prior internships. Finding the job was part networking and part luck. It took nearly three months from when I first applied until I was offered the job, and the process included two interviews—one that was four hours long—writing tests, an editing test, and participating in a mock staff brainstorming meeting.

    The CDC was there to help me come up with LEAD goals to make the most out of each internship experience. I also did a practice interview a few weeks before my final-round interview; it really helped to have someone point out strengths and not just weaknesses.

    Internships typically build on one another; skills you learned during one internship can be refined during the next. I’d recommend doing more than one internship if at all possible. The magazine industry is very competitive so having tangible evidence of what I can do helped me to stand out in the application process. This might sound cliché, but networking can happen when you least expect it to. Beyond that, take advantage of your time in college to explore potential career areas and get as much experience as you can. 

    Steven Ducatelli '13: Major/Minor: Economics/Business Administration

    Steven Ducatelli In the 2011-2012 school year one of my main goals was to find an internship for the summer of 2012. I was aware of the CDC when I started my search, but I thought I didn’t need help finding an internship and that my grades and work experience would be enough. After a couple months of getting no interviews, I decided to go to the CDC to work on my resume and learn about the job fair. I worked with multiple people in the CDC but mainly Joan Ostergren on how to make myself a more appealing job candidate by working on my interview skills and highlighting the correct skills I had in my resume. I had received a couple of interviews finally and had got to the final rounds of interviews, but I still came up short in getting my ultimate goal of being offered an internship. Joan strongly pushed the idea of networking, doing informational interviews and urging that I know exactly what I wanted in an internship. I took this advice to heart and started branching out trying to make as many connections as I could, because I knew I just needed someone to give me a chance to show how successful I could be. Using the power of networking, I finally made a connection with an HR recruiter at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis through a family friend.

    The first position I interviewed for I actually did not receive but Joan and the CDC staff told me to not get discouraged and to keep in touch with the Fed and within one week I had another interview. I eventually got offered an internship being a business analyst with the Fed for the summer of 2012 and had a great time and received the opportunity to apply for a full time position upon graduation. I would have never found that opportunity or continued to work that hard searching for it if it wasn’t for the help of the CDC. They care just as much as you do and will put as much work into helping a student as the student is willing to put in.

    I wish I would have gone into the CDC in the fall semester rather than the second month of the spring semester. The insight and advice I received helped so much and changed how I approached the job search.

    Matt Petersen '12: Major: English

    Matt_Petersen_headshotFor someone as passionate about communications and marketing as Matt Petersen '12, all roads lead to advertising. It is an industry, however, that can be quite difficult for new professionals attempting to get a "foot in the door". With the guidance of the Career Development Center, Matt began extensive networking and self-promotion involving countless cold calls and informational interviews--he even created several personal branding campaigns to get the attention of Minneapolis' many ad agencies.

    "There were so many novel situations in this networking process where I had no idea how to go forward," Petersen said. "But all along the way, the CDC supported my every career-searching need: whether copy editing, networking advice, or simply allowing me to work through ideas in my head." Matt's year-long vocational adventure finally paid off when he was hired for a paid internship with Minneapolis advertising agency Carmichael Lynch. "It's so thrilling to finally have all of your hard work pay off," Petersen said. "But I certainly won't forget the amazing staff at the CDC and how they helped me realize this dream."

    Maria Jirik '12: Major: Criminal Justice

    "Maria_Jirik_headshotBefore graduating from Hamline University, I was offered a job as an Executive Team Leader with Target. I was thankful that they had looked at the school I was attending, the courses I had taken, and the way I presented myself, which then led to me to this career opportunity. Because I had prepared myself, with the help of Hamline University's Career Development Center, they noticed something different in me.

    I had used several services at Hamline University. I started out my Freshman year doing a career assessment and discussed with a few representatives at the CDC the desire to find the right internship and major. I also had the opportunity to take a course, called Bridges Scholar where I learned how to develop myself as a professional, interview professionals and review feedback on my performance. This led me to my internship with Twin Cities Save the Kids and the Juvenile Detention Center at Hennepin County which gave me a sense of the Criminal Justice System. By this time, I felt very confident in my ability to go out and search for a job, so I attended the Private College Job Fair in Spring of 2012, met with several employers, went through several interviews and landed a job offer with a great company!

    All these services developed me from a student to a professional. I was able to see what my strengths and weaknesses were through the course I took (Bridges Scholar), receive critical feedback on my interview performance (through the Practice Interview Program) and apply all of what I have learned during the Job Fair. Those that I interviewed with noticed the great effort I put into my performance and it is because of the services I took advantage of at Hamline's Career Development Center."

     Melissa Trost '11: Major: Marketing and Psychology

    MelissaTrost_small “The career development center is an amazing resource for students! They really helped me get my resume organized to target the job I was looking for! I also love the fact that I can use the CDC as an alum too.”

    Melissa transferred to Hamline in 2009 after being laid off from her position as a Marketing Director. Melissa immediately became involved with the New Student Mentor Program and worked as a student worker in several of the Student Affairs offices, including the Career Development Center, during her time at Hamline. In the fall of 2011, Melissa was able to secure a part time job at a downtown St. Paul marketing firm, just four months prior to graduation. That part time job has turned into a full time job with future growth potential in the marketing field. “I know that my professional background, combined with my degree from Hamline, is what secured this job for me.” 

    Jessy Hennesy '11: Major/minor: Economics, Political Science

    jessyJessy entered Hamline with some volunteer activities and academic experience, but she admits she was completely overwhelmed by the idea of acquiring a job or internship.

    She heard about the Bridges Scholars program through a few of her friends, and signed up hoping it would help her improve her resume and give her a better ability to interview. The program did just that, and also gave her that additional push to take a risk for her summer job.

    Jessy developed an internship with a family friend who works in the energy industry, and spent the summer between her first two years at Hamline doing research, working with computer tools to analyze data, and preparing a draft of a report. Although she had declared her economics and political science majors prior to her internship, she has used what she learned to provide additional academic focus in hopes of eventually going into the energy field after graduation, perhaps after pursuing a graduate degree in Applied Economics.