From career fairs to co-ops, CareerLINK to faculty and alumni connections, UMass Lowell offers students so many different ways to find their first jobs out of college.
In fact, as nearly 3,800 graduates embark on the next chapter of their lives, many already have full-time jobs waiting for them following Commencement.
Here’s a look at how five of those students, from a variety of disciplines, were able to get a jumpstart on their careers before receiving their diplomas:
Business Administration / Manning School of Business
Inside Sales Rep at demandDrive in Waltham
Sampat, who began his job search in earnest in November, saw demandDrive’s ad for an inside sales rep posted on CareerLINK, an online recruiting system that provides customized job-search features to UMass Lowell students, alumni and employers. After a phone interview in February with the Boston-based technology startup, he had two more in-person interviews in March and April before landing the position.
“There are a lot of jobs on CareerLINK that people don’t know about,” says Sampat, who came to UMass Lowell in 2012 after earning a degree in economics from Ruia College in his native India. “And many of the companies that post on there come to the campus, so you can get in touch with them easily. If you work hard and you get in touch with those people, you can get offered a job.”
Sampat, who graduates with a concentration in entrepreneurship, took a very proactive approach to his job search. Not only did he use CareerLINK and LinkedIn to target companies, but he also implemented a disciplined “call-a-day” strategy.
“I picked up the phone once a day and randomly called a company I was interested in,” he says. “I introduced myself and told them what I’m looking for. I asked if there was any way I could talk to somebody about the position. I did that for three to four months, every day, one call, that’s it. Sometimes I’d make four calls on a Friday, because everyone is relaxed on Friday and they’d be more willing to answer your phone calls.”
In addition to internships in Career Services and the UMass President’s office, Sampat was president of the UMass Lowell Transfer Student Organization and vice president of UMass Lowell Navigators, all while maintaining a 3.85 GPA.
“I feel prepared, definitely, to start my career,” says Sampat, who starts at demandDrive in June. “Even with the theoretical knowledge I got from UMass Lowell, there was a lot of practical knowledge that was associated with it. I liked that a lot. It was definitely value for the money.”
Nursing / College of Health Sciences
Cardiac Nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
For her first job out of college, Nursing student Creamer is starting at the top at the Mayo Clinic, which was named the best hospital in the nation for 2014-15 by U.S. News & World Report.
“I feel like after gaining experience there, I’ll have a really good foundation to go anywhere I want,” says Creamer, a Lowell native who will begin working on the Mayo Clinic’s cardiac surgical floor on July 27.
Creamer landed the job thanks to her 10-week “externship” at the Mayo Clinic following her junior year. “It was the greatest summer of my life,” says Creamer, who was one of only 50 students chosen for the program from more than 1,100 applicants nationwide.
“They basically tell you that it’s a 10-week interview for a job, so if you do well, you’ll most likely be invited back,” says Creamer, who earned glowing reviews from her nurse manager in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). In October, Creamer received an email offering her a job.
Creamer, an Honors student with a 3.85 GPA who served as president of the Student Nurses Association, credits two faculty members — Prof. Jacqueline Dowling and Clinical Asst. Prof. Sandra Mote — for steering her toward the Mayo Clinic externship.
“I had great faculty here. They really want you to succeed,” Creamer says. “If you develop good relationships with your faculty, they’re going to be more likely to guide you on what they think would be best suited for you.”
Plastics Engineering / Francis College of Engineering
Plastics System Engineer at Procter & Gamble Gillette in Boston
After seeing a cousin come through the university’s highly touted Plastics Engineering program and land a job at a medical devices company in California, Magaletta figured he would follow suit.
But when meeting with Career Services during his sophomore year to find a summer co-op, Magaletta got some sage advice from his career counselor, Erin Doyon. “She encouraged me not to just look at medical devices or medical companies, but to look at consumer products like P&G,” says Magaletta, who heeded the advice and interviewed with P&G at the Career Fair.
He not only got the co-op, but he was invited back to P&G the following summer for a three-month internship to work on process and design. Before returning to school last August for his senior year, Magaletta received a full-time job offer from P&G. The Derry, N.H., native starts work as a plastics system engineer in Boston this summer.
“I would have never thought that a place like Gillette is where I’d want to be until I went there,” Magaletta says. “The great thing about the Co-op Program is it’s an opportunity to try something you’re not sure you’ll like.”
Graphic Design / College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Graphic Design Intern-to-Full Time, Building 36 Technologies in Needham
Before heading to this spring’s Career Fair at the Tsongas Center, Croughwell did her homework by researching the employers who were attending and the types of jobs they were offering. One of the companies she circled was Building 36 Technologies, a Boston-based home automation platform startup that was seeking a full-time graphic design intern who could transition into a permanent position.
“I was actually looking for full-time internship positions because I wanted to really get a feel for that kind of environment,” says Croughwell, who had a part-time internship last fall at a digital marketing agency, Boston Interactive. “I had a little bit of agency experience, so I was excited to get the in-house design experience where I get to become an expert in this one product.”
After introducing herself to Building 36 reps at the Career Fair, Croughwell received an email a few weeks later inviting her in for an interview. One of the people she met on her first visit to the Needham office was Marketing Specialist Carlie Lawrenson, a 2014 UMass Lowell alum.
“It’s comforting, and also really exciting, that there are graduates who are looking to pull in other graduates,” says Croughwell, a Methuen native who compiled a 3.91 GPA.
After a second interview with the CEO, Croughwell was offered a full-time internship that will transition to a full-time permanent position this fall. She starts in the Needham office on June 8.
“It was nice to get the job so I could focus on finishing out my undergraduate strong and not feel that anxiety,” says Croughwell, who worked for two years as a Graphic Design Assistant in the Career Services & Co-op Center. She also served as president of UMass Lowell's AIGA (professional association for design) student chapter and was a member of the Adobe Student Advisory Board.
“The Art Department faculty has been a huge support for me. I’ve been able to build my relationships with my professors so I can get recommended for internships in Boston, which has been wonderful,” she says. “I’m graduating with the skills that I need and the confidence to do well in my field, so I’m not worried what comes next.”
Accounting and Finance / Manning School of Business
Associate, DiCicco, Gulman & Company in Woburn
Coluci says she was drawn to accounting because “I like having answers to things.” So when the certified public accounting firm of DiCicco, Gulman & Company offered her a job back in October, it was a nice answer to have to begin her senior year.
“They got me the offer letter so quickly, so I’ve been relieved this whole year knowing that’s taken care of,” says Coluci, who introduced herself to the firm at the Accounting Recruiting and Networking Fair at University Crossing in late September — an event she helped organize as president of the Accounting Society. Coluci interviewed with DG&C in October and had a job offer by Halloween.
“Going into the career fair that was my No. 1 choice, after the fair it was still No. 1, and the interview reaffirmed it even more. Everything seemed to line up,” says Coluci, who spent the past two summers and winter breaks working as an accounting intern at Arbor Networks, a network security software company based in her hometown of Burlington.
“I liked working in that private accounting setting, but in accounting they say you have to pay your dues, so to go forward with public accounting I knew I wanted to see what it was like,” says Coluci, who also knew she didn’t want to be a little fish in the big sea of one of the “Big Four” CPA firms in Boston — Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“What stood out about DiCicco is that it was a really young, up-and-coming firm,” says Coluci, a Chancellor's Medal recipient who will officially start this fall after participating in a training program for new staff. “They’re invested in employees. They pay for continuing education and do community service. I liked the atmosphere. It was very welcoming.”
Much like the atmosphere she discovered at UMass Lowell.
“I feel like I made the most of my four years here, but there were so many people who made that possible for me,” says Coluci, an Honors student with a 3.97 GPA who also worked as an administrative assistant for three years in the Manning School’s MBA Office. “There was always someone there I could ask for advice, always someone that was there to support me, to congratulate me, and that continuously motivated me.”