Career Center, chaplain’s office evaluate career outcomes
By Dudley Brown
Wofford College proudly touts that 98% of its graduates report a positive career outcome, and the college always seeks to learn more about its alumni and what contributes to their success.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a positive career outcome is when a graduate is employed, enrolled in a postgraduate program, serving in the military, interning, volunteering or on a career path within six months of graduation.
“It’s a super good snapshot and benchmark,” says Curt McPhail ’96, executive director of Wofford’s Career Center in the Mungo Exchange.
Wofford collects information on graduates and their first destinations by asking seniors to participate in the college’s First Destination Survey in the spring leading up to Commencement and throughout their first summer after graduation.
The Career Center receives updates on more than 95% of each class through survey participation and from faculty and staff eager to share the accomplishments of graduates.
- Employed (59%)
- Continuing education (33%)
- Gap year (5%)
- Military (2%)
- Volunteer or service organization
- At least 80% of the Class of 2022 had an internship.
- 67% reported that their internship led to their first destination after graduation.
- The Class of 2023 First Destination Survey will be available by the end of the year.
“Because of Wofford’s tight-knit community, we often find almost every single graduate to understand what they’re doing,” says McPhail.
In addition to collecting the whereabouts of graduates, the survey asks questions about satisfaction. All respondents from the Class of 2022 said they were happy with their career outcome within their first six months of graduation. A report on the Class of 2023’s survey results will be complete by the end of the year.
The Career Center and the Office of the Chaplain have partnered to take a closer look at vocation thanks to a Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) grant, which will help faculty and staff grow in their understanding of vocation across the academy. The college is also participating in the Association of American Colleges & Universities Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute, another resource that will allow Wofford to be even more intentional in linking student learning to career preparedness.
The grant will support four years of research into the college’s career outcomes. “We have in our mission of the college that we prepare students for extraordinary and positive contributions to a global society,” says the Rev. Dr. Ron Robinson ’78 , Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and Professor of Religion. “We like to think of graduates as being whole, multidimensional people who are kind and compassionate and finding a way to live their positive values in whatever they do.”
Robinson likes framing the discussion around understanding jobs, careers and vocations. He says a job is often what many people will experience early in life when there’s a need to simply make money to live. Eventually, their skills and experiences make it possible to have a career. Vocations are born out of passions and commitments.
“The vocation can come from our inner voices, gifts and talents,” Robinson says. “Our family and friends or, in my case, faith community can help us figure out what we’re called to.”
McPhail says one of the college’s responsibilities is to help students recognize the need to keep learning and building on the education they experienced in college.
“Our job is to get folks ready for life after Wofford,” McPhail says. “It’s not just about getting a job but approaching that first job with a ‘what can I learn attitude’ and having the skills to get the next job and the next one after that.”
- Health care (22%)
- Accounting (15%)
- Law (15%)
- Counseling/social work (12%)
- Business (MBA, management) (12%)
- Other (12%)
- STEM studies (7%)
- Education (5%)
- Divinity (2%)
- University of South Carolina
- Wake Forest University
- Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
- Clemson University
- Converse University
- The Citadel
- The Ohio State University
- Xavier University
A LOOK AT SOME FIRST DESTINATIONS FOR THE CLASS OF 2023
First destination: Pursuing a master’s in sport and performance psychology at the University of Denver.
How did Wofford prepare you? I was a student-athlete, and track and field was just as important to me as my education. I learned just how important mental health is in both places and just how much of an impact support from friends, professors and coaches can have on the big things in life but also on the everyday stressors.
First destination: Cuttino is spending the fall studying for CPA exams. In January he begins work for Deloitte in New York City as a risk and financial advisory analyst.
How did Wofford prepare you? Wofford’s preparation was primarily twofold: academic and social. Academically rigorous coursework and challenging material over a four-year period equipped me to retain difficult material at a high volume and pace, reflective largely of that in the professional world. Socially, proximity to Wofford’s faculty, staff and alumni network thanks to the small size of the college served as a pillar for navigating my career path and future endeavors. Without the ability to foster these close relationships with insightful and knowledgeable individuals, my experience at Wofford would have been markedly different.
What campus opportunities and services do you encourage Terriers to take advantage of when preparing for life after college? Leadership positions and organizational membership were an integral piece of my time at Wofford. Being involved was vital to my student experience. Contributing to a given cause will have an incalculable impact both in your time as a student and in the furtherance of your goals, personally and professionally.
First destination: Hatton is a first-year medical student at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
How did Wofford prepare you? My Wofford science courses taught me the foundational content needed to gain acceptance into medical school, but Wofford also taught me the value of human connection and community. Medical school is academically rigorous, and my time at Wofford taught me how to build community and support my peers at any stage in my educational journey.
First destination: Pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and playing Division I soccer for the Islanders.
What campus opportunities and services do you encourage Terriers to take advantage of when preparing for life after college? Take at least one Interim abroad if possible. I traveled to Bonaire with Dr. Dave Kusher and obtained my advanced scuba diving certification, which is a huge advantage in my field. It was also my first trip out of the United States, and it was amazing to experience a different country and culture.
Environmental studies major, emphasis in data science
First destination: Pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at Tulane University, New Orleans.
How did Wofford prepare you? The faculty, and especially my advisor, are a big reason that I understood and achieved my goals of being accepted into an ecology doctoral program. Wofford introduced me to concepts such as REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates, funded through the National Science Foundation), coding in R and more during my undergrad that helped my name stand out throughout the application process.
Art History major
First destination: Pursuing a master’s degree in museum studies and a certificate in curatorial studies from the University of Florida.
What campus opportunities and services do you encourage Terriers to take advantage of when preparing for life after college? Take advantage of the Student Success Center. Dr. James Stukes and Dr. Boyce Lawton were the heroes of my acclimation to college. I left my home in Tampa, Fla., to receive the gift of a Wofford education. I was a Gateway Scholar. My parents never worried about me because I had such an incredibly reliable support system from day one — a surrogate family of sorts.
More Class of 2023 first destinations
Finance and humanities double major
First destination: Ackard is on the marketing and sales team for Omatic, a Charleston, S.C.-based tech company that works with nonprofits to help make fundraising more efficient and impactful.
Sociology and anthropology and Spanish double major
First destination: Cruz is enrolled in New York University’s songwriting and music composition master’s program.
Psychology major, sociology and anthropology minor, neuroscience concentration
First destination: Dowd is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa’s College of Pharmaceutical Science. He’s in the drug discovery and experimental therapeutics program.
Biology major, music minor
First destination: She is working in health care with plans to become a physician assistant.
Spanish and international affairs double major
First destination: Franco is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental social sciences at The Ohio State University.
Computer Science and Spanish double major
First destination: Playing professional baseball with the Chicago White Sox.
Finance major, French minor
First destination: Working as a financial analyst for Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, N.C.
Government and sociology and anthropology double major
First destination: An intern with Spartanburg Housing, Henline plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.
English and humanities double major
First destination: Part of the Winston-Salem Fellows Program, Malcomb is working for Habitat for Humanity in the communications and marketing department.
Biology major, mathematics minor
First destination: Pursuing a master’s degree in genetic counseling (part of the inaugural class) at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
Biology and English double major
First destination: He is working in the medical field before continuing his education in medical school.
English major, Arabic and religion minors
First destination: Attending Simmons University in Boston, Mass., in pursuit of a master’s degree in library science and archives management.
First destination: Commissioned as a second lieutenant and serving on active duty with the U.S. Army at Ft. Gregg-Adams, Va. She soon will be stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
Finance major, accounting minor
First destination: Pell is a financial analyst at Johnson Development Associates.
Psychology and Spanish double major
First destination: Person is working with Teach for America in New York City.
First destination: Attending Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Environmental studies major, preministry program
First destination: Pursuing a master’s degree in divinity at Vanderbilt Divinity School.
JOHN MARTIN REED
International affairs major
First destination: Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he is an armor officer at Fort Moore, Ga.
French major, Francophone studies minor
First destination: After a summer internship at the French Embassy in Washington D.C., Richter is in a master’s degree program in international business and the wine industry in Bordeaux, France.
Biology major, studio art minor
First destination: Working as a seventh-grade science teacher at Legacy Early College in Greenville, S.C.
First destination: Working as an advertising account executive with The Variable in Winston-Salem, N.C.
International affairs and Spanish double major, government minor
First destination: Working as an immigration specialist for the Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services with plans to become a department of justice accredited representative.
English and Spanish double major, education minor, film and digital media concentration
First destination: Turner is teaching English in Sevilla, Spain, as part of the North American Language and Culture Assistants program.
First destination: Working as an account coordinator for a global art and design marketing and public relations agency in Sydney, Australia.
Biology and religion double major, pre-med program
First destination: Attending the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
Biology and Spanish double major
First destination: Working as an associate to the CEO at NAI Earle Furman, a commercial real estate firm in Greenville, S.C.
Government major, American politics concentration
First destination: Working as an admission counselor at Wofford College.
First destination: Working as a press assistant for Nikki Haley for President.