UWO grads thrive after college


Photo: Molly Miesbauer / The Advance-Titan– Tony Steppan speaks with Michael Gindhart (back) and Carter Hendrickson (front) at the UWO Career Fair on the Fox, opening doors for future career opportunities.

Molly Miesbauer, Writer

A college degree alone doesn’t ensure a job in your field upon graduation. But for all those students who take advantage of the many opportunities college offers, it sure does help. 

UW Oshkosh alumni who graduated with bachelor degrees during the 2020-21 school year had a career outcome rate of 88.8%, according to that year’s annual First Destination Survey, the most current report available. Over half- 61% to be exact -of those students were hired before graduation.

Jaime Page-Stadler, director of Career and Professional Development at UWO, said: “Our students are pretty humble. They come here because they want a job. They work hard while they are students. Either they are super involved or they have multiple jobs, so they have great skills. We just have to fine tune those skills so that they can market them to the opportunities that they want.” 

One alumnus who found a job before graduation is Tony Steppan, a 2017 graduate who was hired by Cintas after completing an internship there. Cintas sells things like uniforms and entry mats to companies. He works as a service manager overseeing a team of service sales representatives. 

Before graduation, Steppan said he used the resources provided by the UWO Career and Professional Development Center such as the Career Closet, which offers free professional clothing to students. He also worked with the center to be matched with companies. Attending job fairs and workshops is another important thing to do, according to Steppan.

Steppan said he took intentional steps while in college, knowing it would help him find a job after graduation. “[It was] an intentional choice to drive my academic development, using the resources to keep me going in the right direction, and supplementing my education with podcasts and books that kept me interested on my own time.”

Cassidy Kennedy is another alumna who found a job before she graduated from UWO in May 2022. She said two internships helped her find a job quickly. The first internship was for the Experimental Aircraft Association. There, Kennedy worked as a public relations and communications intern, which she followed up with an internship at NewSpa.  

But Kennedy said she also took advantage of other UWO resources that helped her land a job as a marketing generalist at PRN Healthcare. One example of the available resources Kennedy used are the mock interviews the Career and Professional Development puts on. 

“Use your resources; they’re there for a reason,” Kennedy said. “They want you to be successful.” 

The Career and Professional Development Center will help alumni find a job up to a year after graduation. The center is located in the Student Success Center, Suite 125, 750 Elmwood Ave.

Page-Stadler said that she understands that some students may have had past experiences or feel that they are behind in the career preparation process. “So we try to eliminate all those barriers because we really just want to help the student where they are at and then put a plan together so that they thrive.”