What’s next for our seniors? Congratulations to our students who have already landed full-time positions.
Bradley Rutter ’18: Peace Corps Healthy Schools Coordinator
Bradley Rutter had the “what do you want to do after college” question answered three years before he started college — he wanted to join the Peace Corps and wanted to work in public health. He was so dedicated to that plan that he started looking for positions after his sophomore year. All his planning paid off as he’ll be serving as a Healthy Schools Coordinator in Guatemala starting in September.
“I am excited to move to the Western Highlands of Guatemala, where I will be working on health, hygiene, and nutrition initiatives directly with school superintendents, teachers, and community leaders,” he said. “These initiatives regarding human wellness are the embodiment of public health and I am thrilled to be able to take what I have studied for years and help implement them into a community.”
Bradley believes that the seminar and discussion-based courses, along with the opportunity to perform public health research and take on leadership positions in student organizations helped make him a competitive candidate for the Peace Corps, but it was personal help from faculty members that put him over the top.
“I would like to give a special thanks to Prof. Dan Choffnes for helping me through the Peace Corps application process. He guided me through it and helped me revise my motivational statement and essays multiple times,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Prof. Ed Montanaro, who helped educate me on the political, social, and cultural environment of the Western Highlands of Guatemala, just days before my interview.”
“They were under no obligation to help me with my application, but I owe my acceptance into the Peace Corps to them!”
Kaitlyn Yarka ’18: Staff Auditor
Like many members of the Carthage Class of 2018, Kaitlyn Yarka turned a successful internship into a full-time job.
Last summer, she worked as an intern for Sikich LLP in Naperville, Illinois. By the end of the internship in August, she had been offered a full-time position. She begins her position as a staff auditor in July.
When you think of accounting you think of pure numbers crunching, but Kaitlyn believes it was her well-rounded skills she honed at Carthage that helped her land the job.
“I believe that interpersonal communication skills developed in a small classroom setting with group work and presentations distinguished me from my peers,” she said. “The critical thinking skills and questioning mind that a liberal arts education from Carthage has instilled allowed me to inquire and truly excel in the workplace.”
“The entire Carthage community fosters a mindset that empowers not just individuals, but the entire team. I have learned to not just do what is best for me, but also to do what is best for the entire team.”
Ricky Figueroa ’18: Graduate School, Physical Therapy
Now that Ricky Figueroa has a bachelor’s degree in biology, his next step is graduate school. Starting this fall, Ricky will pursue his doctorate in physical therapy at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I am excited about everything to come with this next step of achieving my goal of becoming a DPT,” he said. “My biology courses and electives have been great, but now I’m ready to take courses that will make me the best DPT I can be. I am also excited about the clinical experiences that I will have over the next three years.”
Why physical therapy? Over the past two years, he’s shadowed at a few physical therapy clinics in Kenosha and worked at Bay Cliff Health Camp, a pediatric residential therapy summer camp in Michigan. Working as a DPT will allow him to have a physically demanding job while also having the satisfaction of making a difference in someone else’s life.
As he reflects on his time at Carthage, Ricky is grateful for the opportunities he’s had here.
“Thank you to the Biology Department for helping prepare me to get to the next level where I can pursue a DPT,” he said. “A special thank you to Prof. Paul Martino and Prof. Justin Miller for pushing me and advising me during my four years here. I know I will be able to take the experiences that I have had at Carthage, both in and out of the classroom, with me to Creighton.”
Lauren Prather ’18: Special Education Teacher
There is a desperate need for special education teachers in the United States. Forty-nine states report shortages for special education teachers. Lauren Prather is stepping up to help fill that need. Next school year she’ll be teaching high school special education in Naperville, Illinois.
“I am excited to work with such a an incredible group of students, and continue their education with them for up to six years,” she said. “I am looking forward to see student growth and aid their transition into the work force.”
It took a while for Lauren to find her true calling, but she’s thankful that Carthage allowed her to explore different subjects and then really fall into something that she loved.
“It’s important to find something you love,” she said. “I am so thankful for the professors I’ve had that have encouraged me, as well as allowed me to see the career that would be the best fit. It is 100 percent okay to change your mind, I had changed my mind back and forth roughly six times throughout Carthage.”
“Not knowing for sure what you want, although is scary, is completely normal. Just don’t give up on what you do want!”
Tristan Grams ’18: Jet Propulsion Lab Internship
Not many people get to say that they will continue research they’re currently conducting when they start their internship with NASA. Tristan Grams ’18 will get to do just that when he interns at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California this summer. He will continue researching antibiotic-resistant bacteria that reside on the International Space Station.
After his internship is over, he will attend the University of Florida to pursue a Ph. D. in Biomedical Sciences, with a concentration in Microbiology and Immunology.
What’s Tristan’s advice to current students?
“The best advice I can give is to shoot for the stars because you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.”
Apt advice coming from someone working for NASA.
Nasreen Pournik ’18: Business Development
Strand Associates were having on-campus interviews at different colleges to find additions to their business development team. Nasreen stood out so much that she got the job even though she couldn’t attend the interviews.
“I found out about the job through a professor who had gotten the on-campus interview job announcement emailed to him from the Career Services Office,” she said. “However, I was unable to attend the on-campus interviews and instead sent my resume to the company. They then reached out to me based on the excellent recommendations made by the Career Services Office on behalf of my character.”
Nasreen had her professors and Career Services looking out for her, so it’s no surprise that her advice to current students is to create and strengthen relationships with the people around you.
“Build connections with your professors and peers, it is one of the many perks of going to a smaller school,” she said. “Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be on an assignment, working on a cover letter, or how to change a tire, the Carthage community is here to help!”
Chelsea Niemuth ’18: Junior Financial Analyst
Chelsea Niemuth sure knows how to make a good first impression. Her new boss at Abbott Laboratories met her at Carthage’s career fair and ended up being the one recommending that she get an interview with the company.
“I went to the career fair last fall where Abbott had a booth and I met Donna, who is a Carthage alumni and my new boss!,” she said. “I think having that Carthage connection, along with a good personality fit, really helped get me the interview. From there, I did some interviews and Donna contacted Karen Howell, my previous boss on campus, who recommended me for the position and I got the job!”
Chelsea is currently the president of Enactus, a student organization on campus dedicated to helping others through financial methods. She’ll be able to continue her passion for helping others through finance while at Abbott. “I cannot wait to start my career working for a company that is dedicated to helping others!”
Megan Fallert ’18: Graduate School, Physical Therapy
Next fall, Megan Fallert ’18 will be learning from some of the best clinicians in the country when she starts pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
While the research opportunities that Carthage provides obviously shined on her application, she believes that the well-rounded aspects of a Carthage education really set her apart.
“Carthage’s travel opportunities broadened my worldview,” she said. “Over J-Term I have traveled to Singapore, Taiwan, Nicaragua and Germany. These trips exposed me to completely new cultures and perspectives. I know this will enhance my ability to empathize with patients when I am a physical therapist.”
Part of her well-rounded experience at Carthage included her role as a middle blocker on Carthage’s women’s volleyball team and while she may one day be helping volleyball players overcome injuries, she’ll miss actually competing on the court.
“Carthage Volleyball allowed me to travel across the country, represent my school and make some incredible friends. It’s hard to pick just one, but I’d say making the NCAA Final Four and our two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances are some of my favorite memories at Carthage.”
Grant Dunham ’18: Compliance Examiner
As a former Marine, integrity is front and center in everything that Grant Dunham does. This, along with his passion for futures and financial derivatives, is why he is a perfect fit for his new position as a compliance examiner for the National Futures Association.
“The National Futures Association is the regulatory body which carries out the day-to-day operations of our government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC),” he said. “Seeing how important NFA’s role is in the health of the futures market, I couldn’t imagine a better place to start a career in the industry. Futures and other financial derivatives are integral to the health and prosperity of our global economy and, for many years, my passion has been studying and understanding the inter workings of these markets.”
Passion can only take someone so far though. He is thankful for Carthage faculty for helping cultivate that passion and propel him towards his future career.
“I would like to thank the Finance and Accounting Department for always developing and expanding our studies,” he said. “Every year there was a new opportunity or new class to grow our knowledge. The experience and tailored assistance provided by the professors is second to none. I believe that Carthage finance majors are some of the best prepared students entering the workforce.”
Cristina Chavarria ’18: Field Accountant
The Tower will be a state-of-the-art place for students to live and study next fall and will transform the look of the Carthage campus. It also had a transformative affect on Cristina Chavvarria’s life because it helped her land her first post-college job. She’ll be starting her position as a field account for Boldt Construction, the construction company that is building The Tower, this June.
It all started with a simple Bridge post. She saw a post that stated Boldt was looking for student interns to help with the project and she applied immediately and was hired. The company decided to keep her on and she’ll be working in the company’s Waukesha, Wisconsin office.
One piece of advice she has for current students is to keep their eyes and minds open about internships.
“If you see a job posting on the Bridge or your professors are sending out potential internships APPLY FOR THEM!” she said. “You may find out you like something you thought you didn’t.”
Joshua Titus ’18: Marketing Research Analyst
Joshua Titus ’18 didn’t have to do much research before his interview. That’s because he’s already been working for the company for two years. This fall he’ll make the transition from intern to marketing research analyst at Genesis Systems Group in Davenport, Iowa.
As marketing research analyst, he’ll support the sales and marketing teams at Genesis by performing market and competitive research, forecasting markets, data management, and assisting on decals/signage on machines.
While his marketing and management knowledge definitely helped him to stay with the company, he also credits his experience as a student ambassador in helping him land his new job because it taught him communication and networking techniques.
“Being a student ambassador taught me great communication skills and I applied those skills to meeting new people at work,” he said. “Having a positive vibe around the workplace will go a long way!”
Kathryn Perry ’18: Graduate School, Leadership and Women’s Soccer Graduate Assistant
Most graduates hope to see Carthage victorious when they come back for their first game. Not Kathryn Perry. She’s hoping Carthage will be on the wrong end of the scoreboard when she comes back to face her old team as a grad assistant on the women’s soccer team at North Central College.
“I am very excited to come back and play against Carthage at Art Keller Field next season,” she said. “It will be strange being on the other side, but I am excited to face so many of my former teammates as well as my former coach. A rivalry has already begun and the countdown until October 10 has already started!”
She decided on North Central because the head women’s soccer coach there is Carthage alumnus Andrew Gamarra. After her senior soccer season at Carthage was finished, they connected and discussed the position. Once he offered her the graduate assistant position, the opportunity to get her master’ss as well coach in the CCIW was a no brainer.
Joe Sisk ’18: Project Assistant/Natural Areas Maintenance Crew Leader
Joe Sisk is found a job that is the perfect combination of his major and minor. After he graduates, Joe will be a project assistant and natural areas maintenance crew leader for McGinty Bros., Inc. in Wauconda, Illinois.
Some graduates take a break between commencement and starting a job and Joe is no different…well, kind of. Sure, he’s taking a break…for a day. He’ll walk across the stage at commencement on Sunday and then start on Tuesday.
“I am most excited about diving straight into my career immediately upon graduating from Carthage,” he said. “I’ll be doing a combination of planning/administrative and hands-on work in the natural areas restoration field.”
Megan Rivard ’18: Graphic Designer
You may have seen Megan’s work before. Her design was the winning submission for the 2018 Celebration of Scholars. Pretty soon though, you’ll be seeing her work for Klement’s Sausage all over Milwaukee.
“I am excited about getting to work on a variety of projects,” she said. “They range from wall murals and packaging design to logos and promotional materials for their new partnerships with the Bucks arena and Summerfest.”
Megan feels that learning, both inside and outside of the classroom at Carthage, helped her get the job.
“The internships and experiences gained from Carthage helped greatly prepare me for getting hired for this position and I believe my work ethic put me above other candidates,” she said. “I would like to thank Laura Huaracha for always believing in me, pushing me out of my comfort zone, and allowing me to gain experience from internships I couldn’t have received at any other school. I also would like to thank Steve Janiak for being an awesome mentor in developing me into the graphic designer I am today!”
Mackenzie Curry ’18: Director of Tutoring
Mackenize Curry had on-the-job training for three years, she just didn’t know it. She’d worked in the Tutoring Center and then, just a few months before graduating in January, she learned her boss was leaving.
She was encouraged to apply for the position and now she’s the Director of Tutoring for the College.
“I am excited to pass my tutoring knowledge on to new tutors,” she said. “I’m also excited to help contribute to the community that we have here at Carthage.”
Jenna Leazott ’18: Volunteer
Jenna Leazott has a passion for helping people and for traveling the world. She’ll be able to do both of those when she starts her volunteer work after graduation in Mexico through the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission Program. When she first learned about the opportunity, she knew it was perfect for her.
“I felt like the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place,” she said. “I had an opportunity to put my faith into action in a non-neocolonialist fashion and work in a sector that I want to work in for the rest of my life. The global experiences I have had here at Carthage through J-Terms and Model UN have helped me immensely, and my Political Science and Sociology classes that have informed me on how to be a conscious global citizen.”
“Carthage allowed me to pursue my passions to the nth degree, and the YAGM coordinators could see immediately just how passionate I was about refugees/migrants and working abroad.”
She won’t know what her official placement will be until June, but not knowing exactly where she’ll be doing her volunteer work until just a few months before she moves to another country isn’t daunting. She’s used to pushing her boundaries and encourages other students to do the same.
“My advice for Carthage students would be to go for things, even if they scare you.” she said. “Traveling abroad, taking a hard class, joining a new club, applying for an internship halfway around the country — go for it! College is a time to break out of your comfort zone and it’s much better to start now when you still have a bit of a safety net then when you’re out entirely on your own. Your resume and personal development will thank you down the road if you put yourself out there now!”
Aaron Lauth ’18: Field Sales Professional
Dedication and challenging himself helped Aaron Lauth become one of FedEx’s top performing field sales interns. That dedication helped him turn his internship into a full-time job at FedEx.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to build upon my field sales internship with Fedex,” he said. “I had an amazing experience as a field sales intern in the Chicago region over the summer of 2017, so I couldn’t be more excited to have signed on full time as a Field Sales Professional in the same region.”
Aaron credits his success to his positive attitude and the ability to beat any benchmark his manager, or the company, had set. “I finished as one of the top field sales interns in the country,” he said. “Shortly after, I was offered a full-time position.” His hard work paid off.
“I would like to thank my professors who assisted me on my path to employment after Carthage. The lessons I learned, both in and out of the classroom, gave me the necessary skills to be successful in the workplace. My advice to other Carthage students is to set a goal, reach it, then set another. Don’t let anything get in your way!”
Lauren Janssen ’18: Graduate School, Public Administration and International Affairs
Sometimes life carves out a path for you that you didn’t expect. This summer, Lauren will enter Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Administration and International Affairs, one of the top ranked schools in the field.
She discovered her passion for public sector work while she was interning at the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington, D.C. This fulfilling experience sparked her interest in working for a governmental or non-profit agency where she feels she can contribute to improving the country.
“Being accepted into a top-ranked school school of public affairs was the highlight of my senior year,” she said. “I will be studying and working alongside global leaders and practitioners. A Master’s in Public Administration is normally a two-year program and Syracuse University offers the program condensed into a one-year program.”
Lauren’s advice to current students is to follow their gut, no matter what their circumstances may be.
“I never thought I would get my master’s,” she said. “Through my internship experiences, I was able to find my true passion, which in turn, has nothing to do with my undergraduate major, but that made me stand out as a candidate with a more diverse background then some of the other applicants.”
Lea Perrino ’18: Graduate School, Osteoarchaeology
Life after Carthage is a time of transition for most graduates, Lea Perrino is going a step further by moving across the Atlantic. She’ll be studying osteoarchaeology (the study of human skeletal remains to learn about the past) at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
“I knew I wanted to go abroad for my graduate studies and applied to several different schools,” she said. “The University of Edinburgh has always been a top choice for me whenever I thought about furthering my education.”
For most people, moving to another continent right after graduating could be daunting, but Lea has always been “at home” while performing excavations abroad.
“Attending the Omrit Excavations in Israel through Carthage has given me the chance to fully develop my skills in the field,” she said. “I have attended these excavations twice and am very grateful for all of the directors at the site for helping me become a passionate archaeologist. I have also attended the Astypalaia Bioarchaeology Project in Greece. These field schools have helped me to realize exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
Anna Ptacek ’18: Teacher
Education majors “go back” to the classroom when they begin their jobs as teachers. Well, Anna Ptacek is taking it a step further. Not only is she returning to teach at a school she attended, the Racine Montessori School, she’s returning to teach in the exact same classroom she learned in during her last few years there.
“Most of the staff, including the principal, are the same from when I attended and they knew my love for Montessori, which made them eager to offer me the Upper-Elementary teaching position,” she said. “I am also excited to begin my Montessori training this summer and by the end of the next school year I will be Montessori certified for ages 9-12.”
Anna was a history major, not an education major, but that didn’t stop her history professors from really encouraging her to do what she really wants to do.
“Thank you to all of the history faculty who have encouraged me to challenge myself and pursue a career that I am passionate about!”
Jodie Hurd ’18: Graduate School, Counseling and Human Services and Behavioral Clinician
Some Carthage students go into the workforce after they graduate. Other Carthage students head to graduate school. Jodie Hurd is doing both. After completing her degree in February 2018, she began working full-time as a behavioral clinician while also attending graduate school at Indiana University - South Bend.
“I am excited about getting more experience in the mental health field. I have experience working with children on the autism spectrum, but I will now be working with children with other mental health disorders. I believe that my previous experience with diverse populations led me to getting hired by Meridian Health Services,” she said. “I am also excited to continue my education and getting one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a counselor.”
Kevin Krause ’18: Technical Consultant
Major: Computer Science
Kevin Krause will be able to work with technology, something he loves, as a technical consultant at Appirio, an Indianapolis-based company that provides mobile, social, crowdsourcing and cloud technology services. Specifically, he’ll be developing enterprise-level software.
Appirio, like any tech-centered company, attracts job candidates that attended more specific and focused undergraduate programs. Kevin thinks that Carthage’s holistic education helped to set him apart.
“The classroom experiences I have had at Carthage enabled me to nail each part of the hiring process and really impress my interviewers,” he said. “I think my liberal arts education set me apart from students at other schools who have lots of technical expertise, but less exposure to communication and critical thinking, which are crucial in any position.”
Kevin’s job-search process was an arduous one, but he advises current Carthage students to not let barriers get in their way.
“My job hunt was long and exhausting, but I kept at it and eventually found this amazing opportunity. Whether it’s admittance to graduate school, getting into an REU, or finding a job, never give up! Your hard work will pay off.”
Rachael Felton ’18: Auditor
The job search can be rough. There are countless job search websites to sift through, cultivating LinkedIn contacts, and other things just to find out who’s hiring.
Rachael Felton went with a more direct approach. She googled “top accounting firms in Chicago” and the next day she had an interview. Shortly thereafter she was hired to join the Assurance Staff at Plante Moran. Plante Moran is, you guessed it, one of the top accounting firms in Chicago.
“I think I got hired for this position because of the unique experiences on my resume,” she said. “During my interviews, the partners didn’t ask about GPA, previous internships, or class work. Instead, they were interested in my J-Term trips to Peru and Namibia and volunteer work. It set me apart from students who went to big universities.”
Her advice to current students deals with just that — experiences.
“Your four years here fly by, make sure you make the most of them. Your experience is your own, its up to you to make it a good one.”
Marisa Matiasovsky ’18: ESL Teacher
Marisa Matiasovsky fell in love with Taiwan when she went on a J-Term study tour to the country in 2017. She’ll get to combine her love for Taiwan with another one of her loves, teaching, in September when she begins teaching English at the HESS International Education Group, Taiwan’s most recognized English school.
She learned about the position from an advisor who did the exact same thing and thought she’d be a good fit. Listening to an advisor, even if it makes you uneasy, is what Marisa advises current students to do.
“When your advisor pushes you to do something that gives you butterflies, just do it,” she said. “It can lead to amazing opportunities!”
Lottie Brooks ’18: Project Manager
Carthage has a lot of different buildings on campus and they all have their own unique charm and quirks, but Epic Systems, where Lottie will begin work as a project manager in July, takes “unique charm” to the extreme.
“Epic emphasizes company morale a lot, so the entire campus is themed,” she said. “There is an entire building themed like Hogwarts, a farm-themed building, a fairy tale building, and more!”
Lottie believes that excelling academically and her three internships helped her get her foot in the door, but it was help from a faculty member that helped her seal the deal in preparing for the interview that included logic tests and a presentation.
“I’m very grateful for Prof. Colleen Kappeler,” she said. “She has been a role model to me since my freshman year first semester when she was my public speaking professor; life came kind of full circle as she helped me write my presentation for my in-person interview.”
Elizabeth Sample ’18: Disney Attractions Member Intern
Working for Disney that a lot of people have while growing up. Elizabeth is making that dream come true starting in June when she starts work as an attractions member at Disney World as part of the Disney College Program.
“I have been told by multiple people that I should work for Disney, so I just applied this year and got a job,” she said. “I also know a lot of people who have worked for Disney and have learned a lot about what kind of people they are looking for, having those traits helped me get hired.”
Needless to say, after realizing her dream and getting a job at “the place where dreams come true”, Elizabeth is a big proponent of chasing dreams.
“To future graduates, never give up on your dreams,” she said. “Put yourself out there and show them everything you got and there is nothing you can’t do.”
Paige Varda ’18: ESL Teacher
Paige had some concerns after changing her major from education to studio art, but after getting a job teaching English halfway across the globe in Taiwan, she’s at ease. She encourages other students to be calm as well.
“Do not freak out,” she said. “I changed my education major to a minor and thought I would never find a job, but was presented with an opportunity that would change my life! It gets better!”