By Katharine Webster
We’re dedicated to student success outside the classroom, too.
Career Advising wants to be on every COCE student’s radar, from his or her first class through graduation and beyond.
“If 15 years after you graduate you lose your job, you can call us and we will help you find a new job,” says Angelika Maryniak, team lead for Career Connections, a new group within Career Advising that connects students and alumni with others in their fields. “It’s a lifelong commitment. We don’t leave, we never stop caring and we never stop trying to help, because we want our students to be successful.”
Here are some recent career success stories:
Nathan Doherty ’14 was working as a security guard at General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works in Maine — a shipyard that builds destroyers, cruisers and frigates for the U.S. Navy — when he started the Justice Studies program online and in Brunswick.
As a security corporal, Doherty led armed patrols on the vast properties owned by the shipyard, as well as marine patrols along the shipyard’s waterfront on the Kennebec River. But he wanted more of a challenge. His very first class in Brunswick, Public Speaking, changed his life, giving him the confidence to serve as president of the security guards’ and firefighters’ union and lead his co-workers in successful contract negotiations.
“That class alone helped boost my confidence more than I can ever articulate,” Doherty says. “It gave me a great foundation for being able to present information to higher management, so that class was really a key to my success.”
He graduated in May 2014 and started applying for security chief and management jobs. SNHU Career helped him with his resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.
The best job he found turned out to be close to home. Earlier this year, a position opened up in Bath Iron Works’ Labor Relations Department, and the managers who had sat on the other side of the negotiating table from Doherty a couple of years earlier invited him to apply, then offered him the job.
Then came the hard part: negotiating his salary and benefits. Maryniak and another advisor helped prepare him.
“They were instrumental in getting me to a point where I was comfortable engaging in a salary negotiation because I’d never done one before,” Doherty says.
Doherty enjoys his new job as a labor relations specialist and uses all the skills he learned at SNHU. Now he hears worker grievances (Business Law), compiles weekly statistics on production (Applied Statistics) and investigates everything from suspected workers’ compensation fraud to violence in the workplace (Criminal Law and Forensic Psychology).
“Call me crazy, but I enjoy the challenge,” he says. “I use my skills now more than when I was in security — I must do a couple of investigations every week.”
A Mediating Style of Management
Jessica Davis, 31, had plenty of work as a marketing and social media consultant in the San Francisco Bay area. But her biggest client was a small, family-owned business, and there were no opportunities for long-term professional growth or a management position.
So as she worked toward finishing her MBA in Workplace Conflict Management, she sent out a virtual blizzard of job applications. She had several promising interviews but grew discouraged. She contacted SNHU Career.
“They were very encouraging,” she says. “They also said to be sure to present myself with confidence because a lot of women maybe aren’t as good at promoting themselves in interviews as they should be.”
Her efforts paid off when Pacific Gas and Electric Co. recruited her as a marketing project manager. Now she manages two community-based social marketing pilot projects that encourage businesses and residents in five cities to save energy. The negotiation, mediation and management skills she’s learned in her classes help her every day, she says.
“I work with a pretty big team, managing relationships with external contractors, the internal stakeholders and other people in corporate relations,” she says. “I’m responsible for all of the milestones and deadlines, keeping everybody on track and making sure everybody does their part.”
Les Rothrock, 58, is only a few classes into his Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Patient Quality and Safety, but he’s already taken a big career step.
He was working as a quality manager for stroke care, sepsis and blood product usage at a hospital in northern California, mostly learning on the fly with help from a strong mentor. His early SNHU classes in Quality Improvement and Project Management really opened his eyes, he says: He began seeing the big picture and gaining an array of helpful tools.
“It gelled everything together. You can have the desire to do something, but without the education, it’s just much harder,” he says.
Then his hospital reclassified him as a “consultant,” laid off several co-workers and increased his workload dramatically. When his mentor left, Rothrock resigned, too, confident he could get a better job.
He told his academic advisor he was job hunting. She connected him with SNHU Career, where Laurie Lewis helped him streamline his resume, improve his cover letter and establish an attention-getting LinkedIn profile. It was so effective that a headhunter quickly found him, matching him with an opening at a surgical center in Fresno. Within two months he had a new and better job.
“I’d had some previous interviews, but after (Lewis) helped me it was like – bam!” he says. “When I interviewed for this job, it was less than a week before they called me back. Even the headhunter was impressed.”
He’s now the surgical hospital’s clinical risk manager, a role that has him working with administrators and direct care providers to ensure that everyone is focused on reducing risk while providing excellent and efficient patient-centered care. His ongoing classes, especially one in leadership, have been instrumental in helping him fill his new role, he says.
“It’s given me more confidence in myself, more insight into what I’m doing,” he says. “It’s given me tools to be able to do the job better. It instills that feeling in you that it’s not just a job, it’s a profession: It’s what you’re expected to do and you feel confident to do it.”