LATROBE, PA – Recent Saint Vincent College graduates continue to report success in their initial employment or enrollment in graduate or professional schools.
Per the results of a “first destination” survey administered by the Saint Vincent Career Center, 97 percent of the members of the 2016-17 graduating class are either continuing their education or are employed in their field of choice.
“We’re very happy with these results,” said Courtney Baum, director of the SVC Career Center. “Seeing what our graduates can achieve in such a short period of time really speaks volumes about Saint Vincent College.”
The knowledge rate, or rate of response, totaled 92 percent, as 368 of a possible 402 members of the graduating classes of December 2016, May 2017 and August 2017 were accounted for. Baum’s office put forth an exhaustive effort to verify that all data provided is accurate, and she credits the high response rate to a number of factors.
“We begin to collect data when the students are seniors,” she explained. “We ask that when they have an offer, whether it’s in April or maybe even September of their senior year, to let us know. We create an individual file on each graduate, we’ll scour their Linkedin accounts and other social media, and we’ll talk to their coaches, faculty, advisers, and others from across the Saint Vincent community. We work with Dr. John Smetanka, vice president of academic affairs, as well as the deans, including Dr. Gary Quinlivan in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government, Dr. Stephen Jodis in the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, and Dr. Margaret Watkins in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. They all are wonderful to work with and do a great job of tracking their graduates.”
Of the 368 respondents, 239, or 67 percent, are employed in their desired field, while 102, or 29 percent, are continuing their education in graduate school, law school, medical school, allied health or by pursuing an additional certification or undergraduate degree.
The graduates who have gained employment have done so with a number of reputable and well-known companies and organizations, including Allegheny Health Network, Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc., BNY Mellon, Enterprise Holdings, Ernst and Young, Kennametal, PNC Financial Services, PPG Industries, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and U.S. Steel, among others.
“It’s always striking to see the kinds of companies that hire our students,” said Baum. “We have been fortunate to make a lot of connections with some of the bigger corporations both in the area and across the country. We start out by having one or two students gain employment with a certain company, and then the company will want to hire more students from Saint Vincent thanks to the quality of our education and how prepared our students are when entering into their first job. The next year, we may get a few more interested in applying with this employer, and this will create a culture on campus where the company is really appealing to the students.”
Baum noted that some of the companies with which SVC has a proven track of employment success include Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Highmark, Bechtel Plant Machinery, PNC Bank and Enterprise Holdings.
“Each of these companies now consistently recruits our students,” she commented.
Along with the high employment figures, Baum is also pleased with the large amount of 2016-17 graduates who are continuing their education. Of the 102 respondents doing so, 58 are attending graduate school, while there are 11 in medical school, 11 in law school and 11 studying allied health. Seven are seeking professional certifications.
“We assist with the students who are interested in graduate school,” Baum explained. “We meet with them one-on-one throughout their senior year, and we’ll do mock interviews, provide application and essay assistance, and make them stay on task, because often, there are a lot of strict deadlines when applying. We’ll also try to educate students on topics such as how grades are weighted, how applications are reviewed, how financial aid works and how standardized test scores factor into the acceptance rate.”
Graduate and professional schools where 2016-17 Saint Vincent graduates are enrolled include Carnegie Mellon University, The College of Charleston, Duquesne University School of Law, Duquesne University School of Pharmacy, University of Florida, University of Maine, University of Notre Dame, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, University of Virginia, and West Virginia University. Overall, 35 different graduate and professional schools are being attended by 2016-17 SVC grads, and in addition to studying medicine and law, other programs of study for the group include marine biology, business administration, environmental science, public health, criminology, psychology and special education.
“It’s always impressive to see where our students get accepted and what they are studying,” Baum said. “Our graduates are all over the country studying medicine, dentistry, neuroscience, business, education, art, theology and the list goes on and on.”
Baum is equally as proud of the students who went into service work following graduation, saying, “service work always looks great on a resume. It allows students to gain meaningful work that they can bring with them to their next destination.”
The full first destination report, which is available on the Saint Vincent College website at www.stvincent.edu/success, includes a breakdown of destinations by school and major.
“We look forward to showing this information to college-bound high school students and their parents,” Baum said. “What our students are able to achieve so shortly after graduating is a real reflection on Saint Vincent. We’re very proud of these outcomes, and we’re always available to answer any questions.”
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