New graduates who participated in Augustana's Viking Score program have a message for current students: Use it!
The Viking Score helps students track their preparation for life after graduation. It's a simple checklist for each year of college, and each completed task earns points. Students can look at their point totals to see if they're on track.
Tasks include things like meetings with the career counselors, attending a workshop or doing volunteer work. Students work with with Augustana’s career professionals at CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research, Exploration).
Here's what graduates from the Top 50 Viking Scorers last year have to say:
Joseph Bullaro, physics
Bullaro is now an economic analyst at Smith Economic Group, Ltd., downtown Chicago.
"Confidence is key. Posting a résumé on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster.com seemed to be very effective. Be honest, especially in smaller companies. For smaller offices/companies the work environment is very important. You want people to see your skills but also want to work with you. Interviews are how you and the potential employer learn about each other, it shouldn’t be one way!
"CORE helps point you in the right direction, how to prioritize what to put on your résumé, gets you prepared and comfortable in an interview setting, and helps provide opportunities to network. Networking is always worth it and is never NOT a good idea!"
Daniel Campagna, biology
Campagna is an assistant men’s soccer coach at Augustana and an emergency room medical scribe at Genesis, Davenport, Iowa.
"CORE is a great resource when looking for ways to start or edit a résumé for a specific job opportunity. As a junior transfer student, CORE helped me to seamlessly integrate my past jobs, education and achievements into a professional résumé. I did not feel behind at all after my first meeting, and would recommend everyone take advantage of the resources offered."
Jamie Christian, computer science and business (management information systems)
Christian is a rotational development associate at Northern Trust in Chicago.
"CORE was a valuable resource for me when it came to finalizing my résumé for job applications. I had a hard time deciding what were the most important things to keep on my résumé and what could be cut, and the changes that CORE made allowed me to really maximize the space I was given and emphasize the key areas in my experience."
Chelsea Fray, English and communication studies
Fray is a graduate student and teaching assistant at Illinois State University pursuing a master’s in communication.
"My advice to seniors is to take advantage of all the opportunities Augie offers... I was able to find multiple internships, develop as a young professional and get valuable advice about graduate school opportunities through CORE and Augie. I did not realize until this year how unique that is. Many schools do not offer such hands-on guidance and personalized help. I am incredibly grateful for my experiences at Augie and the doors offices such as CORE helped open for me."
Chelsea Lavin, communication studies
Lavin is a customer service representative at Radio Flyer, Inc., Chicago.
"CORE helped me prepare for the application process and interview process, and provided me with helpful information when starting my career. I applied for many positions starting in January of 2015 and didn’t actually find something until Radio Flyer in June after graduation. However, CORE helped me keep my cool during the duration of my search, guided me to be applying to places I was interested in, and were always willing to go above and beyond to help me out."
Connor Murray, business (finance)
Murray is a consulting analyst for Mercer (Marsh & McLennan Companies) in Chicago.
"I would say, make sure to use every resource you have possible at Augustana. From President Bahls, professors, CORE and even other students, to learn the most you can. The resources available are bar none. Use CORE as a place to bounce any questions or concerns you have with finding a job or deciding what to do next. I would suggest using every resource in CORE to its limit... I would also suggest to look into the entrepreneurial program that Doug Tschopp is in charge of, as there are invaluable people and resources that are there to help and shape your next project."
Kerry Robbins, communication studies and psychology
Robbins is a graduate student working on master’s in human development at East Carolina University.
"My advice for seniors is to appreciate those in CORE, and Augie in general. There are so many people rooting for you and wanting to help you succeed! CORE has so much to offer and it really is up to each individual to take initiative to discover what will most benefit their personal and professional growth."
Samantha Turner, anthropology and history
Turner is a graduate assistant and student pursuing a master’s in museum studies at Western Illinois University.
"I went to CORE for everything! They helped me constantly with things like résumé review, cover letter review, managing grad school applications, job fair preparation, internship searches, etc. I would definitely suggest going to CORE as much as possible.
"As a senior, CORE is especially helpful. It is a scary year, especially by spring term when you need to figure out what you’re going to do next. I worked with CORE to really cover my bases, applying for graduate schools and trying to find employment in case grad school wasn’t the path for me. Leaving Augie would have been a lot scarier if it weren’t for the help and confidence I got from working with CORE! They are an amazing resource on campus, and everyone should take advantage of that!"