Of employed graduates, 91 percent accepted positions related to their majors, engaging in work that requires knowledge and skills they acquired at Iowa State.
Young alumni find rewarding jobs
For young people entering the job market, finding meaningful work can be a challenge. A recent Rutgers University study found that only 65 percent of employed college graduates secure jobs connected to their degrees. Fortunately, prospects look brighter for Iowa State University College of Human Sciences (CHS) alumni.
In the 2010-2011 academic year, 91 percent of CHS graduates with bachelor’s degrees secured employment or gained acceptance to graduate or professional school within six months of graduation. Five CHS programs – culinary science, nutritional science, diet and exercise, kinesiology, and family and consumer sciences – had placement rates of 100 percent.
Of graduates who found employment, 91 percent accepted positions directly related to their majors, engaging in work that requires knowledge and skills they acquired at Iowa State. Recent CHS graduates are already making an impact in health, education, social services, nutrition, fashion, and a wide range of other fields. Here are just a few of their stories about finding positions that fit their passions.
If you see fire or hear an explosion at the Science Center of Iowa (SCI), don’t panic. It’s probably Catherine Lowe performing an educational demonstration.
Lowe graduated in 2011 with a degree in elementary education and now serves as SCI’s education coordinator. She develops interactive science programs for schools and youth groups, creates lesson plans for educators based on SCI exhibits and activities, and ensures that current programming connects to state and national education standards.
“When I chose elementary education, I always assumed that I would be a classroom teacher,” she said. “I had no idea that a job like this even existed.”
SCI first hired Lowe as a program presenter and promoted her to education coordinator after eight months. Recently, she also appeared on Iowa Public Television’s “Connections to Science,” a video series targeted to elementary and middle school youths.
“I love everything about this job,” she said. “Not only do I get to share my love of science with kids and adults of all ages, but every single day I learn something new. Plus, I get to light things on fire. How cool is that?”
Whether Beacon Springs residents are taking fitness classes, playing bingo, petting a therapy dog, or exploring the community through field trips, Sarah Lindner helps make it happen.
Before graduating in 2009 with a degree in child, adult, and family services and a minor in gerontology, Lindner accepted a lifestyle coordinator position at Beacon Springs, the assisted living memory support unit at Edgewater in West Des Moines.
“Edgewater is a resident-driven community that focuses on ‘life your way,’ and I have been able to grow with the company both personally and professionally,” she said.
As lifestyle coordinator, Lindner researches, develops, plans, and conducts all activities for residents that cover six dimensions of wellness – social, intellectual, vocational, emotional, physical, and spiritual. She also works with volunteers, leads family forums, and teaches dementia training courses.
“There are so many things I love about my job, but being able to help people smile, laugh, and improve their quality of life is most rewarding,” she said. “I also enjoy that my days are never the same and I am able to continue learning through conferences, training, coworkers, and – most importantly – my residents.”
For Jennifer Schildberg, there’s no such thing as a typical day.
“On any given day, I could be communicating with vendors overseas, requesting samples, checking patterns, working with my designers and merchandisers on styles, or researching new fit developments,” she said.
After earning her degree in apparel, merchandising, and design in 2012, Schildberg began working as an assistant technical designer for Abercrombie and Fitch in New Albany, Ohio. Her team of three oversees male polos, henleys, and graphic tees.
“The great thing about my team is that we help each other out and collaborate on workloads,” Schildberg said. “At the end of the day, we do our best to make sure the customer gets a high-quality garment that fits well.”
Schildberg continues to use her Iowa State education in her new position.
“I have used so much of my education in my day-to-day work,” she said. “The skills I learned in patternmaking, technical design, and computer design courses help me complete the majority of my work every day.”
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