Graduation day can be bittersweet. After working for years to earn their degree, graduates find that life at William Woods University as a student is over, and suddenly the next step in their careers – and the “real world” – awaits them. But whether they enter either the work force or graduate school, graduates of William Woods can find some degree of comfort; Niche.com recently stated that the job success rate six years after gradation at WWU is 90%.
What does it take to thrive in the professional world as quickly as possible after leaving the friendly confines of The Woods? Four recent alumni sat down to share their experiences of transitioning from attending classes at William Woods to earning jobs in the work force within the past five years: Alyssa Scheele ‘17, Quincy Totta ‘16, Juan Román Roig ’17 and Laura Liebhart ‘16.
Alyssa Scheele ‘17 Communications
Job: Marketing Specialist at Quality Technology Services (QTS), Overland Park, KS
As the marketing specialist at QTS, Scheele wears many hats. Some of her main roles and tasks include managing organic social media platforms, updating and editing corporate websites through a content management system, creating purchase orders, managing a several million-dollar budget as well as assisting with event planning logistics to support the sales team.
“WWU prepared me for this position through group work and projects,” Scheele said. “Since marketing is such a cohesive world, it is very important that I am able to handle working in groups of various personality types. This was taught well through many group projects within the Communications department of WWU.”
Scheele found her job through LinkedIn and believes it is a huge tool people should be utilizing when job hunting. She took the QTS job because she loved the people she interviewed with and the values of the company. Her biggest advice is to apply everywhere and never think you are too good for a job.
“Everyone has to start somewhere and for me that was in sales,” Scheele said. “Don’t be afraid to take a sales job or something outside of what you think you want. You may end up loving it or it could lead you to what you want.”
Quincy Totta ‘16- Exercise Science
Job: Fitness Specialist at Cerner Corporation, Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS
Quincy Totta has been working at Cerner Corporation for two years as a fitness specialist. He personally trains associates in both a personal and group setting and works closely with other members of his care team. Totta’s work with clients includes those who may have chronic illness, are pre- or post operation, or simply want to live a healthier life by gettingback to exercising again.
He credits Dr. Cindy Robb, Dr. Marshall Robb, and Coach Bob Jones for doing an excellent job preparing him at William Woods, not only with the foundational information of Exercise Physiology, prescription and technique, but also the applicable side of working with clients on a day-to-day basis.
“I went on to achieve my CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) through the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) thanks to the attention to detail and willingness of these instructors to teach us,” Totta said. “I would not have been near as ready to make the step into this role, nor would I have been ready to take the test, without them. Their knowledge and expertise helped tremendously, and we are lucky to have them and their continued efforts to build the Exercise Science program at William Woods University.”
Totta applied wherever he saw a job that interested him, and Cerner turned out to be one of the best jobs he could ask for coming straight out of college.
“My advice to future graduates in our Exercise Science field is pick the brain of your instructors and utilize the resources you have around you,” he said. “If you are unsure of your career path at the time that is okay. Apply, apply, and apply toget your foot in the door and build out from there. Continue to seek knowledge and always continue to learn.”
Juan Román Roig ‘17 Business Administration and Management Information Systems
Job: CMO at tuGerente, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Juan Román Roig co-founded tuGerente in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia with his brother and a friend. He oversees the commercial, sales and marketing teams, overseeing six employees in the sales department and two in marketing. His company is a platform that helps companies manage their sales, expenses, purchases, inventories, invoicing and more.
“I selected this path because it sounded like a great idea, and we felt that it would impact in a positive way the small and medium enterprises that get the software,” Román Roig said. “I also knew my partners were smart, ethical and hardworking persons, so being in a company together would be fun, sometimes stressful, but fun.”
WWU gave Román Roig the opportunity to grow as a leader by being part of a variety of campus organizations such as Student Website Advancement Team (SWAT), Men’s Soccer, Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), andRotaract. His best advice: interact with as many people as you can, go to conferences, network and search online.
“At WWU, I learned the importance of working as a team and giving the best in everything I do to achieve excellence,” Román Roig said. To succeed, keep yourself busy. Be curious, get involved, meet people every day. Do things you are not used to, to get out of your comfort zone.”
Laura Liebhart ASL ‘16
Job: Interpreter for Access Interpreters LLC, Mid-Missouri area
Liebhart currently works for Access Interpreters LLC agency, and notes that each day is different from the one that came before it. The company sends her wherever her interpreting services are most needed. She provides interpreting services to the Mid-Missouri area and as a community interpreter, working in such settings as education, business, entertainment, government and finance.
Liebhart got her job through her internship during her my final semester at William Woods. After she was finished that summer, she received the news that she passed her certification exam, and was offered a job. Liebhart mentions that her education from William Woods gave her every building block she needed for her career
“I was delighted to accept it, and William Woods definitely helped make it happen,” Liebhart said. “Not only did my classes prepare me for a wide variety of settings and scenarios, but I was also taught about the rich history of the language I was studying and the culture with which it is intrinsically linked. Additionally, my professors have become my colleagues and they are the best support team that I could ask for.”
Her advice would be to never stop immersing yourself in the language and to gain as much exposure as you can, every chance that you get. She loves working for an agency.
“While every avenue has its perks, whether you’re freelancing, working as a staff interpreter, or contracting with an agency, I love what I do best,” Liebhart said. “I learn and grow as much from my colleagues as I do from my clients, and I appreciate all the feedback and experience they have to share.”
Five years or less into their work careers, these WWU alumni are just beginning to make a name for themselves in the professional world. And while where they will end up is the exciting potential of tomorrow, it was their education experience of yesterday at William Woods that no doubt prepared them for where they stand today.