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Worcester State Degrees Empowered These Students to Career Success Near and Far

March 20, 2019
By: WSU News

From donating time and expertise as a registered nurse at a volunteer health clinic in Mexico to pursuing an advanced degree in international business and business analytics, our recent graduates continue to demonstrate what’s possible with a Worcester State degree.

Ninety-nine percent of recent graduates were employed, entered graduate school, or both within six months of graduation. Our graduates land jobs at business and nonprofit leaders such as Massachusetts General Hospital and Amazon, so it’s no surprise that the vast majority also tell us their WSU academic program prepared them for their careers. With an average annual starting salary around $43,000 in their first year, it’s clear that as Worcester State graduates transition into the work world they are prepared for many definitions of success, from earning strong starting salaries to making meaningful contributions to our communities and beyond.

In the following interviews, two recent WSU graduates discuss how their journeys at Worcester State University and being part of a dynamic campus with passionate faculty and staff helped them begin their careers with a competitive advantage.

Shannen Curtin

Shannen Curtin

Shannen Curtin ’17, nursing major

  1. What do you do professionally, and how did you get to this point in your career?

I work as a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. I am a nurse on a Thoracic Progressive Care Unit. I got to this point in my career with a lot of studying, hard work, and enthusiasm for what I do. An aspect of nursing that is unique and very special to me is that I learn something new every single day. I am constantly working to be a better person and a better nurse than I was yesterday. I was recruited by Mayo Clinic at an AORN Global Surgical Conference I attended with the Worcester State University Nursing Program.

  1. What is your favorite part of your job?

The company culture at Mayo Clinic, along with the camaraderie and teamwork on my unit, inspires me every day. I work alongside some of the best nurses in the world, and they are always encouraging and supporting me. As a nurse, I am a part of the lives of so many different individuals. I walk alongside my patients on their journey to recovery and I am honored to be a small part of their stories. Being able to see a patient improve – whether they are getting tubes removed, walking alone for the first time, or discharging home – these victories make every day of my job worth it.

  1. How did Worcester State influenced you?

My time at Worcester State was tremendously difficult and rewarding. I was pushed and learned to push myself to new heights. I worked with some incredible faculty, staff, and students. The people of WSU changed my life forever. I was very involved during my time at WSU. I worked as a Presidential Student Ambassador which helped me grow as a person, promoted professional development, and taught me the importance of creating a positive impact on the community around me. Dr. [Stephanie] Chalupka, and President [Barry M.] Maloney both took time to encourage me to take courageous leaps in my career, and to make the move from my small hometown in Massachusetts to a big city in Minnesota to chase my dreams.

  1. What might people be surprised to learn about you?

Although I have always been dedicated to science and math, I am a deep lover of art. My mediums of choice are acrylic paint and pastels. Art reminds me to acknowledge the beautiful world around me and to take a breath sometimes. I am also a proud cat mom to a two-year-old named Ophelia. Ophelia loves human food including Twizzlers, pasta, beans, and spinach. I want to get on “The Ellen Show” with Ophelia and show off her weird taste in food.

  1. What interesting projects are in the works for you?

I am working with some friends and coworkers on an exciting opportunity for this summer. I will be a part of a group of RNs traveling down to Zorrillo, Mexico, to implement a test trial for a free clinic for members of the community. We are hoping to provide basic care and education to community members of all ages. We will also be volunteering directly with Lantern Hill, a school in the town. Leaders at Lantern Hill are the champions of this plan for a trial clinic. I am excited to learn from the people and culture of El Zorrillo.

Jean Philippe Matondo

Jean Philippe Matondo

Jean Philippe Matondo ’17, business major

  1. What do you do professionally and how did you get to this point in your career?

I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in international business and business analytics at Hult International Business School. However, before that I worked for close to a year at BNY Mellon where there are a good number of Worcester State alumni. I discovered the opportunity looking through the Linkedin profile of WSU alumni. I went ahead and applied before transitioning back to higher education.

  1. What is your favorite part of your job?

The favorite part of my education currently is that I am broadening some of the knowledge received from WSU and applying it every day in most of the classes. While I was at BNY I really liked reviewing financial documentation and analyzing IRAs.

  1. How did Worcester State influenced you?

Worcester State has changed my perspective of life, especially as an international student. I got to understand the essence of building a community around you that helps you grow and learn effectively and see the world. Through my study abroad in China, for example, I gained a new perspective of Asia that I never had before and some of these things help my admission where I currently pursuing my education.

  1. What might people be surprised to learn about you?

That I am not American, and that I am a Congolese non-immigrant in the United States.

  1. What interesting projects are in the works for you?

I am currently looking forward to becoming a business and data analyst. There are so many opportunities out there in that field that I have recommended to all the Congolese who came after me at WSU and also some of our U.S.-born friends that they pursue either a double major in business and computer science or a minor in computer science. Knowing what I know now, that would have been a wise choice for me back when.

Read our Graduate Outcomes Report to learn more about how the Worcester State experience prepares graduates for what’s next in their careers.

 

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