The Roots of Success

By Dale Leyburn, Senior Assistant Director, Career and Internship Center

One of the great things about my job as a counselor in the Career and Internship Center is that I get to help students and alumni identify and achieve their career goals. As the person in charge of all things survey-related, I can tell you that:

  • 74% of survey respondents from the Class of 2010 had accepted offers for full-time positions or internships, were considering employment offers, or had received acceptances to graduate or professional schools at the time of commencement.
  • They are currently pursuing graduate programs at schools like Princeton, Stanford, NYU, Georgetown, Cornell, and the University of Chicago.
  • They are working at places like Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Teach for America, Booz Allen, Citibank, the Federal Reserve, BAE Systems, Bausch + Lomb, and the NIH.
  • 93% of these same students had completed at least one internship (or career-related experience), which helped them achieve their post-baccalaureate goals. These internships took place at large corporations, start-up companies, not-for-profits, NGOs, government offices, and research labs.
  • Looking at our one-year-after-commencement surveys, 98% of recent alumni responded that they were employed, interning in their career field of interest, or attending a graduate or professional school.

A current senior that I have worked with since freshman year recently accepted a case assistant position with a major law firm in New York City. She took advantage of various career assessments to explore her interests and link her major to career options. We crafted her résumé to help her secure many internship experiences, including a congressional internship and an internship in Washington, DC, lobbying for the health of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. She attended off-campus recruiting events and student-alumni networking sessions, which led to an interview and her job offer!

This may seem like a perfect story—but to be honest, it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. She spent time researching careers, such as marketing, that just weren’t right for her. She applied to internships and jobs she didn’t get interviews for. She also interviewed for positions she didn’t get offers for, and, at times, she wasn’t 100% sure that working for a law firm was what she wanted to do. But by combining persistence with patience and trust in the job search process, she attained her goal. Every internship, job, and graduate school search includes false starts and adversity—but in the end, those challenges make success that much sweeter.

Numbers, statistics, and survey results only tell a part of the story. What makes all these accomplishments happen is the ability to tap into the programs and resources offered by professors, mentors, counselors, offices, departments, etc., along with the drive and the sheer ability of UR students that I see when I’m working with them one-on-one. Each story is unique—but the common thread is that the UR experience allows young adults to seize their potential and achieve their goals.

About the author


URAdmissions features guest bloggers (both students and staff) who write about specialized programs, events, and opportunities at Rochester.

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