With graduation looming over seniors, the pressure to have a job and be successful taunts them.
Some graduates find themselves working a job in their field of study, while others are going down a completely different path. Matthew Peacher, a 2017 spring graduate, studied vocal music education at Northwest Missouri State University.
Peacher is now a vocal music and theater teacher for West Nodaway, he also coaches baseball and directs the spring play. Although Peacher was expecting a job in vocal music, he had to take on other responsibilities as well, that did not necessarily fall under his major.
“I do more things and teacher more subjects that my degree called for,” Peacher said.
Adam Bochart graduated the same day as Peacher, but their paths took them in different directions. Bochart had received some freelancing jobs before he even got the chance to walk across the stage.
“I’m currently starting my third season with Sporting Kansas City, their in-stadium broadcast team,” Bochart said, “I am also starting my second season with Iowa Cubs, the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate, and through the two years in my master’s program I’ve continued my work with CatVison so my third year as technical director and I also got promoted to director this year.”
Bochart is very thankful for all the jobs he has had and has received and says he owes it all to Northwest and faculty.
“I owe every position I have to Northwest, the projects I have done that employers have pointed out saying ‘this is what landed you this position’ they’re projects I have done at Northwest and for Northwest,” Bochart said.
Bochart pitched an idea to make the Bearcat Marching Band an intro video before football games. Bochart said that he owes his Sporting Kansas City job to that video. He said he believes he had the opportunities to do what he did because Northwest is a small school.
“I think because we’re a smaller school and we have that access the moment we step on campus, I think that has made all the difference,” Bochart said.
Peacher and Bochart both praise Northwest for being able to prepare them for the real world.
“Northwest provided me with many of the necessary tools to succeed in life,” Peacher said, “They taught me how to teach my subject proficiently, they taught me how to handle difficult situations when they occur.”
Peacher, however, said he thinks having a longer student teaching experience might be better for future students going through his major.
“One factor that could help future educators is getting them more time in a classroom,” Peacher said, “I feel like a semester is to short in trying to get prepared to teach your subject for an entire school year”
Bochart and Peaches said they believe they are successful after graduation. For graduates that fell like they are struggling, Northwest’s Director of Career Services, Joan Schneider says that Northwest is here to help. Career Services stays in touch with graduates up to six months after graduation. Those who find themselves struggling, Schneider says Career Services will keep in touch, and offer their services.
“Two weeks before graduation we send out an email asking what graduates plans are and how we can help,” Schneider said, “if they have a job and are satisfied then we do not touch base with them again, but those who are not, connection is made, and phone calls only happen six months post-graduation.”
Schneider’s advice for soon-to-be graduates, is to start the job hunt early because it is easier to use the services Career Services has to offer while you are at Northwest.
“Hardest thing is for people to take the first step because they aren’t going with everyone like when they come to college,” Schneider said, “You have a bunch of freshman coming in with you, but after graduation, you’re kind of on your own, but we are here to help.”