A Jump Start to Post-Graduate Success

Colbalt Kaiser ‘21 with his sister

The thought of launching into that first job can trigger all kinds of emotions: uncertainty, trepidation, and excitement are all common. One way to calm those nerves (and to find that fabulous first job) is to do your research.

Fortunately, The Knowlton Career Center’s Fast Track Program has you covered. Over an eight-week period students dove into different industries and career paths, and with new employers and programs each week, students attended sessions according to their interests.

“The Fast Track series was designed to provide students the opportunity to dive deeper into industries, and learn the specific skills and experiences needed to succeed upon graduation.” says Judy White ‘86, director of Career Preparation and Employer Relations.

“We identified resources to sharpen these skills and experiences, a curated list of employer’s open positions, alumni networks, and encouraged students to participate in the Winter Accelerator programs,” she adds.

For economics major Cobalt Kaiser ‘21, the week covering the Finance & Consulting industry made the most sense. (In addition to his major in econ, Kaiser has a concentration in financial economics and he is the current President of the Denison Investment Club.)

On tap that week: a case study interview strategy with Deloitte Consultant Dajia Dampeer ‘18, a conversation with Matt Fadel ‘08, Senior Director at Sg2, and employer conversations with Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc., and ORIX Real Estate Holdings.

“It helped me wrap my head around what sort of soft skills are most important and desirable and how critical study skills are, since you will need them for the various charter exams and the FINRA licensing exams one needs to pursue specific investment opportunities,” he says.

Kaiser also appreciates the expertise and availability of the alumni who presented. “A lot of them are really open. They gave us their work emails as well as invited us to connect with them on LinkedIn.”

After the presentations, Kaiser contacted Fadel at the healthcare-focused consulting firm Sg2 in Cleveland to expand his knowledge base. “I had a lot of experience with and exposure to the banking industry, but I was very unfamiliar with how consulting works and the opportunities in the consulting industry.”

Laura McFadden ‘05, Associate Director for Young Alumni Career Programs, says “The eight-week series was also dedicated to getting students exposure to alumni as both employers and mentors. While the program was targeted mainly towards seniors and some juniors, “there was a lot of useful information for freshmen and sophomores, and it’s never a bad time to start exploring and building your network.”

“Alumni and employer participation has just been phenomenal,” she adds. “We have many alumni who return as Recruiters because they understand what Denison graduates can offer. “

December 17, 2020