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UWRF grads report low unemployment

December 5, 2013

Recent UW-River Falls alumni are enjoying post-graduation success despite the challenging economy, according to a survey conducted by the UWRF Survey Research Center.

In securing employment and graduate school placements at a high rate, graduates were asked earlier this year about their employment and educational status through a survey. Among those who responded, this was a higher rate this year compared to other years, 81 percent reported that they were employed while an additional 15 percent specified they were continuing their education.

Melissa Wilson, director of Career Services at UWRF said, “The University of Wisconsin-River Falls works closely with industry and businesses to ensure that students are professionally prepared to compete in the job search process and receive job and internship offers with competitive companies.”

Alumni of three undergraduate programs: agricultural engineering technology, land use planning, and computer science and information systems, reported 100 percent employment and average annual salaries of more than $40,000, according to that same survey.

John Hunchar graduated in December 2012, with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science, Economics and Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management. Before graduating he applied to 20 places of employment, interviewed at 19, and was offered eight different jobs before finishing out interviews.

According to Hunchar, the application process was hard by: finding jobs where you believe that you can fit into the company culture and have the qualifications, easy by filling out the standard application, and stressful when interviewing for the perfect job / company and declining potential job offers for another job in which you just began interviewing process.

Currently utilizing all of his degrees in some aspect of his job at Lancet Data Sciences as a Systems Administrator, he shared that he has an excellent starting point in pay for the information technology (IT) industry between the pay and the benefits. He shared some advice to other students who are graduating soon:

1. Treat LinkedIn as your friend and make sure to take the time to update it and keep it updated.

2. Networking is essential in finding that right job. It helps provide you with some insight about jobs at other companies.

3. Internships are vital; if you are graduating in the spring, find an internship.

4. Don’t be afraid to say no to a job offer if you don’t believe that it will be a perfect fit.

“River Falls did an excellent job in preparing me for my current job. The classes provided me with the fundamentals and theories. My internships provided me with the bridge to fill the gap between the theories and the actual practice,” Hunchar said.

Compared with 261 other public comprehensive institutions nationally from 1976 to 2006, UWRF ranks fifth in sending students on to receive a Ph.D. in agricultural sciences, ninth in physics and 12th in chemistry.

“It is further evidence that a degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls is a smart investment,” said Blake Fry, special assistant to the Chancellor.

For more information about the survey conducted or have questions about internships and jobs contact Career Services at 715-425-3572 or Melissa Wilson, director of Career Services, at melissa.wilson@uwrf.edu or at 715-425-3572.