Notre Dame seniors to volunteer, enter workforce
Selena Ponio | Friday, May 13, 2016
Senior Jessica Zic stumbled upon her post-graduation plans one day in an email she received from the Center for Social Concerns. Zic, a neuroscience and behavior major with a supplemental major in Latino studies, said she knew she wanted to try something new after graduating but was unsure exactly what that entailed.
“I knew I wanted to do something different after school because I’d been a student my whole life,” Zic said. “I wanted to see the world from a different angle before I started medical school and went back to the classroom.”
After graduation, Zic will be volunteering at Casa de Esperanza de los Niños in Houston, Texas. Casa de Esperanza is a non-profit organization that helps kids who are in crisis due to abuse or neglect. According to Zic, she will be a part of the residential program and live in a house with interns and children under six years old.
“It just seemed like a really great place where I could do a lot for a very vulnerable population and grow as a person there before continuing on with my plans as a doctor,” Zic said.
Zic said she is currently in the midst of applying for medical school for the fall of 2017. She said her major and supplemental major had a lot to do with her decision to work at Casa de Esperanza.
“Working with children that young, there’s so much going on in terms of brain development and health,” she said. “If you’re able to provide really good care for children that age, the impact will last their whole lives.”
According to the First Destination Data for the class of 2015 on the Career Center’s website, seven percent of students went on to participate in a service program after graduation, 62 percent of graduates entered full employment, 26 percent went onto graduate or professional school and two percent entered the military. Two percent still sought employment, while another two percent had other plans, the data said.
Zic said she believes Notre Dame places a huge role on the importance of service and her involvement with the Center for Social Concerns was vital in her decision to pursue service post-graduation.
“All of those service experiences … I really learned a lot from them and having an opportunity to serve for a whole year was something that was really special to me, just because of what I got through the previous experiences,” Zic said. “I’ll be able to form strong relationships and really get to know the people that I work with and the children I’ll be serving.”
Senior and finance major Kimberly Sammons will be working in Phoenix, Ariz. as an analyst for Amazon in their Operations Finance Rotational Program, she said.
“It’s a rotational program so it’s three six-month rotations,” Sammons said. “I didn’t know where I wanted to live permanently, but I figured this would be a good opportunity to get involved with a great international company and experience more areas of the country than I had before.”
Sammons said she will be working on the financial analytics of the company, evaluating performance and figuring out how to reduce company costs without compromising quality.
“I think it will be really fast paced and you don’t get that a lot in corporate finance, so it will be a really great learning experience,” Sammons said. “People have told me it’s tough, but you grow and become more comfortable in your skills and abilities.”
Sammons said the ethics of business that she learned during her time at Notre Dame are just as important as her background knowledge in finance and learned communication skills.
“Notre Dame teaches you how to be a good business person ethically and how to succeed without having to sacrifice any of your morals and values,” Sammons said.
Senior computer science major Kendra Bilardello said she will be a software engineer in St. Louis, Mo. for The Boeing Company at their Virtual Warfare Center.
“It was appealing to me because I really liked the defense aspect of computer science and helping in a way that’s more related to defending the country,” Bilardello said. “A lot of it is getting input from other people and figure out where Boeing should put money into in the future and what sort of things pilots want to see … 10 years down the road.”
She said her classes at Notre Dame prepared her for the job, due to the fact her classes used the same software language as Boeing. Bilardello said Boeing is a great opportunity because of the 2,000 software engineers in St. Louis and the availability of different projects for engineers.
Rising seniors should remain optimistic about their job search, Bilardello said.
“Don’t worry if you don’t get something before fall break,” she said. “People are still looking second semester so don’t panic — Notre Dame is very good about prepping people for jobs. There is something out there.”