This weekend a new set of graduates are leaving the University of Wyoming. For some, they are facing an unknown job situation, but others are ready to jump into their careers. The graduates also talked about Wyoming’s efforts to keep them in-state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck sat down with three graduates from U-W’s College of business and found that two are leaving and one thinks he’ll hang around a bit longer.
BOB BECK : If you’ve not been to the University of Wyoming in awhile, then you’ve not had a chance to see the state of the Art College of Business. The structure features high tech amenities in classrooms, a mini TV studio in the basement, and a beautiful commons area in the middle of the facility with a huge skylight. That’s where we meet graduating Seniors Libby Stetson from Craig, Colorado and Derek Jerred from Gillette. Stetson is an accounting major which means it wasn’t hard for her to find work.
LIBBY STETSON: The placement is almost 100 percent and so every year there is a big recruiting event that happens here and a lot of firms come and there’s usually way more jobs available for us as accountants then there is accountants to fill the jobs. So we are lucky and fortunate in that regard.
BECK: She says she is heading to be an accountant at a firm in Fort Worth, Texas. Jerred studied business administration and thought he was going to get a job with a coal company in his hometown of Gillette, but Coal is facing tough times these days…and so he’s going to try and make himself more marketable.
DERREK JERRED: I think I’m going to be coming back to get my MBA here at the University of Wyoming, I built up a pretty good relationship with the Dean and also with the MBA Director, so I think I’m going to do that unless there is some great job offer or opportunity that opens up before then that I can’t pass up.
BECK: Jerred knows one thing…he wants to work in Wyoming. In past years, business students indicated that there was little they could do in the state, and were very interested in leaving, but Jerred says that has changed. He says a number of his friends agree with him…
JERRED: We all kind of love Wyoming, just because it’s kind of our own little thing. And when we go traveling in groups, especially with like the school, people are like where are you guys from? And we say Wyoming, they say…where’s that? And we get to show them and this is what Wyoming is. I’d rather do that and be an advocate for Wyoming almost then go somewhere else and live there.
BECK: While Libby Stetson is leaving the state, she almost took a position in Casper. But she says many of her friends are thinking of staying.
STETSON: Business communities seem to be getting stronger I think, and Wyoming has taken a lot of steps in trying to find jobs and to make jobs available, and I know the University is playing a big part in that, they’re really pushing for people to stay in Wyoming and are showing all of the students that are not from Wyoming, why you should love it or why you could love it. And I think that’s starting to change minds a little bit.
BECK: Another student is Kasey Watson from Douglas. When we spoke to him he was on his way to Oregon for a couple of job interviews. His family recently relocated there. Watson majors in Business Administration and has three job offers on the table in the banking industry. One of those offers is in his hometown in Douglas and he has not ruled out returning. No matter where he goes, Watson is excited.
KASEY WATSON: I think I think I’ve been prepared well for what to expect and what will be expected of me, I’ve got the best education background and I know I prepared to enter at full speed.
BECK: Watson credits the U-W College of Business for making him so marketable. He says the curriculum forces you to learn about all aspects of the business world, and he adds that the faculty was amazing. A sentiment shared by Derek Jerred.
JERRED: They are able to not only show you what to do, but how to do it. And show you want your learning in class is going to be applicable down the road.
BECK: For Libby Stetson, she will always carry the University of Wyoming with her.
STETSON: I’ve gotten an incredible foundation in my education, I’ve also learned more from them then just that. You know I’ve learned about the person I want to be, what kind of life I want to live and what kind of example I want to make and I so I think that it’s just kind of set me on the right path and I will always be thankful to the University.
And when asked what he didn’t like about his time at UW, Kasey Watson responded…
“That’s a tough question, I don’t know if I do have a bad experience.”
For Wyoming Public Radio, I’m Bob Beck.