Jefferson Propels Students to the Next Career Step

Undergrads achieve over 96% employment, grad school success rate.

Despite the job upheaval caused by the pandemic, the overwhelming majority of University undergrads from the Class of 2020 reported employment in fields related to their major/career interests or graduate school acceptance.

Over 96% of students who pursued an undergraduate degree from Jefferson are employed, enrolled in a graduate program or serve as an officer in the Army, according to the First Destination Report, which surveyed over 250 recent graduates. This info comes on the heels of U.S. News & World Report recognizing recent Jefferson grads for their impressive starting salaries.

In addition, the new report by Jefferson’s Marianne Able Career Services Center found a 100% employment and grad school success rate in programs housed in the College of Architecture and the Built EnvironmentCollege of Health ProfessionsCollege of Humanities and Sciences and College of Life Sciences. The latest results reflect the consistent success of Jefferson alumni, who have achieved an employment and graduate school acceptance rate of at least 95% since 2012.

“We’ve seen many years of successful career outcomes for our graduates due in large part to the priority our institution places on students gaining practical experience during their undergraduate years,” says Tracy DePedro, director of the Career Services Center.

Dayna DiPiero
As an undergrad, health sciences alumna Dayna DiPiero (seen here with her mini dachshund Baylee) interned at the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing. She's now in the University’s MS in biotechnology program.

For example, 2020 health sciences alumna Dayna DiPiero interned at the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing as an undergraduate. There she learned about the bioprocessing pipeline in the biopharmaceutical industry and it prepared her for the University’s MS in biotechnology program. “The internship made me more confident entering my master’s program,” says DiPiero, who plans to pursue a career in the research and development field.

As a grad student, she continues with her valuable hands-on work, making the viral transport media for COVID-19 testing and serving as the bioprinting lead in the Jefferson Health Design Lab.

Recent interior design alumna and current MS in sustainable design student Madison Cotellese also found internships to be a key piece in landing a job after graduation. She worked at SAP for a year in its facilities department designing future office spaces, and thanks to a connection made by interior design program director Lauren Baumbach, she’s now a design consultant for Philadelphia residential architecture firm Kass and Associates.

“Jefferson has a great educational environment,” Cotellese says. “I love the faculty, and the relationships you can create with smaller class sizes is what makes the programs so successful.”

Madison Cotellese
Recent interior design alumna Madison Cotellese interned at SAP as an undergrad. She's now earning her MS in sustainable design at Jefferson and works at architecture firm Kass and Associates.

Quatia Powell, a 2020 fashion merchandising and management graduate, attributes the strong Jefferson network to her career success as well. Through her work as president of the University’s Black Retail Action Group, many opportunities opened up, such as being selected as a mentee for the prestigious Women@Dior program.

This experience led the honors student to earn a job as a retail communications trainee for luxury brand Christian Dior, where she handles communications for boutiques in North America.

“Fashion is such a competitive industry,” Powell says, “but the opportunities Jefferson presented really helped me get to where I am now.”

Quatia Powell
Fashion merchandising and management grad Quatia Powell now is a retail communications trainee for Christian Dior, where she handles communications for boutiques in North America.

Another highlight from the University’s First Destination Report is the amount of support provided by the Career Service Center, DePedro notes. The Center conducted 61 programs and workshops for over 700 students as well as provided counseling and advisement for nearly 1,600 individual student visits. Plus, 154 internships for credit took place in 2019-2020, representing students in 28 different majors (both undergraduate and graduate).

The upcoming Virtual Design Expo from March 22-26 will offer another opportunity for students from all design programs to connect with roughly 40 employers for internships and full-time positions, DePedro says. Students can still register; however, they will need to have their portfolio ready to show. Additional employers will set up virtual interviews with more students closer to the end of the semester.

“We have seen continued use of our services by students and partnership with our faculty assists students in preparing for the next step after Jefferson,” DePedro says.

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