May 18, 2015
Laura Gaughan, a senior management and finance double major, knows the importance of networking and making connections. It’s what landed her a job two semesters before graduation.
Last spring, Gaughan applied for a summer internship with the Kansas City Federal Reserve. Although the internship went to another Drury student, the organization was impressed and promised to “keep her in mind” for a position.
“I was thinking, ‘Okay, I’m sure they’re just saying that’,” she says. “But then in September, I was asked to come in for an interview and 30 minutes later I was offered a job.”
Gaughan begins her job as a financial analyst next month, and credits much of her success to her professors and the relationships she’s built with them over the years.
“I think one of the greatest things professors do is be excellent references for students,” Gaughan says. “Whether its grad school or a job, they’ll speak the world of you and I think that’s so awesome because that can really make or break if you get a job or not.”
Gaughan says Drury’s Breech School of Business helps students prepare for entry into the work force in many other ways, including polishing resumes and cover letters, conducting mock interviews and helping students build and maintain connections through the Drury alumni network and through professors’ contacts. Gaughan has used LinkedIn to maintain relationships and build connections, and was even offered two part-time jobs during the school year because of it.
Her advice to current students is to simply to be flexible: “If life doesn’t go the way you wanted it to or it takes it take a different path, be open to possibilities.”
Gaughan originally thought she would attend graduate school immediately after graduation but once she received her Federal Reserve job offer, she sought advice from her parents, friends and professors.
“The advice from my professors is what influenced with me the most,” Gaughan says. “They told me it would be an opportunity I wouldn’t want to turn down because it was such great experience, and whatever I wanted to do in the future—a job or school—this job would speak volumes of my work ethic and ability. I 100 percent wouldn’t be ready for the real world if it weren’t for Drury.”
Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, senior English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.