Many William Jewell College graduates have found their home in Kansas City, Mo. A wide variety of careers have taken off in the downtown metro area. Job opportunities such as healthcare services, teaching and sales have given many recents Jewell graduates a place to call home.

Cameron VanDyke and Hillary Holt, class of 2015, share why they believe the time they spent as Jewell prepared them for life outside of college.

“The CTI mentality that Jewell has was a great talking point for me in interviews, and I think employers find it interesting. Having that background in critical thinking shows that someone is able to thrive in difficult situations where the answer may not be spelled out blatantly,” said VanDyke.

VanDyke decided to stay in the Kansas City area because she believes it is a hotspot for starting businesses and companies. She is currently working at Lockton Companies, an insurance brokerage firm.

“I am basically the ‘middle man’ between businesses buying insurance and the carriers who sell insurance. I can absolutely say that insurance is an industry where the answer is almost never black and white. Critical thought and inquiry is a necessity in this business, so that background has worked to my advantage,” said VanDyke.

Holt believes the transition from college to life as a graduate is just as difficult as the transition between high school and college.

“Honestly, I decided to stay because this is what felt comfortable. There’s a transition stage after every big moment in life. Transitioning from high school to college is tough in the same ways transitioning out of college is tough. You have no idea what you’re doing. Everything is new. How do you find an apartment when you’ve never had to worry about doing that before? How do you cook food for yourself when you can’t run down to the Cage, and how the heck do you actually have time for sleep? That feels a little strange, too. With all of those hard transitions and changes, it made sense for me to not add learning a brand new city and community to the mix,” said Holt.

Holt feels that her liberal arts education was also helpful for easing her through this transition.

“I’ve definitely used my liberal arts education more than I thought I would. I think that when you’re in the middle of it, it’s easy to lose track of why you’re learning the things you are or why you’re focusing on certain areas more than others. I’ve found that the critical thought and especially all the writing that I did at Jewell has helped me immensely. I don’t go a day where I’m not writing or using the lessons I learned at Jewell,” said Holt.

Holt and VanDyke are two of many graduates who have decided to stay close to Jewell after graduation. According to the William Jewell College LinkedIn page, 3,706 graduates currently reside in the Kansas City area. The top three jobs held by these graduates are sales, education and healthcare services. The top businesses where graduates work are Cerner Corporation, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Hallmark Cards and Sprint.

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For additional information about recent graduates’ careers please visit the William Jewell College LinkedIn page:

Feature photo by Kyle Rivas

Infographic courtesy of LinkedIn