by VADA ABRAHAMSON
Drake University is known for its high success rate post-graduation, 98.5% of students begin a career or grad school within six months of graduating. Hilary Braaksma is one of these students, she graduated in 2014 and currently holds a job relating to her major at Drake.
Braaksma spent two years at Drake, starting in 2012 and graduating in December of 2014. Originally, Braaksma was a history and psychology major, but switched into the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to major in magazine media.
College is a stepping stone between high school and the workforce for many students. This can serve as a time to learn and grow individual skill sets with hopes of utilizing them in a career.
“In terms of a career, Drake prepared me for the real world. I understood what was expected of me when I got a job” said Braaksma.
Braaksma works as a freelance writer and editor for Meredith and Grey Dog Media. “Somebody came in and explained freelancing and gave really good advice,” said Braaksma. “I learned about things that are complicated. When I first took on freelancing, I remembered from that class that if I make over $600 freelancing, I have to pay taxes. Since that is my only income, I knew I would have to pay taxes and I was prepared for that aspect of it.”
With her freelancing position, Braaksma is able to do her work from home and spend more time with her three children. “I’m really satisfied with where I’m at career-wise. I don’t think that I would have the opportunity to make as much money working from home if I didn’t graduate from Drake,” said Braaksma. “The fact that I can do something I love at home and spend time with my kids is really cool, I hadn’t even considered it as a possibility.”
Professors and advisors at Drake are always available for students to reach out to with any questions or concerns during their time at Drake. Braaksma attributes a lot of her accomplishments to Professor and Advisor Jeff Inman. Along with help from Professor Inman, Braaksma learned to value the news through other professors.
“In one of my first classes we were required to follow the news and share five stories every class, it really gave me a love for staying up to date on the news” said Braaksma.
The statistic for success after college is based on where students are at after six months, but after two months of graduation, Braaksma found herself at a salaried job working in communication.
“There’s nowhere I’ve gone career-wise that there’s not some connection to a professor or classmate I’ve had. To this day, I rely on hearing leads about jobs or freelancing opportunities from classmates,” said Braaksma.
The biggest piece of advice Braaksma has for current Drake students is to really network yourself starting now. This advice has helped Braaksma in future job opportunities for herself and classmates.
“I just had lunch with a classmate yesterday about freelancing. We all stay in touch and help each other make career moves” said Braaksma.