Kim (Sawyer) Larsen '09 found that a degree in the liberal arts matched well with a cutting-edge career at Breakthrough Fuel.

Our Success Is Your Success

You’re making a big investment in college. Based on the stream of news from our alumni, we know that their investment has paid off, and yours will, too.   

To help ensure your success, we offer a well-staffed Career & Professional Development office and a series of programs appropriate for all four of your years as an undergraduate. Our staff will support you through choices you make during your college career that will position you best for your professional future. Whether picking the right classes, choosing a major or minor, finding a great internship, or looking for work during college that aligns your passions and interests – we are here for you. 

And when you graduate from St. Norbert College, we believe that you, just like the alumni who have gone before you, will be aligned for success in the career and calling that best fits you.  

It’s hard work. It’s also your choice to participate in the programs and opportunities that will push you. Remember, this is your journey to finding the unique contribution you alone can make in the world. We think you are up for the challenge! 

Major Help
What do you want to major in? If you know the answer to that question, you’re lucky. But if you don’t, you are not alone and that’s just fine. In fact, of those who enter college with a major in mind, a large number of students change their minds in due course. They have benefited from classes that open their eyes to exciting new fields they might not even have considered earlier. 

We love helping students find quality internships with local companies. Stop in and let’s talk about your interests, and we’ll show you what’s available. We have well-established relationships with the business community and can guide you in the right direction for a great match. (Most opportunities like these are paid!)

For those of you who are interested in teaching, we have an exceptional program that connects you to real-world teaching experiences as early as your sophomore year. In addition, you’ll have a student-teaching assignment as a senior. Your education-faculty advisor will walk you through the options. If you’re interested in teaching, check out our teacher-education website.

Proof Is in the Pudding – and in the Alumni of St. Norbert College!
Our latest survey shows that more than 92 percent of our students are employed or attending graduate school within nine months of graduating. In fact, more than 61 percent of last year’s graduating class knew their future plans before they even had their diploma in hand. 

And our alumni network watches out for our new graduates. They often post job openings, attend our career placement programs and serve as career mentors. Imagine: That will be you in the not-so-distant future!

Now & Later
Our graduates are well prepared to not only land their first job, but to find exceptional opportunities again and again. They also know that if they want to make a change in their professional life, they can always call upon St. Norbert College’s network of alumni, or on the Career & Professional Development office, whether they graduated three months or 30 years ago.

We’re Here for You
Stop into Todd Wehr Hall and visit the Career & Professional Development team. We have lots of resources and people here to help.

Liberal Arts at Work

By Maureen Pratt ’02

My first corporate job was with a large management-consulting firm in Washington, D.C. In my first week I was asked to report to the Pentagon to support a political appointee with speechwriting and public affairs. Sheer panic. Would I get lost? (Yes.) Would I say something silly? (Assuredly.) What is the difference between the Marines and the Navy? (Water, and a whole lot more, apparently). 

I was amazed by how much I learned and grew as a communicator while working in the Pentagon. My clients were very tough – and my writing and thinking skills were called on every day.

I had been fortunate to attend a Benedictine high school where I was introduced early to the liberal arts, and the teachers there promoted my natural curiosity (and spiritual growth, which led me to my choice of a Catholic college). When I learned that there were colleges that actually taught (and applauded!) such skills, I was hooked. 

I chose English as a major on my first day at St. Norbert and never strayed from that path or regretted it later. 

Situations like my experience at the Pentagon bring me back to my favorite William Faulkner quote: “A writer needs three things: experience, observation and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.” These words can be applied to more than just writing. In a perfect scenario, we are drawing from all three of these activities in our daily work. I have learned so much about balancing those three ideas at work, and have benefited tremendously as a result.

I am frequently called on to lend a hand in deciphering complicated, dense topics. But for me this is an exciting challenge. I’m now working in corporate communications at Bechtel, a global engineering and construction company with more than 50,000 employees around the world. With hundreds of large-scale infrastructure and construction projects around the globe and a diverse workforce, critical-thinking skills are key.

Often, my speeches, papers and reports are reviewed more than 10 times before being considered “final.” And as any writer will reluctantly admit, falling in love with your own words is common. These writing projects bring me back to the painful, yet important days of Advanced Critical Writing during my senior year at St. Norbert. I remember being incensed when Stan Matyshak (English) tore apart several papers during the first few months of the semester. His words echo in my mind: “If you aren’t deleting at least one-third of your words in a single paragraph, the paper is too wordy.” This class taught me to lessen my grip on the personal aspect of writing – to detach from the words as only mine and recognize the value of editors.

At St. Norbert we are trained to seek truth through collaboration, learning and listening. For me, this natural curiosity is what drives my professional life, and gives me a distinct perspective that my colleagues may not share. I remember when I chose my degree while sitting in a warm and welcoming office on the third floor of Boyle. I knew that a liberal arts degree would challenge me and drive me to look at the world in new ways. Turns out those lessons never stop coming.