Once a Coug, always a Coug
Transfer student Carrie Colbert earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies at WSU, graduating in 2009, and then earning an MBA at Grand Canyon University. She currently works for ALSCO, a linen company.
One of her tips for current students: ask for help when [you need] help and remember “that you become part of a family once you graduate.”
Colbert said the best way to search for jobs after graduation is by leaning into the network of fellow Cougs. She hadn’t realized at first how many Cougs worked in her company.
One of Colbert’s favorite memories of her time in Pullman was being part of ZZU Crew and going to watch basketball games. She said it was a great way to network with other students. She became involved with the WSU alumni network after graduation and now the president of the WSU Alumni Association Arizona chapter.
Colbert recommends the O*NET website: recent grads can search for job descriptions, common occupations in different zip codes, and salary ranges.
For Colbert, who completed her studies through WSU Global, participated in commencement at WSU Pullman. “It was amazing because fellow Cougs are everywhere after the ceremony” and she was able to celebrate with her daughter, her family, and other Cougs on campus.
Carrie Nisco, a spring 2022 graduate, said if graduates know exactly what they want, they should keep their energy running and take that next step to work toward their dream job.
If graduates fall under the umbrella of people who might not know what they want, she said, there is no pressure to figure life out immediately. It is easy to compare oneself to other graduates—see them enter graduate school or internships—and feel behind. She said everyone is different and does not take the same path, and she encourages students to not be hard on themselves right after graduation.
“Your whole life has been building for this moment and you lose momentum when you’re out [cuz] you’re not constantly occupied,” she said.
Nisco majored in biology and is thinking of pursuing a career in healthcare in the future. Currently she is working as a paraeducator, a job that is contributing to her resume and skill development.
After graduation, she has been able to reconnect with family and the hobbies she did not have time for during college.
Zaya Tsengelmaa, a bioengineering pre-med student who minored in mathematics, was a spring 2022 graduate as well. Her advice is to make connections in the industry you have your sights on and to improve your LinkedIn profile.
Tsengelmaa said it is important to remember to message college friends and stay in touch. She has friends all over the world, with whom she still talks with regularly, and she is planning to visit a friend in Germany soon.
Timothy Hogg started out as a broadcast journalism major but switched to English when he returned to WSU after taking a few years off from school.
Hogg reminded soon-to-graduate students that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Students should not feel like they should [already] know the material. If they need support, they can reach out to their classmates and professors.
He advocates staying involved while on campus, He worked at the Daily Evergreen for a semester and was involved in creating the Student Entertainment Board (SEB). Both positions bolstered his resume and his skills.
He also said Cougs are all over the world, a message which seems to resonate with many, and “life is all about connections.” Hogg taught English in China for one year in 2005 and still keeps in touch with people he met along the way.
Hogg graduated with his bachelor’s degree when he was 29 and then completed a year of graduate school at WSU. The 2009 commencement ceremony had [a lot of] meaning for him because he was not “just checking a box.”
“Pullman’s always got a special place in my heart,” he said.
Adapted from the Daily Evergreen story by Julia Messegee.