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Malik Jackson, May 2016

Major: Psychology and Human Services w/ concentration in Criminal Justice
Title: Activity Assistant
Employer: North Dakota State Hospital


Why did you choose to stay in North Dakota after graduation?
I chose to stay in North Dakota to take advantage of the opportunities that I had around me. I gave graduate school a consideration but I know before I make that leap I need to continue to build and add on to my experience as I work towards becoming a professional.


How did you find this position?
I actually came across this position thanks to the internship I completed at Barnes County Social Services. There was a position that was going to open up within that department that the ladies I worked with told me to keep an eye out for on the nd.gov website, so I did just that. As I was searching for that position I came across an opening at the North Dakota State Hospital as an Activity Assistant in Adult Psychiatric Services so I applied.


Did you complete an internship as a student? If so, what skills did you build that help you today?
I completed my internship with Barnes County Social Services – Child Protection Services. To me this was an opportunity of a life time. Although some days consisted of only paper work, other days consisted of me being out in the field. The internship really opened my eyes to the reality that we have many issues within our communities that so many of us are unaware of. This opportunity reassured me that I was in the right field of work, and that I want to make a difference working with populations that need the most help.


How did VCSU prepare you for this position?
Not only did VCSU help me prepare for this position through the classes, the professors helped me during my application process and afterwards. My advisor ALWAYS has her door open for me and is willing to help me out any way that she can, whether it’s just updating her on how everything is going or her relating something from her past to what I may encounter in the field. I felt that in the field of Psychology you can only learn so much in a classroom, the real learning begins when you are placed in the field. Now that I have graduated and am gaining that experience everything I went through at VCSU is becoming clearer.


What advice would you offer to VCSU seniors?
When it comes to education you get what you put in. If you sit in class and are simply “just there” you’re not going to learn anything, let alone want to come back tomorrow. Get involved, participate, ask questions, express your opinion, keep the conversations going, do whatever it is that keeps your interest in the topic going. Get to know your professors/advisors, they are there to help you succeed and are your greatest resource.

Jordan Aus, Dec. 2014

Major: Social Studies Education
Job Title: High School Social Studies Teacher
Employer: West Fargo Sheyenne High School

Why did you choose to stay in North Dakota after graduation?
I’ve chosen to stay in North Dakota because I’ve made so many fantastic connections with other people in education here in North Dakota. Also, North Dakota has a special place in my heart and it’d be very difficult to leave.

How did you find this position? I found out about my position from West Fargo Public Schools district website.

Did you complete an internship as a student? If so, what skills did you build that help you today? Does Student teaching count? If so, it taught me how to independently problem solve in a professional environment. The experience of the workplace is second to none when preparing yourself for whatever career it is that you’ve chosen.

How did VCSU prepare you for this position? VCSU prepared me by giving me so many opportunities to grow both academically and socially. In any profession it’s extremely important to be personable and the great people around Valley City State helped me to grow as a person and taught me to always leave a positive impression with anyone I meet. I attribute my growth and success in my career thus far to the Coaches (Football and Track and field), professors (Dr. Dutton and Dr. King especially), and other staff of VCSU (Thinking of the Student Center Staff). It’s the people that wear the cardinal and white, that represent VCSU, that truly make it a life changing institution.

What advice would you offer to VCSU seniors? Never burn a bridge and always leave a good impression on the people you meet. Every connection you make from here on out will be important to you both personally and professionally, so make sure it’s a positive one. Finally, always remember where you came from, and try to give back one way or another.

We All Row

KaSaundra Peterson, Dec. 2016

Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Management
Job Title: Administrative Assistant

Why did you choose to stay in North Dakota after graduation?

I decided to stay in North Dakota because I was offered this job, this campus has become a new home, and it is close to family.

How did you find this position?

I was offered this position by Charlene Stenson. I also had a foot in the door since I have worked on campus for my entire time on campus.

Did you complete an internship as a student? If so, what skills did you build that help you today?

I completed an internship at Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in Fargo, ND as a Hospitality Intern. Along with creating a life long friendships, I developed skills that I will use in the workplace including communication, organization, multi-tasking, and an understanding of the industry and solidifying that I am going into the right career path.

How did VCSU prepare you for this position?

Through attending VCSU I have learned some of the “hidden” secrets to campus that will help me with questions at the enrollment services office. Through classes I have learned different skills that help me with data entry, financials, and managing situation that may arise in the office.

What advice would you offer to VCSU seniors?

I would tell them that it is never to early to start looking for jobs. Using LinkedIn and Indeed.com to find jobs that were relevant into what I was looking for were the best resources for me but networking and putting your foot in the door at potential workplaces helps a lot as well. Sending an email or letter to a workplace that you want to work at could land you a job, if you show interest they may think about seeing if they have the room for your expertise.