Michael Zaremba Jr.

Year of Graduation: December 2009

Where are you working?  Briefly what does your job entail?

I am the Director of Graduate Relations and Recruitment at the Morris Graduate School of Management, a division of Robert Morris University Chicago.  My job has two main objectives: Working with students during all aspects of the graduate admissions process and I also work with companies to encourage a positive relationship with the University.  In addition to this, I have plenty of other enjoyable work that keeps me busy.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most? Find the most challenging?

I enjoy being able to take on the challenges presented to me, because our organization is rapidly expanding and this provides me with many opportunities for leadership.  I also love knowing that I am working to bring about positive changes to students’ lives as I help them towards realizing their higher education goals.

The most challenging aspect is time management and this will become more difficult as I simultaneously work, purchase a condo in Chicago, and pursue my M.B.A. degree full time at the Morris Graduate School of Management.  I am confident that the time management skills that I developed at Illinois Wesleyan University between music, German, and biology courses will make this as easy as it can be.

How has your major or minor in German helped you after graduation? How are you using the language, communication, or the intercultural communication skills you learned in the program?

I work with a number of international students, including several from German speaking countries.  German international students are attracted to our program because it is built around two key industries typically associated with Germans: banking/business and technology.  On my first day at the job, we received a phone call from a German student, whose answering machine was in German! I knew I had studied the right language for my career interests!

Studying language beyond the 300 level developed stronger writing, interpersonal, presentation and communication skills.  I work with many international students and can relate to them easier knowing just how difficult it is to communicate complex ideas and questions in a second language!

Has your job given you any insight as to what you would like to pursue as a career?

I am going to begin working on my M.B.A. degree in May, because I have seen the enormous benefits of it!  I really enjoy working in higher education and would like to remain here for a while, because great coworkers, who work as a team, surround me. Medicine and musicology are always options for me.

What advice would you give to any German majors or minors searching for a job?

Pursue every opportunity as if it were the only one.  I did not think I would get hired for my current job, because of the current economic climate and competition.  I submitted the application and it turned out to be my best decision!  Every candidate I beat out for the job had a master’s degree. I was the only one who had a bachelors and I was able to get the position, because of the strength of my IWU education.

Double major or study a wide range of curriculum to diversify yourself from others, visit the IWU Career Center for preparing a resume/cover letter, and always write thank you notes after interviews! Networking is essential!