Student Success Stories
On a regular basis, Career Services aims to share some of our student successes in a variety of experiences.
We celebrate the success of our current students who:
- are completing/have completed internship
- completed one of our professional skills courses
- made successful networking connections through our Career Services events
- and so much more.
Sgt. Joseph Pavelsek
Student Success Story: Sgt. Joseph Pavelsek
By: Lydia Westedt
Sergeant Joseph Pavelsek, born and raised in Burlington, Wisconsin, is a non-traditional student here at UW Oshkosh with a success story worth reading. Next spring, Sgt. Pavelsek will be graduating with a BA in History, International Studies, and a minor in Criminal Justice. His life so far has been an interesting journey, full of experiences and accomplishments. For Sgt. Pavelsek, the path to pursuing his goals has always been clear, and it started with joining the military.
Now a US Army Military Police officer, Sgt. Pavelsek described his decision to join the military as an easy one, as he was “always the kid playing soldier” when he was growing up. Pavelsek explained by saying, “[joining the military] was the easiest way for someone like me who was born kind of poor to make an impact on history.” Pavelsek describes himself as a “huge history nerd.” He is especially well-versed on the history of France during the Napoleonic wars, Imperial Rome, and WWII Germany, as military history is his favorite history subject.
Post high school graduation, Pavelsek joined the Army after 1 semester at Gateway Technical College, and was immediately deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While deployed, he worked for one year as a guard at the detention camp in Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. During his deployment he studied online through Gateway Technical College, taking courses in Criminal Justice. He graduated from Gateway after his return, and began continuing his education at UW Oshkosh. After one year at Oshkosh, he was deployed again to Cuba. Pavelsek remembers getting off the plane in Cuba the second time and realizing that Cuba had a distinctive and rather unpleasantly familiar smell; a smell that he would be inhaling for one more year while he served out his deployment. He recalled his service with a dutiful attitude, saying “I was doing what I joined the military to do.”
This past March, Pavelsek returned from Guantanamo Bay. Since then he has been working hard to finish his degrees, and has also been putting time into his on-campus job in the Veterans Resource Center. In the Veterans Resource Center, Pavelsek works to help military students like himself receive their benefits for school. Sergeant Pavelsek will be spending this summer in the Army Reserves.
This semester, Pavelesk recalled utilizing the Career Closet on campus in the Career & Professional Development office. He was able to pick up a pair of name brand dress shoes to add to his wardrobe. The Career Closet it run on a donation basis, and is a free resource for all UW Oshkosh students. It is a great place to drop off unwanted clothing items, or take home other items free of cost. All the Career Closet items are considered proper for professional dress, making it easy to expand your professional wardrobe without draining your wallet.
Pavelesk’s urges students to “figure out what you want to do before you go to college,” and understand that college shouldn’t be a “huge rush.” His advice for other college students is to just “do what you love, or work to be able to do what you love.”
Thank you for your service, Joseph, the amazing story, and best of luck to you in the future!
If you’d like to visit the Career Closet to add to your wardrobe, make plans to stop by Career & Professional Development in the Student Success Center 125 anytime during business hours. Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 17:00 and Friday 08:00 – 15:00.
Student Success Story — Trevon Prescott
Written by: Menickalay Yancey
Trevon Prescott is a senior here at UWO, majoring in Human Services Leadership. As a Human Services Leadership major, he looks forward to playing a very important role in society by helping individuals, families, and communities successfully cope with developmental problems or issues related to personal, social and/or environmental problems. For fun, Trevon likes to go out to eat, go to the movie theater, hang out with friends, and play basketball in UWO’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
Trevon currently works for Aurora Health Care Medical Center, a position he obtained through the Career Fair on the Fox, as a food service assistant. His role is to prepare food trays and deliver them to the requested rooms and towards the end of his shift, he cleans up and gets ready for another great day. Trevon says he loves his job because he gets to serve food to those we need it and he is able to give that extra caregiver support that each patient needs. He said it brings a smile to both him and the patient.
Trevon has completed several internships. At the Lighted School House, he helped with the after-school program that provides enrichment and homework help for elementary and middle school students. His duties were to tutor, mentor, and ensure safety on school grounds. Trevon’s second internship was at UWO’s Career & Professional Development office. His time was spent working in the Career Closet, with a goal of providing business attire for college students who needed it. His duties in the Career Closet were to make sure the closet was filled and organized with clothes for everyone and to promote the closet around the campus.
Trevon says his future plans are to start his own non-profit organization or to work for one, such as a summer program or College Possible center. His wise advice to students is, “Be positive no matter what and work through all of the distractions and let downs college may bring…time management and planning is everything…there is no exact time that you must graduate from college, just as long as you do.”
If you are considering an internship, check out Handshake for updated postings. Many organizations are already hiring for summer 2019. Don’t forget there are also many opportunities to earn academic credit for your internship. L&S students can earn academic credit through many departments or through the Interdisciplinary Studies 399: L&S Internship course. You can find more details about that course here.
Student Success Story – Austin Lee
Written by: Austin Lee
My name is Austin Lee; I am a Communications major with a Minor in Political Science. I enjoy playing sports, hanging out with my friends and meeting new people. I am currently a Career Resource Specialist (CRS) at the front desk in the Career and Professional Development office. As a CRS, I provide assistance for any visitor who comes into our office. I help students set up their handshake accounts, set appointments for Students and Alumni if they need career advising and, I can review and help with students resumes. I obtained my CRS position through Handshake as a work study-job. Work-study awards on your FAFSA is definitely a benefit to have as a student because many campus jobs require it. With that being said, having work-study can give you an advantage. Handshake has also given me other opportunities as well. I am also a Promotions and Script intern through the UW Oshkosh Athletic department. For my Promotions and Script Internship, I assist with the graphic board, sounds, and promotions on Titan game days. I am also a Peer Mentor for incoming Freshman on campus. As a Peer Mentor, I assist Freshman with the transition from high school to college by sitting in their Quest 1 class and making them feel comfortable and welcomed.
These jobs give me transferable professional skills that I can apply to my future in many ways. I am able to conduct myself more appropriately in professional situations. I have also strengthened my communication, listening, computer and time-management skills. My plans for the future are very open. My ultimate goal as a person is to make a change in society one way or another. I love helping others and feeling accomplished. I think that with these characteristics, I can make a difference in my lifetime. Whether the difference be small or large, I want to be able to look back on my career and feel satisfied and live with no regrets. As cliché as it sounds, it’s the way I want to be.
Some advice for incoming students would be to get involved and stay involved. Getting your name out there is essential and could take you to magnificent places and lead to awesome things. My other piece of advice would be to live every single day to the fullest, use your time wisely and stay efficient. Also, if you are a student who is curious about how Handshake works and how you can find a work-study position, come on into the Career and Professional Development office, and we will help you out!
Visit Handshake now to search for and apply for campus jobs, internships or summer jobs!
Student Success Story – Cameron Schneider
Written by: Maggie Smith
Cameron Schneider is a Senior here at UWO, majoring in Business Management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. He chose this path not only for his love of business, but also for future profit and management opportunities. In Cameron’s free time, he enjoys being active and spending time outdoors doing activities like fishing and hiking. He is also very involved in the Marketing and Sales club as an executive board member: VP of Sales. He enjoys the leadership in this position and ability to be creative whilst learning from other student members and speakers.
Throughout college, Cameron has had two internships. His first was at Snap-Tools as a part of the Technology Operations Department, and the other was for Directional Construction Services as an Assistant Project Manager. Cameron was able to secure both internships through his outstanding networking skills and in his attendance of the Career Fair on the Fox here at the University. He emphasizes the importance of constantly being aware of who you’re talking to, because “they could always be a piece to the puzzle of your next professional position. You never know what opportunity could come your way next or who your future employer might be”, Cameron said.
Currently, Cameron is working part time for Pieper Power, again as a Project Manager. He plans to continue his career there in hopes of building a long term relationship post graduation. Additionally, he and his business partner have founded CNM Liquidations, LLC in which they work together in buying used technology and selling it to consumers at an affordable price. Cameron also has another business plan in the works for the near future.
A piece of advice to other students that Cameron offered, is “if you ever feel like you have a good idea for a business or maybe a new invention, don’t be afraid to take the risk and go after it. You truly never know what you can accomplish!”.
Great job, Cameron and good luck!
If you are an undeclared student or interested in learning more about the many different majors offered here at UWO, consider checking out ‘Major Connections’! A chance to meet with upper-class students from over 20 majors, ask questions, and hear experiences! Also, don’t forget to check out the majors in the School of Business to learn more about why Cameron chose his major and emphasis! Learn more about Major Connections on Handshake.
Shannon Gaffney – Student Success Story
Written by: Maggie Smith
Please congratulate Shannon Gaffney as Career Services next student success story! Shannon is a Senior from Sun Prairie, WI who is majoring in Public Relations. Public Relations is a unique field in that it is very versatile, including aspects of journalism, communications, advertising, marketing, and even event planning. This versatility is what attracted Shannon to the major and made her switch from HR to PR so late in the game her junior year!
After attending the Career Fair her sophomore year, Shannon made great connections which allowed her to obtain a ‘Global Strategy and Marketing’ internship position with Oshkosh Corp. On a daily basis, she manages social media, implements photo shoots, creates press kits, does market research, and many more activities. After getting her first taste of Public Relations, Shannon fell in love with her major and can’t imagine doing anything else.
After having so much success after the Career Fair and currently in her internship, Shannon’s advice is, “Don’t be afraid to take risks and shoot for opportunities that may seem outside your comfort or experience level”.
You never know what could happen!
If you’d like to practice your networking skills in hopes of success like Shannon, please consider attending the Career and Internship Fair May 1, from 11:30-2:00. See you there!
Check out the more than 40+ companies and organizations who will be attending the fair here! This fair is a “come as you are” fair and while professional dress is encouraged it is not expected. Stop by between classes and start making connections now for full-time, career ready jobs and internships!