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For students, getting hired before graduation is no easy feat on its own, but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more difficult.

Chanler Niemi, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economics and finance major, beat the odds and landed a position as mutual fund administration analyst at US Bank in Milwaukee ahead of her spring 2021 graduation.

Given the circumstances, Niemi, of Kimberly, considers being hired before graduation a huge relief. She believes that starting her career search early allowed her to keep her options open and find the position that fit her best.

“When I was looking for positions, I really wanted to find something in investment finance. Of course, a job description only tells one so much about a position. Therefore, I decided to apply and ask questions about the position. During the interview, I found that this position was exactly what I was looking for,” she said.

Niemi largely credits her exciting new job offer to the amount and variety of internships that she has participated in during her time at UW Oshkosh.

“I took a risk and applied for internships that said ‘juniors only’ as a freshman in college. This allowed me to get an internship earlier and grow my experience portfolio,” she said. “Because I had so many different experiences, it allowed me to be a well-rounded candidate who could easily adapt to different work environments.”

Her internships included working as a financial intern in financial shared services at US Venture and as a global purchasing finance intern at Oshkosh Corp. where she trained employees across the globe on a new technology called PowerBi.

As a member of the UWO Honors College and lead fund manager for the Student-Managed Endowment Fund (SMEF), Niemi also accredits her education and being involved in opportunities around campus for her success.

“UWO has prepared me in a variety of ways for my upcoming career. It allowed me to develop and learn more about the professional world in a hands-on setting. The different hands-on opportunities set me apart from a lot of other candidates,” she said. “Also, SMEF has allowed me to exemplify my leadership ability and put my teamwork skills to use.”

Jennifer Buelow Fischer, the undergraduate programs director for the College of Business, was unsurprised by the news of Niemi being hired before graduation.

“Chanler is an incredible person, student and business professional. In the classroom, she is an engaged learner and demonstrates her intellectual curiosity by asking thoughtful questions. She maximizes every experience and utilizes campus resources to succeed. She also consistently volunteers for student panels and leadership roles.

“Chanler has an incredibly bright future and we are lucky to have her as an alumna of UW Oshkosh College of Business,” Fischer said.

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