May 7, 2024

Wayne State graduates set for career success

College to Career
Graduates move the tassels on their caps.

From the moment they step onto campus until the day they graduate, Wayne State students gain an outstanding academic education from top-tier, Carnegie R1 faculty who are on the cutting edge of scholarly discovery and use innovative, engaging methods in their teaching that connect to Detroit’s rich resources. Through the College to Career initiative, Wayne State students put classroom knowledge “to work” in real-world settings and prepare for the rigors and challenges of their future careers. These applied “learning by doing” experiences include internships, job shadows and mentorship with partners throughout the region, as well as opportunities to conduct, publish, and present research in journals and at symposia; clinical experiences in local hospitals and health care centers; performance experiences in Detroit’s vibrant cultural district or studying abroad; and more.

“Our goal is to provide every one of our students important hands-on opportunities before they graduate that allow them to apply their classroom learning in the world, learn by doing, gain deeper insights and new perspectives, and prepare for prosperous careers,” said President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “We’re so proud of our graduates and know that they have bright and exciting futures.”

This spring, more than 3,800 Warriors graduated, including many whose applied learning experiences have already kickstarted their careers. Below are a few whose journeys exemplify Wayne State’s College to Career initiative:

Ashley Jones

College of Engineeringbachelor of science in mechanical engineering

Ashley Jones will join Ford Motor Company as a product development engineer.

Ashley Jones is set to defy stereotypes as she pursues a career in mechanical engineering in the heavily male-dominated automotive industry. Inspired by her upbringing and fueled by her passion for cars, she has secured internships at Ford and garnered numerous scholarships. With a track record of academic excellence, mentorship by leading professors, hands-on career experiences and active involvement in engineering student organizations, Ashley is poised to excel in her role as a product development engineer at Ford Motor Co., following in the footsteps of her mother, who has been an engineer at the company for nearly three decades.


Sydney Nowak

School of Social Workbachelor of social work

Sydney Nowak will enroll in the School of Social Work's master's program.

Sydney Nowak, named the School of Social Work’s BSW Student of the Year, has gained experiences focused her career goals on understanding the importance of human-animal relationships. She completed an impactful practicum placement at the Michigan Humane, and as a Social Work Peer Support Mentor partnered with Go Team Therapy, Crisis and Airport Dogs to provide animal assisted therapy to students. Nowak will begin the expedited Master of Social Work program immediately after graduation to further equip herself with the skills necessary to facilitate animal assisted therapy in her future practice.  


Max O’Rourke

Irvin D. Reid Honors College bachelor of science in finance

Max O'Rourke will join Deloitte as an associate business analyst.

Highly engaged in academics and activities outside the classroom, Max O’Rourke gained the competencies and connections necessary to expedite his career. O’Rourke served as President of the Mike Ilitch School of Business’ Financial Management Association, where peers gained familiarity with the financial world through career mentorship, speaker events, and partnerships with the Detroit Chartered Financial Analysts Chapter, the Detroit Economic Club and the Investment Professionals for Charity. O’Rourke, also named one of the Ilitch School’s prestigious 25 Under 25 and competes on Wayne State’s nationally ranked golf team.  After completing several internships to build skills in business development, client management, risk advising, and Max will begin his career as an associate business analyst at Deloitte — where he most recently interned — this summer.

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