Life After the Diploma

Ball State alumni reflect on their post-graduation experiences. 

<p>Featured Image by Alex Bracken</p>

Featured Image by Alex Bracken

According to the Ball State Hiring Guide for Employers, during the 2019-2020 year, Ball State had a 95 percent job placement rate with 81 percent of graduates employed in their field of study.  

Marquice Gee graduated from Ball State with her bachelor’s degree in 2019 with a major in business administration and a minor in spanish. She has been working full time for Simon Property Group in downtown Indianapolis for the last year and a half. 

Provided by Marquice Gee

“I actually had two job offers by the middle of the first semester, so I pretty much had a job lined up for when I got out of school, but those were different companies. The job I have now was harder to find,” says Marquice.

She received the two job offers during her senior year at the Ball State career fair. She accepted one of the jobs and began a month later.

“During that time period, I landed a position working out of the country, so I left that job and I ended up working for six months in the Dominican Republic for Hilton,” Marquice says. 

When Marquice came home from the Dominican Republic, COVID had just started to break out in the U.S. She says she was supposed to begin working in Mexico but turned down the job offer due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic which put her back in the job search mode. 

According to Marquice, one thing she wishes she paid more attention to in her career were transferable skills such as the ability to communicate with others and problem solving because those are things employers look for the most. 

“Finding a job is a little different when you are just coming out of school and you are fresh and sparkly and shiny to your employers,” she says. “But around the three or four month mark, you are not as sparkly and shiny and new, so the appeal kind of wears off.”

When she returned from the Dominican Republic, she decided to live with her parents in Indianapolis. 

“I literally went from living at school, to moving out of the country, so I never even had the chance to have a place of my own,” she says. “When I got back, it just seemed more fitting for me to stay with my parents.”

Marquice says that she has adjusted “50/50” to life after graduation. She admits that her experience was unique.

“Living on campus there was really no cooking or chores or anything, and when I moved out of the country I was living in a hotel so I had room service. People were literally coming and making my bed, doing my laundry, so I really had no adult responsibilities,” she says. “Coming back home and waking up on a random Tuesday and my mom asking me to do dishes and all this stuff, like I have done it, I know how to do it, but it has been so long.” 

Another Ball State graduate, Mitch Dudley, graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 2016 with a double major in finance and business administration and a minor in economics. He also received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Ball State in 2018. 

Provided by Mitch Dudley

Mitch now works at the National Bank of Indianapolis in the downtown area working as a loan portfolio manager in private banking. He also volunteers at Ball State to assist the president’s office during commencement every spring, summer and winter. 

Mitch started his current job in December 2020. He says they typically take new hires around all ten floors of the building and introduce them to everyone on their first day. However, because of the pandemic, the people were not allowed to travel between floors. 

“I had never even met some of the people in-person I had been working with,” he says. “Now I have met everyone in-person, but it has been weird because up until May, we were working remotely.” 

Throughout his six years attending Ball State, Mitch lived at home with his parents, who were only a 10-15 minute drive from campus. 

While completing his undergraduate degree, Mitch worked in transportation at Ball State as a dispatcher for five years. While completing his MBA, not only was he still working as a dispatcher, he also began working for the department of finance and insurance. 

“I was used to that kind of five-day-a-week grind,” he says. “I think that personally made the transition to professional life much easier because I was used to that kind of pace, coming into the professional world.”

Mitch says he believes his business classes provided an understanding he needed about how the world works.

Whether it’s moving to the Dominican Republic or staying close in downtown Indy, everyone has a different experience upon graduation.

Sources: Ball State University 

Images: Provided by Marquice Gee and Mitch Dudley

Featured Image: Alex Bracken

For more magazine related content, visit us at Ball Bearings Magazine


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