All throughout his high school years, Brett Burger was determined to be an English and theatre teacher. However, by his second semester at Winona State University, he was having second thoughts.
“I was still devoted to theatre, but I had doubts about whether teaching was the career for me,” said Burger, of Andover, Minn.
Thanks to WSU’s personalized approach to student success and dedicated faculty and staff, Burger was able to define a new path forward, one that led him to step right into a full-time job at Lyric Arts in Anoka, Minn., after graduating in May 2016 with a double major in public relations and theatre.
“WSU introduced me to the field of public relations and helped me think about new ways to make a career out of my love for the performing arts,” Burger said. “Combining these two passions, I was lucky enough to graduate with a full time position in PR at a professional theater.”
Burger’s experience is pretty consistent with the data WSU collects on alumni job placement rates, according to DeAnna Goddard, Associate Director of Career Services at WSU.
“More than 92 percent of WSU graduates get jobs in a field of employment related to their major within one year of graduation,” said Goddard. “Fully 98 percent of WSU grads are employed on either a full-time or part-time basis.”
In addition, because WSU alumni are highly employable and easily secure employment after graduation, WSU boasts a federal loan default rate of 3.9 percent, the lowest in the Minnesota State system and far lower than the national average of 11.3 percent.
For Burger, all this translates to many fond memories of his personal and professional growth at WSU and a bright and successful future ahead.
“I really felt like a student and not a number. That analogy is used a lot, but it really does embody what Winona State University is,” he said. “I was close with my professors. I felt like I could get help when I needed it because they knew who I was. Everyone at that university that I ever had contact with wanted me to succeed, and I’m forever grateful for them.”
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