Skip Navigation

What was your first job after graduating?

A graduation tassel with a pendant of the W crest is pictured with a University of Wisconsin-Madison diploma cover on May 1, 2014. The picture was created to promote UW-Madison’s upcoming commencement ceremony. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

In light of graduation season, we asked Badgers to share what their first post-graduation job was.


Editorial assistant in New York. After a few years, I changed direction and went to law school.

Bette Bardeen

Nutrition label testing

Pam Foy-Gilmore

Assistant professor

Toni Culjak

Physical therapist — loved my profession!

Mary Sweeney

Teaching second grade

Jacqueline Hirsch

Right after earning my master's degree from the ed psych department, I got my first job as a school psychologist in the Sauk Prairie School District.

Rene Hallen

OB nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee — first six months postpartum, then went to labor and delivery

Sue Voss Mours

Radio reporter/anchor, WIBA AM and FM

Karen Litscher Johnson

I served in AmeriCorps for the two years after I graduated from the UW, working in a literacy program at a high school outside of Portland, Oregon. And after going back for a year at another university for my MAT degree, my first real job after college (not "volunteer") was as a high school English teacher.

Megan Brown

RN at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee

Gail Golembiewski Ryan

AmeriCorps after a BA in history, 2007

Amy Erickson

Internal Revenue Service

Kim Schmit

A registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester!

Emily Vore

Graduated with a botany bachelor's and then worked in an independent kitchen store. I’ve now owned my own independent kitchen store for 19 years! You never know how that degree will be used!

Bekah Stelling

Premanagement trainee at Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation

Pamela Filler

I worked as a quality control microbiologist at a company called Gibco. It was a great experience.

Ken Hagen

My degree from UW–Madison was in math education, and my first job was as a math teacher. Success!

Mary Catherine Durst Giffin

Nine days after commencement in May 1990, I started as a process chemist at the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Lori Hoffman

I was an RN at Highland Park Hospital in Illinois. After two years, I returned to Madison and worked as an RN at UW Hospital and Clinics for 36 years.

Sue Jaeger Benck

After getting my master's degree at UW–Madison, combined with completing the two-year pharmacy administrative residency program at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, I took the position of assistant director of pharmacy services at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio.

James Jim Rinehart

2nd Lt., U.S. Army Armor.

Bob Lawrence

Organic chemist — the start of my career as a food-and-drug regulatory attorney. It’s all about the means to your ultimate goal.

Mike Goodman

Quality assurance at Schoep's Ice Cream

Hannah Parkhurst

Americorps program in Baltimore at a job-training program for CNAs and pharm techs. I never even visited the city but packed up two boxes of clothes, shipped them out, and got on a plane to move on out!

Stephanie Hook

Zoology degree then off to Indianapolis Zoo to be a keeper in the forests and deserts biome.

Kirsten C Theisen

Working for Cheap Trick's manager in Madison — he drove a Ferrari and his office just off State Street had gold records on the walls. Classic. Leading the music and entertainment committee that booked all the bands in the Rathskeller and on the Terrace for my senior year was instrumental in getting that gig. Thanks WUD!

Alex Hofmann

I was a carpenter’s helper in Stoughton, Wisconsin, after graduating. Went on to be a press secretary for a member of congress in the U. S. House of Representatives. Finished my career in marketing communications.

James Reck

Script supervisor in the Israeli film industry. Actually started that quote way before graduation.

Esty Dinur


See more responses in the Facebook post here!

If you have a memory, milestone, career news, etc. please share with us here!

Featured News and Stories

Join us for Recent-Grad Weekend on campus June 7–8 for two days packed with all-inclusive summertime fun. Register now before it sells out!