WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Wichita State University’s website says nearly 74% of WSU students are employed in Kansas within a year of graduating-but what about those students that are still struggling from last year’s graduating class? There are university tools that can also help the alumni of WSU too. 

“I just felt like school had been holding me back from doing career endeavors a little bit,” said Erin Dugan, class of 2023 graduate. 

This time last year Dugan was thrilled to get her degree from Wichita State University, but now she’s looking back on that decision with mixed emotions. 

“I’m like why did I do that? It feels silly,” said Dugan. 

She got her degree in English and creative writing with hopes to either work as a songwriter or in a publishing house. 

 

“So I have applied to several jobs with publishing houses, I just haven’t heard back,” said Dugan. 

In fact, she says she’s applied to over 50 jobs, many not even in her field just trying to make ends meet. Now she’s working in retail and forced to move back home to Oklahoma because of the unsuccessful career search. 

“So now I’m just kinda starting at the bottom. Square one,” said Dugan. 

But now she’s starting at square one with more than $25,000 in student loan debt. 

“Why are we encouraging people to take out loans to go to school if there’s not really a guarantee that they’ll get a job in what they went to school for,” asked Dugan. 

That’s why Wichita State University offers its students career readiness resources in the Marcus Welcome Center. It has an entire career accelerator program with 3 full time career coaches and a program specialist. These tools can be used by current students and alumni of WSU. 

“Our biggest goal is purpose. You know, more than anything it's not particularly difficult to find a job per say but to find something that you find fulfilling something that allows you to really utilize your strengths and really find that purpose in life is a big thing we focus on,” said Aaron Evans, WSU career coach.

WSU offers workshops, one on one appointments, resource guides, and pop ups showcasing how to be successful after graduating. 

“Confidence is the biggest thing and perseverance. It’s not too late, it's never too late. The goal is more so to change your approach, figure out what’s gonna be successful, and then chase that as much as you can,” said Evans.