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Updated Programs
Alumni Spotlight
Career Search FAQs
Graduation Reception
Webinar Recording


Volume 5  |  Issue 2

August 2015



The West Alumni Connection is pleased to provide a new resource to our graduates. Western International University® (West) has partnered with Internships.com to offer students—and now alumni as well—access to thousands of virtual and local internships and job opportunities. First, you may want to access The Internship Predictor, a tool to help align your interests with professional opportunities. Once you’ve targeted your search, you can upload career documents created within your OpitmalResumeTM account, such as your resume and professional website. Read on to learn more about this new career resource.


What is Internships.com?
Internships.com is one of the largest internship marketplaces bringing students, employers and higher education institutions together in one centralized location. It lists more than 100,000 internship and job positions from over 75,000 companies located in the United States as well as virtual (online) internships. Through Internships.com you can search for and get matched to internships and jobs in your area of interest, and create or upload your resume to apply directly to available positions.

What is West’s partnership with Internships.com?
We've partnered with Internships.com to bring the massive database of internship listings to our students and alumni. You have complimentary access to internship and job positions, creating or uploading a resume, and applying for the position.

Why would a working adult need an internship or use Internships.com?
If anyone is looking to change careers, this is a great service for them to find and apply for internships and jobs in their new industry. Internships aren't just for the traditional college student—they are a great way to get your foot in the door of a company and gain work experience in a new field. Internships.com reports that seven out of ten internships turn into full time positions. The same reasons that students seek internships are also relevant to working adults: Gain work experience, add skills to your resume, try out a position with the potential for full-time employment, make new contacts, and potentially earn an income.

What kinds of positions are listed on Internships.com?
The stereotypical internship that we think of is a full-time summer job program. While those are also available through Internships.com, the majority of internship listings are for part-time work throughout the calendar year, and many are paid internships. In addition to paid internships, the site also lists unpaid internships, entry-level jobs, and student jobs.

What types of companies recruit on Internships.com?
With more than 75,000 companies posting to Internships.com, there are a wide array of companies offering internships in almost every industry. You’ll find listings from Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller, privately owned businesses.

How do I get started on Internships.com?
To register, log in to west.edu/alumni and click the Internships link from the Fast Track Career Tools page to access Internships.com. Set up an account and create your profile, and select how you want to receive custom internship and job match alerts--via email, mobile, or social networks.


New Career Tool

West's MA Innovative Leadership and
MS Information Systems programs are back!

Updated degree programs are now available for enrollment.

Every year at West's commencement ceremony, we hear our bachelor graduates telling us, "I wish you offered a master degree in ________." We're pleased to announce that two frequently requested master programs and a popular bachelor program have recently been updated for our online course format and are now open for enrollment. Click on each link below for complete program details.

Master of Arts in Innovative Leadership

Master of Science in Information Systems

Bachelor of Science in IT Management

If it's been awhile since you graduated from West, and you haven't yet taken that first step on the next stage of your educational journey, please visit west.edu to learn how we've made higher education more affordable and manageable in recent years. You can even try the first required course for your next degree with no money up front, to see if the online course format will be a good fit for you. We miss our grads and would love to see you back in class!

For more information about our programs, including important consumer disclosures, visit


Patient Administrative Liaison
Mayo Clinic
Scottsdale, AZ

When Rosie Lerma was growing up, she didn’t receive much recognition for her academic successes, and higher education was never considered a significant option for her future. By her mid-twenties, with almost no education and no employment history, she was a single mother of three children. According to Rosie, her choice to return to school was primarily to change the restricted views about women in higher education, and the decision to earn her degrees changed her life both professionally and personally.


Why did you decide to earn your degree?
In 1994, I decided to move forward with my education at a local community college with 1-2 classes per semester. Although I was able to earn a few credits from attending the community college, it was difficult to continue because of the non-flexibility in the schedule. In 2011, I earned a bachelor degree in Healthcare Administration and in the same year I began my Master of Arts in Innovative Leadership* at West.

Why did you select West?
From the very beginning, I felt partial to West and felt that West might be a good fit for me, so I started to dig deeper. From my first contact with my West enrollment representative, she became my cheerleader and provided excellent direction about West and their unique resources. I chose West because of the flexible, 8-week courses and because my previous college credits were accepted for transfer. Also, the resources like career coaching and OptimalResume would be helpful in enhancing my career. I continued with West because their advisors and faculty demonstrated that the best interest of the student is the only interest to consider.

What did you find most valuable about your experience at West?
During my program and under the mentorship of West faculty, the most valuable lesson learned was and still is to study and mirror great leaders. Indeed, many of my trusted and influential leaders taught at West. West faculty exemplifies integrity and a league of leaders that collaboratively share their wealth of knowledge and professional experience for the best interest of the student. This quote sums it up well: “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out leaders whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” —Warren Buffett.

What benefits did you gain from earning your degree?
I feel that earning my graduate degree changed my life from stagnant and limited job opportunities into several career pathways. One of my professors mentored the class on topics around resumes, cover letters, and interview questions and responses. It was clear from the professor’s perspective that the students’ professional achievement is a goal that relates to the significance of earning an educational degree. That guidance positively impacted my confidence and I was offered employment with one of the world’s most renowned hospitals.

What would you tell a friend who is thinking about going back to college?
My grandmother always used to say, “The older you become, the wiser you become.” My interpretation of this quote is that wisdom is attributed to life’s experiences. I would say to anyone thinking about higher education that earning a degree is an investment and that education is the extra key to unlocking our life’s experiences that brings us to a circle of knowledge, human connection and self-improvement.

Imagine having the knowledge of why we think the way we do. Imagine sustainable knowledge where we can learn about many of our past and present clinical psychologists, famous authors, historical educators, American economists and global leaders. Envision the unique value and depth of understanding both theoretical and practical thinking and problem solving. Envision the value in team and technical skills. Imagine your world of new knowledge in systematic methods to accomplish more in less time. Imagine the ability to lead your team/organization or your own business.

Education is gaining knowledge, gaining valuable concepts, perspectives, and promoting collective forward motion. In practice, the combination of education and life’s experiences create a well-defined individual.

What are your plans for the future?
I find much bliss in sharing my experiences with others. In the near future, my plans involve the opening of a nonprofit organization geared to our young women that promotes education, career development and economic independence. The nonprofit organization is a work in progress and the focus is to match disadvantaged women with successful powerful women who at one time struggled with the same issues. The program will match and allow younger women to build relationships with women in leadership roles.

My grandmother had another Spanish saying, “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres.” Translated, it means “Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.” The meaning of the saying is if you spend a lot of time with a certain type of people, you will start to become more like them. It is our responsibility to share our knowledge and experiences with the next generation. If we are expecting a change for the future, we need to begin creating the change today.

*For complete program information, including relevant career occupations, our on-time completion rates, and the median graduate debt incurred by students who completed their programs, visit

Rosie Lerma


Kathryn Scahill, NCC, DCC is a seasoned career coach and a university Associate Director of Career Counseling. Here, she answers a common question asked by job seekers:
What is the best way to find a job?


There are many means to searching for and obtaining a job, so it is difficult to know which method will land a position. Job search methods can be defined as either passive or active. It’s essential to cast a wide net and employ different strategies with a focus on more active approaches.

Passive job searching includes posting resumes online, sending resumes to job postings, and making general inquires via social media about opportunities. Any of these means can be made more effective through active engagement.

Applying for jobs is a necessary part of the process, but simply posting a resume online, or sending the same resume to each job listing, may not be effective. Writing a targeted cover letter and tailoring your resume to each opportunity will demonstrate to an employer that you took the time to read and understand the responsibilities of the position. This activity will also help you determine the most suitable jobs to apply for; quality is more important than quantity when it comes to sending out resumes.

In addition, plan to follow up on any jobs to which you have applied, to keep you engaged and on top of the process. Each time you apply for a job, make a note to follow up, with a phone call if possible, to inquire about the status of your application. This can be done one to two weeks after your initial application, and will help you both create a connection with the employer as well as determine if it is an opportunity you want to pursue.

Networking is often considered the best way to find a job, but simply posting on social media that you are looking for a job may not be effective, especially if it is not directed toward a specific person or is too vague to elicit responses. Targeted networking through professional organizations, informational interviews and introductions is a much more dynamic way to learn about career paths and opportunities.

Using a variety of active search methods, as well as making passive efforts more impactful, will ultimately help you create a winning job-search strategy A career coach can help you develop a strategy. All coaching is done via phone and email, so it is easy to schedule and connect with your coach and receive your complimentary one-hour coaching session by phone. In addition, you’ll be able to work with your coach via email for 12 months for ongoing questions and support. To register, log in to west.edu/alumni and click the Career Coaching link from the Fast Track Career Tools page.


Kathryn Scahill

Celebrate with the Class of 2015

In conjunction with our 2015 West Commencement Ceremony, West alumni and faculty are invited to celebrate with our graduating Class of 2015! West will host an evening reception the day before graduation. There will be no program or speaker; it's simply an informal gathering so that our new grads can visit the West campus and our alumni and faculty can welcome and congratulate them on their accomplishment. Complimentary refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you there!

DATE Friday, September 25, 2015
TIME 5 – 7 p.m. MST
WHERE West Tempe Campus

RSVP by 9/18

Graduation Celebration


The hackers are out there—what can you do to protect yourself? In a recent webinar, West alumnus and government Cyber Security Specialist Ashley Matteson discussed Internet safety and protecting your information, providing simple steps that you can take to protect your privacy. If you missed this event, no need to panic…you can still catch the recording.


Ashley Matteson

West Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, September 26

Alumni who would like to participate as event volunteers are invited to assist at West Commencement 2015 on Saturday September 26 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Volunteers check in at 11:30 a.m and assist until the ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m., and are welcome to attend the ceremony. If you are interested in helping out, please email hue.haslim@west.edu or call 602-429-1078 for more information.

Hue Haslim
Alumni/Career Resources &
University Engagement
602-429-1078 or hue.haslim@west.edu

Alumni Reenrollment
866-948-4636 or inquiries@west.edu

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For more information about our programs, including important consumer disclosures, visit west.edu/online-degree-programs. Western International University is unable to enroll residents of Massachusetts at this time. Certain programs are not available in all states. Please verify program availability with a student advisor.

Western International University is a registered service mark of Apollo Education Group, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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