Western International University | Alumni West Alumni Connection

Volume 2, Number 1  |  October 2011


West Graduation Contest

Katherine Walker

The historian David McCullough once said, "Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love." This is the key to greater job satisfaction — taking something you're passionate about and turning it into your dream job.

There are steps you can take now to put more passion into your profession.

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Make a List.

Write down all of the things you are passionate about, even if you don't see them translating into a line of work. A woman who had been a banker for 20 years went through this exercise and almost didn't write down, "I love to bake cakes and cookies." Today, she owns a successful bakery in New York City!

Consider Your Options.

Take one or two of the passions you wrote down and think of all the ways you could turn them into your dream job. For example, if you love to write, consider all the writing jobs out there: book author, magazine editor, newspaper reporter, advertising copywriter. Then explore the jobs that are most attractive to you. Keep in mind any skills or connections you may have in a particular field. This may help you decide which job to pursue.

Put a Plan Together.

As your new career path takes shape, develop a plan for reaching your goal. Talk to people who do what you want to do. Find out how they got there. Decide if you need to go back to school. Consider an internship. Look into financing options if you're starting your own business. Be sure to take advantage of the one-on-one Career Coaching opportunities that are now available to all West alumni.

Be Inspired by Others.

There may be times when you doubt your ability to make your dream job a reality, but don't give up. Be like Katherine Walker who graduated from West with her MBA and started down a slow but steady path toward becoming a fashion designer. Inspired by the wisdom and experience of her entrepreneurial father, Katherine took her lifelong passion for fashion and launched her company, Yhtak Designs, in 2009. Today, she is busy creating and marketing her line of contemporary, ready-to-wear clothes for women and is putting the finishing touches on her Spring Collection for 2012!


Kathryn Scahill

Kathryn Scahill

Come to our next alumni mixer and hear career expert Kathryn Scahill discuss job search strategies and how to stand out as a candidate.

Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m. (MST)
Place: The Capital Grille
2502 East Camelback Road
Suite 199
Phoenix, Arizona

Online: Can't attend the mixer? Join Kathryn's online seminar for West students on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 5pm-6pm MST. Connect online.

Presenter: Kathryn Scahill, National Certified Counselor, Distance Credentialed Counselor, Certified Career Coach, and ReadyMinds counselor and trainer

Register Now: laura.lee@west.edu

In addition to working with career changers, job seekers and students, Kathryn has worked directly with employer recruiters across all industries and represents West's One-on-One Career Coaching resources. At our event, Kathryn will leverage her experience and provide valuable tips for getting noticed and getting the job.

Take the time now to register for West's One-on-One Career Coaching resources, and come to the event prepared with your questions. Just log in to west.edu/alumni and visit the Fast Track Career Tools page to get started.

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What advice do you have for someone who is looking for a job?

Find jobs that are a good fit. First you need to know yourself and what you can do and like to do. Then you have to research companies who need your skills. Finally, you have to be able to explain how and why you are a good fit. Think this through before you go into any interview.

What is a common mistake that job seekers make?

They don't prepare for an interview. You need to know as much as you can about the position, the company and even the industry before you set foot in the door.

In this economy, what can a person do to increase their chances of getting a job?

Cast a wider net — consider positions or industries that you might not have considered in the past. You also need to maximize your opportunities and network.

What do you plan on covering at the October 20 event?

I will take everyone through the steps of the career search process and explain how important it is to go through these steps each time a person is looking for a job. I will also share several of my hiring stories, so people will be more aware of what employers are looking for (and not looking for!) when they are considering job candidates. I hope people will leave feeling more confident in their ability to sell themselves and find a good job fit.


Don Kruggel

Don Kruggel

Senior Credit Administrator
W.W. Grainger
Phoenix, AZ

It's hard to believe that Don Kruggel wasn't serious about his studies in high school. He recently passed a grueling 4-hour, hand-written exam to become a Certified Credit Executive (CCE). He was also recently chosen, out of a very competitive field, to be the recipient of the 2011 National Association of Credit Management (NACM) Credit Business Fellow (CBF) Designation of Excellence Award. How did Don make such an impressive transformation?

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How did West help you get to where you are today?

I got both my BS and MBA at West. My professors challenged me to thoroughly research the material for my homework and presentations. I also had to learn how to effectively manage my time as I worked through the day and completed my studies at night. These skills and others that I acquired at West helped me be successful in my current job and other areas of my life.

What were the benefits of getting your MBA?

On a personal note, getting my MBA enabled me to meet an educational goal that I had set for myself. Professionally, my MBA has given me more confidence and credibility. It not only helped me get my current job, but also helped me be elected to the board of the Credit and Finance Development Division of the NACM (National Association of Credit Management).

What are your current job and responsibilities?

I am a Senior Credit Administrator at Grainger, and I can't say enough how much I truly enjoy my work. It is my responsibility to mitigate risk by measuring the creditworthiness of corporations across the United States. The account portfolio I manage has a combined credit exposure of $54.8 million.

Tell us about the award that you received this year from the NACM.

I was given the 2011 CBF Designation of Excellence Award. I was nominated for the award and was competing against other CBFs (Credit Business Fellows) from around the country. At one point, I received a call and eight credit managers started to fire questions at me. I had to think on my feet. There was no way to prepare. My West education certainly came in handy. Six weeks later, I was notified that I had won. It was a great honor to have been chosen.


West University Marketplace
Fall is full of savings for West alumni! Go to our University Marketplace website and check out the discounts on everything from PCs to home loans. One partner is even offering a $250 gas card! To see how you can qualify and to get in on the savings, login to west.edu/alumni and click on University Marketplace.


Interested in what some of your fellow West alumni are up to? We asked around and were amazed at the variety of hobbies and interests that our alumni are pursuing. From martial arts to marathons and more, West alumni are out there having fun and enjoying life!

Peter Villasenor   Katherine Morill
Peter Villasenor
Phoenix, AZ
Muay Thai Competitor
West Degree: BS, Information Technology, 2011
Katherine Morrill
Chandler, AZ
Triathlon Participant
West Degree: MBA, Management, 2010

Want to share your hobbies and interests with the West alumni community? Send an email to laura.lee@west.edu and include a photograph and short description of what you do for fun. We may feature you in an upcoming issue of this newsletter!


West Networking Event
The June career event was a real eye-opener for everyone who attended. Business owner, West professor and West alumnus, Dr. Lori Wieters, shared her entrepreneurial wisdom and talked frankly about the tips and traps of owning your own business Said one attendee: "This presentation was so informative! It was definitely helpful for anyone who is thinking about starting a business."

Did you miss the event? Check it out online now.

Passion Into Profession
Career Event
Alumni Spotlight - Kruggel
Alumni Hobbies
Career Event Wrap-up
Got a Coach?

Visit the Fast Track Career Tools page to register for West One-on-One Career Coaching. Your career coach can provide an initial 1–hour career planning session, suggestions for career fields and job titles, targeted career resources and strategies, resume assistance and more.

Get started now.

Get Real-Time Updates on Twitter

Follow @westedu on Twitter to stay in the know and get up-to-the-minute news and views from the West community.

Check it out.

Make a Smart Connection

Join the West Alumni Connection and let the benefits begin! Take advantage of career tools, networking opportunities, valuable discounts and much more. Best of all, it's free!

Sign up today.

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