Internships and other experiential learning while at the University of Findlay were critical components to Erin Murphy’s current career success.
Murphy serves as the director of recruitment and selection at Northwestern Mutual in Columbus. The financial services company employs advisors who provide consultation on insurance and wealth management needs. Murphy’s job is to source, recruit and interview career changers to become financial advisors.
“I spend a lot of my time reaching out to passive candidates to inform them about the opportunities the career affords and then guide them through our selection process,” she said. “I get to attend networking events, class talks and career fairs to educate people not only on the career but also how to create a good resume, how to effectively network and how to create their own unique brand.”
Because Murphy learned how to professionally connect, and pair those skills with her UF classroom learning, Northwestern Mutual recruited her when she completed her Master of Science in Environmental, Safety and Health Management in 2013. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Law and the Liberal Arts in 2011.
Along with interning for The Campus Special and Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Murphy also worked as the ESOH program’s marketing coordinator while earning her master’s degree. She had also interned during her undergraduate years.
“Most entry positions and even mid-level positions have great industry-specific training programs to get you started, but my ability to learn from the training and how I have conducted myself professionally is what I got out of my actual UF classes,” she said.
Murphy said her decision to attend UF has never been questioned.
“I was able to complete my undergrad and master’s in six years and I made great connections that helped me get my internships and get me referred to my current position,” she pointed out.
Having her father, UF’s Timothy Murphy, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Environmental Safety and Health Management program, was understandably her big educational influencer, both because of his career and how he earned it.
“He is the reason I chose to pursue my master’s in environmental health and safety and to stay so connected to UF after graduation,” said Murphy. Also, he “didn’t get his master’s or his Ph.D. until I was in high school, so I got to see what it took to achieve and advanced degree at an early age. Obtaining a great education beyond high school and even undergrad was always a high priority I my family.”
Other instructors were instrumental in her education as well, she said.
“All of the professors in the ESOH program contributed to my completion of my master’s, especially after I had my son during the third semester of the program. They were very understanding and always open and helpful,” she added.
Murphy’s advice to current students is to learn how to market themselves. “Social media, networking events, leveraging our connections. That is how you find positions now,” she said.
She also advises that students “find a school that places a high priority on experiential learning. That is how you find out what you really like and don’t like to do”
“The purpose of college is not only to have fun and get a degree, but to get a career after you graduate with better opportunities than you would have had if you wouldn’t have gone to school,” Murphy concluded. “Pick a school that will put you in the best position to do so.”
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