By Daleen Cowgar
As seniors are looking toward graduation, they may be happy to learn that there are a wide range of opportunities for them right here. Malone University continues investing in students after undergrad through the graduate studies programs, graduate assistant roles and job openings.
Malone offers five different graduate programs: business administration, counseling and human development, nursing, organizational leadership and a gifted endorsement program that can be added to any Ohio teaching license. All the programs have options for hybrid classes or fully online classes. Most degrees take two years to complete.
Dr. TC Ham, associate professor of biblical studies, is currently working towards his master’s in clinical mental health counseling for two reasons.
“One, we have a wonderful counseling program,” Ham said. “Second, many students come into my office and talk about things not related to classes. And rather than to say, this is not my job, I thought, I’ll take some counseling classes.”
His favorite part of learning through the graduate program is seeing a new side of the faculty.
“We have some amazing teachers,” Ham said. “As colleagues, you don’t get to interact in the classroom or see what people are doing. But sitting with the students is awesome.”
While some students take a break between undergrad and graduate studies, other students prefer to jump straight into further education. Annaliese Raynak, communication arts ‘20, came back to Malone this year to earn her master’s in organizational leadership.
“Moving from undergrad work to grad work, even though it’s different departments and I have different professors, it’s still the same organizational culture built on the same principles, trying to stretch and grow you to become the truest version of yourself in Christ,” Raynak said.
Raynak is also a graduate assistant, which helps cover the cost of her education. She offered several tips for students wanting to become a graduate assistant.
“Develop communication skills,” Raynak said. “Focus on getting internships and professional development opportunities. I can definitely say that my internships and previous work helped me come back and work as a graduate assistant.”
Aside from graduate programs and the assistantships within them, Malone also actively hires students to work on campus in many different positions after graduation. Dan Carmany ‘20 was hired in his last semester as the admissions counselor for athletic prospects.
“I considered the opportunity to work here as an opportunity to give back – not just to Malone as this abstract thing, but to give back to the people who invested in me as a student athlete,” Carmany said. “I wanted to give back to my coaches by helping them with their futures and their programs. I get to articulate to prospective students the value of the Malone education that I received.”
Carmany encourages students to consider the possibility of working at Malone post-graduation, but offers a word of caution as well.
“You have to love the day-to-day work,” Carmany said. “Don’t just work here because you love Malone. There are lots of people who would hate the kind of work that I do who also love Malone and vice versa.”
Christina Oprean ‘14 and ‘20, head women’s cross country and distance coach, took a different path to her employment at Malone. It wasn’t until 2018 that she came back to Malone for her master’s in business administration.
“I saw this opportunity with the cross country team to be a graduate assistant and get [my] master’s covered,” Oprean said. “I didn’t know what I was doing with my life at the time, and I always wanted to get back into distance running and [decided to] see if I would want to coach. So I applied for [the position].”
Oprean credits her graduate assistant experience as essential in being offered her full-time position.
“I knew that I was a graduate assistant coach, but I started acting how a full-time head coach would act in my position and I think I saw that the [people] around me acknowledge [my] work ethic,” Oprean said. “I think that’s why I’m here today – because I really just gave it my all.”
Courtney Pierce ‘18 is another undergraduate alumna who was hired at Malone. She currently works as the admissions visitation and communications manager and transfer liaison. When she found out about the open position through a Facebook group, she immediately applied.
“I worked in the admissions office basically all four years I was a student here,” Pierce said. “I really loved the atmosphere, and I loved how the staff treated each other… I always knew this is a community that I want to be a part of and I want to pour into.
“Malone is a very real and open community,” Pierce said. “It feels like home.”
Seniors who can’t get enough of Malone’s campus atmosphere should ask questions before they decide to leave for good – several departments may have openings, or graduate studies programs and their assistantships may look appealing to various students!