Brianna Watt Portrait

Get a Jump on Your Career Quest

Juniata’s unique, paid employment program provides real-world experience and a serious confidence boost.

You’ve already pictured the scenario. Picked the perfect outfit. Polished your résumé. Practiced your smile. When you sit in the interview chair, across from your first potential boss, will you be ready? Nervous? Do you know what that first gig looks like, and how you get from here to there?

We do.

At Juniata, some students apply to become Juniata Associates—or “JAs”—and take advantage of a competitive and unique job experience on campus while they also attend classes and participate in the many activities that college life offers. This means that, here, you can design your own education and your own career path—plus get the help you need to make it happen. Through real-world experience before graduation. And confidence-boosting contact with professionals in the field.

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Here’s how three Juniata students made it happen:

Brianna Watt ’16

Brianna Watt

As she toured Google’s massive headquarter complex in Mountain View, Calif., while attending a Women in STEM conference her junior year, Brianna considered it a long shot to land a job at one of the hottest companies around.

And then, her senior year, the phone rang. It was Google.

“A recruiter reached out to me for an interview. I couldn't believe it, although, I still didn't think I would make it through the interview process,” recalls Brianna, whose Program of Emphasis (POE) was information technology (IT) with a secondary emphasis in business management.

But her uncertainty about her qualifications would be short-lived.

“By March, I knew I would be at Google after graduation,” says Brianna, who landed a position in the company’s IT Residency Program—among just 10 percent of applicants accepted.

How’d she do it? Part of her success included her experience as a Juniata Associate in the College’s Technology Solutions Center, where she gained advanced IT skills and management experience.

“The experience I had in the JA position demonstrated that I could already take on responsibilities while still learning,” she says. “I was ecstatic to be able to point to the opportunities I had as a JA during the interview process with Google.”

Brandon Felus ’14

Brandon Felus

Working as a Juniata Associate in the College’s accounting department gave Brandon a major edge his senior year. The position provided him with hands-on practice in auditing, which helped him rise above other job candidates when he applied for a position as a staff accountant at Irex Corporation in Lancaster, Pa.

“The JA job helped me land where I am now,” Felus says. “I got to work in an accounting department, and get a feel for the daily activities.”

His hiring manager at Irex agrees.

“Brandon stood out because he already had some experience in not just accounting, but also auditing,” says Wayne Delgado, CPA and accounting supervisor at Irex. “When you’re in the audit side of the world, you see a lot more about a company than if you’re just crunching numbers all the time.”

“He wasn’t just waiting to graduate,” Delgado says of Brandon. “His decision to become a JA ‘laid the real groundwork’ of becoming a professional.”

Emily Angeline ’18

Emily Angeline

At Juniata, Emily chose digital media arts as her Program of Emphasis, and in her sophomore year, started out as an assistant in the Digital Media Studio, where videos are produced and edited, including the series, “This Week at Juniata.” Today, as a Juniata Associate, Emily helps lead a production team of her peers on the series.

Her boss at the studio, Luke Fragello, has helped her take on more responsibility—and made sure she’s current on the latest developments in the field when she graduates.

“He’s taught me a lot I never would have known if I wasn’t a JA. I’m learning a lot of technologies that are changing,” Angeline says. “I have access to the latest equipment.”

The experience helped her land a coveted internship at a regional medical facility near campus in spring 2018, where she’ll help the organization market itself online, take on their social media strategy, and promote their website’s video content.

Working with her colleagues in the Digital Media Studio has also meant making contacts with people who will be part of her professional network for years to come.

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90 percent of Juniata graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation

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According to the May 2017 New York Times annual College Access Index, Juniata is one of the Top Schools That do the Most for the American Dream

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Nearly 90 percent of Juniata students are accepted to medical and professional schools

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15,000 alumni make up the exclusive Juniata Alumni Association

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