With 1,100+ students about to graduate from Belmont University on May 6, they and their families can take comfort in the strong first destination rate (career outcomes) that Belmont University historically achieves. First destination data reflects the percentage of graduates who secure employment, enroll in graduate school or enlist in military service within six months of graduation. For Belmont, which draws that information from student and alumni surveys, the most recent rate is 92 percent, significantly higher than the national average.
Mary Claire Dismukes, director of the Office of Career & Professional Development, said, “Comparing our current First Destination Rate to national career outcomes, Belmont University consistently exceeds the national average. Our employer partners remark on the high caliber of talent coming out of Belmont. Our graduates’ professionalism, work ethic and communication skills stand out in the job market.”
Monrovia, California native Sela Rich is graduating on Saturday with a music business degree and has already secured a position at the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) where she’ll be working in membership administration and as executive assistant to NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison. “We have around 4,000 members of NSAI so I will be managing their accounts as well as making sure everyone is receiving the most out of their membership,” Rich said. “I will also be scheduling meetings for the executive director of NSAI both here in Nashville and in D.C. where we are making strides in increased wages and rights for songwriters.”
Rich secured the position following an internship with NSAI that she connected with through Belmont’s Career and Professional Development team. Her advice for her peers who still have a year or two before their own graduation? “Meet as many people as you can but don’t have an agenda while doing so. Meet people to meet people, not to get an internship or a job. The Nashville community is incredible. If you are a hard worker and a genuine person, the work will come. Be patient but be confident in yourself and what you bring to the table. Hone in on your gifts and talents and never stop learning!”
Belmont’s Career Development Team consists of experienced professionals who offer individualized assistance to current Belmont students and graduates. They partner with a number of local and national employers to connect individuals to job opportunities. From organizing large-scale career fairs to meeting one-on-one with current students and graduates seeking professional career coaching, the Career Development staff plays a critical role in Belmont’s efforts to promote the best possible outcomes for students’ education.
The Office of Career & Professional Development is dedicated to focused engagement with students and graduates. Staff specialize in majors and industries based on career clusters, working directly with specific colleges across campus, an effort that allows them to tailor their services to students and graduates as well as connect with employer partners in related fields. And the office’s functions span a wide range of activities as they encourage career exploration, develop educational and professional partnerships and provide intentional career development programming.
Dismukes added, “We empower our graduates to identify and pursue their passions and meet the needs of the world, and we are very proud of the meaningful difference they are making in the lives of others.”