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Northwest Missouri State University

Student Spotlight

Adrienne Cornelius established important connections with faculty and staff members during her career at Northwest that helped her secure a job after graduation.

Adrienne Cornelius established important connections with faculty and staff members during her career at Northwest that helped her secure a job after graduation. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

May 3, 2013

Northwest helps graduate establish connections that lead to career

Adrienne Cornelius understands the importance of being steps ahead of the competition as a Bearcat track and field athlete. She maintained that idea in other aspects at Northwest Missouri State University, too, with the connections she established during the last four years.  

Now, Cornelius, of Higginsville, is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in organizational communications, and later this month she will begin her professional career as a delivery analyst at NetSmart Technologies, a manager of electronic medical records and software solutions based in Overland Park, Kan.

“Northwest really prepared me to go into the working world and to obtain a job right out of college,” Cornelius said. “Being a communications major played a big role in knowing how to interact with people, and Northwest has really made me a well-rounded person.”

Cornelius used Northwest Career Services to her advantage, often meeting with the office’s personable and knowledgeable staff to strengthen her resume and seek networking and interviewing advice. She also participated in the many career fairs and mock interview days Northwest offers. It’s those kinds of programs and services offered by Northwest Career Services that have helped the University maintain a 95 percent placement rate.

With Career Services’ help, Cornelius connected with NetSmart Technologies and met with the company’s representatives at a career fair. She interviewed with the company two days later, and two weeks later she received a job offer. As a delivery analyst, Cornelius will be charged with visiting health organizations to help them implement NetSmart software and train healthcare professionals to use it.

In fact, the job offer Cornelius received from NetSmart Technologies was one of two job offers she received after networking with companies at the career fair.

Cornelius’ strong resume includes an internship last summer with U.S. Rep Vicky Hartzler, during which she applied the communication and business skills she learned in Northwest classrooms, researching bills and communicating with constituents.

“My No. 1 piece of advice is: Get internships that matter starting with your first summer. Stop working at home at the local pool,” Cornelius said. “Even if you don’t have experience, find a small internship you can get to gain experience in the professional world. Don’t wait until your last summer when you need an internship to graduate.

“Also utilize Career Services. Take your resume in there, take your cover letter in there. Take it in there several times after you’ve changed it and had more experience.”

The kind of comfortable connection Cornelius established with Career Services during her college career is what attracted her to Northwest as a high school student.  

Initially, Cornelius thought she wanted to attend a big university in a bigger city. But a visit to the Northwest campus that included meetings with faculty members and track and field coaches changed her mind.  

“Northwest had a wide variety of programs that I could choose from, and I was also looking to run track and field,” Cornelius said. “Once I came to Northwest, I really just fell in love with the atmosphere and how beautiful the campus was and the community, which is so supportive of the school.”

Cornelius established connections with faculty members and advisors who showed interest in getting to know her as an individual. They helped her mature and guided her academically as well toward her desired career path.

She was engaged in the Bearcat athletics program but still made academics a priority and graduates with summa cum laude, the highest academic honor.

Now, after four years at the University, she loves sharing her Bearcat passion with others.

“Once you go to Northwest, you’re part of the Bearcat family, and you’re part of this community that is going to encourage you and support you to be the best that you can be,” she said. “I consider Northwest my home, and it’s just a great family environment that will always have a special place in my heart.”

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468