How to Get a Job Before You Graduate: 4 Steps

Courtney Newton got a great job before she even completed her bachelor degree in criminal justice at Globe University-La Crosse. Since August of 2012, she’s been working as a Correctional Officer with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution. How did she get a job before she graduated? She followed these four tips:

1. Volunteer

bachelor degree in criminal justice

Cournety Newton, Globe University-La Crosse Criminal Justice Student

“My volunteer work played a huge role in the job I have now,” shared Newton. In addition to being an incredibly active community volunteer, Courtney leads the Globe University-La Crosse Criminal Justice Club.

Courtney’s volunteer work is impressive. She’s been a volunteer with the La Crosse Police Reserves, provided security at many special events, and patrolled Riverside Park with Operation River Watch. It’s clear to see that her volunteer work helped her build work experience for her future career.

“As a student at Globe, Courtney maintained great attendance, a solid focus on her studies, and was dedicated to the criminal justice program,” explained Scott Alo, Globe criminal justice instructor and chief of police for Bangor, Wis. “She was very respected by her peers which resulted in her being named the President of the Criminal Justice Club.”

2. Select the Right College

“I chose to attend Globe because I wanted something more personal,” explained Newton. Before enrolling at Globe University-La Crosse, Courtney attended other universities but wasn’t satisfied. She was looking for a university that provided hands-on learning experiences right away. She found these experiences at Globe.

In the criminal justice program, Newton has taken many classes with service learning projects and field trips that helped her focus her career goals. Along with classmates, Newton was able to complete an applied learning project with Bangor High school where the students performed a security threat analysis.

Field trips in her Corrections class to the La Crosse County Jail and the Black River Falls correctional facility inspired her to apply with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. According to Jeff Trotnic, Globe criminal justice program chair and chief of police for Onalaska, Wis., Courtney “is an example of a student who might be thinking about one occupational route and, based on the exposures afforded her at Globe University, she explored the Corrections route with success.”

3. Network

“I made many great connections at Globe with the staff,” said Newton. “I have made a great connection with Chief Trotnic with my work through the Criminal Justice Club as well as getting advice and encouragement when I decided to try to get the position I currently hold.”

Globe Criminal Justice Instructors hold prestigious positions outside of the university. They work as chiefs of police, sergeants, and officers with local forces. Students have the opportunity to learn their course materials from local professionals that help them build relationships with possible future employers. Criminal Justice Instructors helped connect Courtney, and other students, with volunteering projects, police reserve programs, and other criminal justice related work. With these opportunities, students like Courtney connect with employers while building their work experience.

4. Never Give Up

Courtney’s position with the Department of Corrections wasn’t handed to her, however, and there were bumps along the way. “When I applied for my job as a Corrections Officer, I got an interview right away,” shared Newton. Shortly after her interview, Newton found out that she wasn’t selected for the position. “This was a turning point for me; I could have given up but I didn’t. I put in an application again right away and was called for another interview.”

After much preparation for her interview, application exams, and working with Globe criminal justice faculty to hone her skills, Courtney was offered the Corrections position. “You can never stop trying for your dreams even when you get knocked down.” Courtney didn’t stop. She kept working and now loves her new job.

“I feel my education has helped me the most in getting my current job and volunteer opportunities,” explained Newton. “It shows that I have determination and the skills necessary to juggle several things at once while continuing my education.”

For more information on the criminal justice program at Globe University, visit our website.