MSIT Students Frequently Land Job Offers Before Graduation

Hear from one recent Northwestern student who received a job offer midway through her time in the program.

With no prior work experience in the United States, Jessica Qin knew that looking for a full-time job while completing her Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) would be time-consuming and challenging. Qin (MSIT '19) felt ready, though, in large part due to the fact that she didn't have to go through the job search alone. 

"Thankfully, Northwestern University has great career resources such as Engineering Career Development and Northwestern Career Advancement, where they host workshops on resume critiques, interview preparation, and one-on-one consultation," Qin said.

Qin applied to a variety of positions she found through McCormick Connect, the secure database used by Engineering Career Development, and wound up having several interviews during her first two quarters at Northwestern. She wound up securing a full-time offer as a manager for market risk at BMO Harris during her third quarter of the four-quarter full-time program.

Qin's story is not unusual.

"More than 90% of full-time MSIT students secure job offers before graduating," said MSIT Associate Director Abi Shay. "Some students go straight to a job after MSIT graduation while others do an optional summer internship, complete the MSIT program and then go into a full-time position.

"Students note that the job search is like an additional class, as it takes focus, organization, and effort, but it is well worth it, and we have seen great outcomes!"

For Qin, she was excited about her new role because she would be able to apply the quantitative knowledge and communication skills she gained in her MSIT classes — like data science and database work — and combine it with her financial knowledge to present meaningful analytics in an interactive fashion.

She also was very clear in the advice she would offer to other students preparing for the job search: start early, and don't do it alone!

"Northwestern University hosts career fairs on campus each quarter where many great companies come in to discuss their current opportunities and your personal qualifications," Qin said. "In addition, there are also career fairs hosted in downtown Chicago that students can attend. I make sure that I attend all the career fairs to meet people and get career advice."

Qin also leveraged the MSIT alumni community, particularly the network that exists on LinkedIn. In addition to the conversations that take place online, alumni routinely reach out to MSIT staff about potential job opportunities.  

"I had the pleasure of speaking with a few alums during my job search process," Qin said, "and that was extremely helpful."