How GCU job initiative has helped recent graduates

Mariah Duke was delighted to join the Student Affairs team. (Photo by Garrett Ohrenberg)

Editor’s note: Reprinted from the February 2021 issue of GCU Magazine. To read the digital version, click here.

By Mike Kilen
GCU Magazine

Mariah Duke hadn’t heard back from employers on her 25 applications for marketing jobs and was a bit discouraged.

And Grand Canyon University doesn’t want discouraged graduates, even during a pandemic’s struggling economy.

So at Winter Commencement in December, GCU President Brian Mueller announced an initiative: GCU and Grand Canyon Education would create 125 full-time jobs, running from January to April, at a cost of $1 million. The University also would use its partnerships with employers in nursing and education and close to 500 members on its advisory boards to help students find jobs.

Duke heard of the initiative and that a position was needed in Student Affairs, working with Caleb Duarte to connect current and prospective students with information about the University.

“I can talk GCU all day,” said Duke, who was hired.

Now it’s even easier to talk to prospective students about what GCU does to help them land jobs. She is living proof.

The job initiative came at just the right time for Jade Lander, who graduated in April.

“It just shows how GCU understands the culture we live in now and how it’s so hard to find a job. They are willing to help graduates,” said Duke, who got married in October to GCU graduate Derek Mejia, who landed a full-time job at GCU.

Being hired by GCU also meant a lot to Jade Lander, who graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in April.

“There were a couple of opportunities, but COVID has really affected the school systems, and I knew I would be relocating out of state in April,” said Lander, who wants to return to her home state of Idaho. “So when President Mueller was talking about these opportunities at GCU, I thought that was amazing. That was just what I needed right now.”

She emailed [email protected] and was hired to assist future students and to work on other projects in Admissions.

“GCU has such a huge heart; everything they do is truly for students,” she said. “It really displays GCU’s heart and love they have for students and wanting them to find their purpose.”

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.

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(Moses addressed Israel, reminding them of God's deliverance of them from Egypt, and His commands given to them:) "You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out (from bondage and delivered you.). The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear." (Deuteronomy 7:19)

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