Q & A with Chelsea Wezensky â14, Integration Engineer at Epic
Your hometown: Livonia, MI
Your graduation date: May 2014
Your major (and any minors + certificates): Computer Science B.A., Russian Language & Culture minor, Markets and Management Certificate
Your current job (title, employer, city, state): EDI/Integration Engineer, Epic, Madison, WI
Did you know what you wanted to do going into your senior year?
Did I know what I was going to major in when I entered Duke? Nope. Was I certain of my major when I declared it? Not really. Did I have any idea what to do with my Computer Science degree once it was declared? Not a clue.
The search for internships wasnât nearly as daunting. An internship lasts a predetermined, limited period of time, while Duke waits patiently for my return. If the internship was amazing, great; If it wasnât exactly what I wanted to do, no harm done, since I was in no way bound to it.
A job, on the other hand, is the start of the rest of your life, and this end date isnât for more than forty years.
When I arrived at Duke, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I took it for granted that I would find my passion. Isnât that what everyone says? That college is a time to explore things and find yourself? That must mean that when I exited Duke, I would know myself and my passions, right?
Yet, as I entered my senior year, I realized that I did not magically know exactly it was that I wanted with my life. I quickly realized that I had no idea at all.
If not, how did you figure it out?
It was a huge wake-up call, realizing that I was entering my senior year without a sense of direction. I immediately scheduled a Career Center appointment, and compiled a list of all of my questions and concerns.
It was quite a long list.
I met with Katie, one of the career counselors, and she helped me through all of my concerns, during that first meeting and throughout the rest of the semester. During our meetings, she equipped me with the tools to narrow my job search and start to determine where my interests and strengths actually lay. I also used DukeConnect to reach out to a Duke alum whose degree and background seemed to align with my interests. These avenues allowed me to gain a better understanding of technical careers and how I fit in with it, and more importantly, that no matter what my first step was, I was not bound to it for the entirety of my career.
What was the most challenging part of your job search?
In truth, the hardest part of the entire job search was just starting. Once I actually determined what my elevator speech was and how to update my resume, searching for jobs became easier and I was able to build momentum. Career fair? No problem! Interviews? Yes, I can speak about my experiences!
What was the best part of your job search?
The best part of my job search was definitely receiving my job offer. At that point, I had interviewed at enough places to know what I was looking for in an employer, and how to identify when a company wasnât a good fit. When I went to my on-campus interview at Epic, it finally felt right, and I was excited at the possibilities that it provided. The culmination of this entire process was easily one of the best parts of my entire senior year. A new job is always exciting, being able to confidently commit to my next step was all the more important given how lost I was at the beginning of the semester.