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Learn more about WMS Gaming, including the Leadership Development Program, co-ops, and internships, at WMS Gaming‘s information session Friday, Oct. 11 from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. in Norris, Armadillo Room (check CareerCat the day of the presentation to confirm time & location).

Rose Gruenhagen:

“Welcome To Da Neigh-ba-Hood.”

That’s what the sign above my cubical says. My coworkers made it for me for my birthday. And that’s how I know I belong here.

In June, I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Four years of nights and weekends sitting in tech with my notebook and my calculator had earned me this degree but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had narrowed my interests but I wasn’t ready to choose just one. WMS allowed me to continue to explore my talents and my passions. Over the next year I will be working in manufacturing, procurement, and new product introduction. Currently I am working in the For Sale Value Stream department. I work with the assembly line to make sure our product is produced as quickly and as accurately as possible. I have gotten the opportunity to work with executives as well as assembly workers, and everyone has taught me something important about topics including business finance, part numbers, the value of a 401k, and even more notably, the location of the bathroom.

In the next year and beyond, I anticipate experiencing many more adventures and meeting many more welcoming and supportive people.

Rosa Zhang:

Recent NU alums Rosa, Rose and Mike each work in different functions at WMS Gaming.

Recent NU alums Rosa, Rose and Mike each work in different functions at WMS Gaming.

“Hey Rosa! Did you graduate yet?”

I hear these six words, a running gag, almost anytime I see an old friend in Evanston, or at any NU-related event. I spent five years in school, pursuing dual degrees in Bassoon Performance and Communication Studies, and I tacked on IMC just for good measure. By my last year, I was known as the eternal student, someone who had been at Northwestern just about forever, and it felt like that to me too. I had spent 82% of my life in school, and had no idea what I was going to be. After casting a wide net job-searching (mostly via CareerCat) and a few offers that I didn’t feel entirely solid about, I found a great fit for me at WMS Gaming, a company focusing on slot machines, video lottery and online gaming. I am currently on the marketing team and learn more about the casino industry every day, an exciting world I was completely unaware of before. I’ve even introduced myself to the sound department and informed them of my musical background – so if you’re walking around a casino in the near future and hear a bassoon soundtrack coming from a slot machine that might just be me.

I never pictured myself in the gambling industry, but I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I’m glad I waited for a company that had the right “feel” to it, and would offer the same advice to anyone job-searching.

Mike Mazur:

As your graduation day approaches, the pressure to find a full time job grows each day.  I felt the same pressure to find the proverbial “good job” as my graduation date approached, and I was able to find it a few months before I graduated with a company called WMS Gaming.  As an HR Associate at WMS, I work closely with Talent Acquisition to recruit highly skilled employees at every level of the organization—from entry level to senior management.  I have gained valuable lessons from working with the Talent Acquisition team that are applicable to anyone searching for a career.  First, be specific on the type of position that you are looking for.  It is not the employer’s responsibility to figure out what you would like to do with your degree; you have to figure that out first and then apply to the appropriate positions.  Second, identify four to five organizations that you would really like to work for and that you can see as a cultural fit for you.  Don’t forget, this is a place where you will spend 40 hours a week at (not including your commute) therefore it should be a place where you feel that your personality fits.  Be as specific as you can be with both the type of position and the organization that you are looking for and you will be much more successful in your career search.

Rose Gruenhagen is a 2013 graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Rosa Zhang is also a 2013 graduate of Northwestern University with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Bassoon Performance and Communication Studies.  Michael Mazur is a 2013 graduate of Northwestern University with a Master’s degree in Communication.  Rose, Rosa, and Michael all work for WMS Gaming.

About Where The Wildcats Are
University Career Services’ alumni blog series “Where The Wildcats Are” features the career experiences and advice from Northwestern University alumni of all ages and stages. Learn where your fellow Wildcats are post-graduation and how they reached their career goals. Are you a Northwestern alumni interested in sharing your career development process with current students? Email careerservices@northwestern.edu and include “Alum blogger” in the subject line.