Senior Survey Shows Good Outcomes for Wellesley Grads

August 24, 2012

As we prepare to welcome all members of Wellesley’s class of 2016 to campus next week, we check in with the last “red class”—the recent graduates of the class of 2012—and find out what they are up to.

According to the senior survey, taken in May, 54 percent of the students who had begun a job search before graduation had jobs or job offers by late May. This is above the national average of 44 percent reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Follow-up surveys typically reveal employment figures for recent grads going up by the end of the summer.

As always, Wellesley graduates will be working across a broad range of fields. Our labeled image, which reflects just a handful of students randomly clustered as they gathered for a class photo on Commencement Day, certainly reflects that. At the diverse organizations where they are working, those women hold roles as interns, lab technicians, legislative assistants, technology specialists, analysts, and more.

The biggest employer for the class of 2012 was Teach for America, which hired 15 graduating seniors. Teach for America has either been the top employer or tied for top employer for eight of the last nine years. Other top employers include: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Capital One, Analysis Group, Children’s Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, Compass Lexecon, French Ministry of Education, Infosys, Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, MMG Partners, and Wellesley College. Countries in which seniors will be working, outside of the United States, include France, Japan, Republic of Palau, Republic of Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, and Uruguay.

Graduate School

Of Wellesley students who applied to graduate schools, 73 percent were accepted at their first choice institution. Wellesley seniors will be entering programs of advanced study as follows: 22 percent will be in Ph.D. or other doctoral programs, with 69 percent of the Ph.D. students pursuing degrees in the sciences and technology; 7 percent will be in law school; 6 percent will be attending medical school; and the largest percentage of students, 65 percent, will be in a variety of master’s level programs, including 31 percent enrolling in master of arts programs.

Among Ph.D. programs to which Wellesley graduating seniors and alumnae have been accepted are those at California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Internships & Fellowships

As a Fulbright Top Producing Institution, Wellesley remains prominent among colleges and universities for the number of grants our candidates receive. This year three seniors and one alumna won Fulbright grants for study abroad; one senior and one alumna won Fulbright Teaching Assistantships, with one additional senior and one alumna named as alternates for a teaching assistantship and a full grant. In addition, one of our alumnae won a Fulbright Japan Grant for graduate study in the United States.

This year, a senior won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for a year of independent study and travel outside of the United States. One of our graduating seniors won a Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. Three seniors were awarded French Government Teaching Assistantships in English and two others won similar grants to Austria and Spain. Two seniors were selected for a Chinese Government Scholarship. A Davis Scholar senior won a Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace Award and two other seniors won Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowships. Some of these competitions don’t conclude until the end of summer, so we will continue to learn about the status of our national fellowships.

Two of the most exciting Wellesley College endowed awards are, without question, the Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Scholarship for Foreign Study and the Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Traveling Fellowship. Next year, a graduating senior will be at University College London, collaborating with a unique community of researchers to study the common social delays experienced by deaf children. Another senior will travel to explore the protection and promotion of shipwrecks and submerged ruins through research and scuba diving. 

The strength of Wellesley’s internships program remains at the vanguard of programs at comparable colleges and universities. Seventy-seven percent of seniors indicated that they participated in at least one internship during their four years of college, with 45 percent of these individuals funded by Wellesley.

Approximately 300 students were awarded funded internships through Wellesley College in 2011-12. The Center for Work and Service (CWS) funded a total of 146 internships, 26 of which were through the Albright Institute. More than 168 other college-funded departmental internships were awarded to students. Forty percent of students funded by the CWS traveled internationally to 28 different countries; their destinations included Cambodia and South Africa, where the CWS established new programs this year.

Whether at home or abroad, these most freshly minted alumnae of Wellesley College bring their accomplishments, energy, determination, and open, thoughtful approach to the world. This will not be the last we hear of them.