College to Career

Curious about what happens after graduating with your degree? You can spend time googling career options but we think it might be easier if you browse through what remarkable things our alumni are up to.

These recent graduates are #goals and have some advice to share with you! Learn about their transition from college to a career, what their daily work life looks like and how they set themselves apart from the competition.

Check out our feature of the week below or view all features.

Meet Emilia Ludwig, '16

Courtesy
photo credit: Kori Davis

Cardiac Telemetry Unit Registered Nurse (RN), St. Mary's Medical Center
BSN, Nursing

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

On a day-to-day basis I care for patients when the most important muscle of the body is compensated, the heart. I am fortunate to be able to provide hands on care to treat patients who are having heart attacks, irregular heart rhythms, high blood pressure, heart failure, pre-operative and post-operative open-heart surgery, heart valve disease and vascular disease. On the Cardiac (Telemetry) unit we also have a variety of other conditions we get the opportunity to work with, including sepsis, COPD exacerbations (lung issues), minor burns and suicide attempts, to just name a few. We also have the opportunity to float to other floors within the hospital. My other priorities include providing education and comfort to patients, their families and friends. Last but not least I have the opportunity to SAVE LIVES.

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for your career?

My experience at CMU prepared me for my career because in the nursing program we had the opportunity to have over 1,000 clinical hours in multiple specialties throughout our community and state. This allowed me to experience many different areas in the hospital setting and outpatient setting first hand, allowing me to have a good idea of which areas of nursing I am interested in after graduation. Also, the small class sizes at CMU made it easy to get one-on-one help with my instructors, be able to ask questions and make lifelong friendships with my classmates.

What was your transition like from being a student to your current career position?

Courtesy
photo credit: Barbara Ludwig

My transition from being a nursing student to a registered nurse was fairly flawless. CMU’s nursing program works with Kaplan test preparation to prepare us for the state board exam at the end of the program. It was very helpful to teach us tricks for the test. I was hired right after graduation and able to work as a graduate nurse until I passed the state board exam, NCLEX. I had a preceptor on day shift for six weeks and then a preceptor on night shift for two weeks before I was working with patients on my own. My team in the Cardiac Unit is very helpful, too. I can ask as many questions as I need at anytime and everyone is willing to help each other. We have an amazing team that works together and I never feel like I am alone caring for my patients. This has helped make the transition smooth.

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position?

What set me apart from other applicants during the job search was that I came to work, school and clinical with a smile and a “can do” attitude. Also, I had done 12-24 hours of clinical on the floors that I applied to at St. Mary’s Hospital. I also had 144 hours of “Senior Specialty” in the Intensive Care Unit, which allowed me to meet more of my current co- workers and managers. At CMU we are given the opportunity to choose where we want to perform our 144 hours of “Senior Specialty” clinical and our Leadership hours so we can make connections and become a familiar face to our future employers.

What advice would you give incoming college students?  

A few words of encouragement and advice I would give to incoming nursing students:

  • The most important tip is to take care of yourself!
  • When you have an opportunity to do something out of your comfort zone, do it!
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Meal prep on the weekends so you have quick meals while you are studying or going to clinical.
  • Stay positive & have fun.
  • Do not be overwhelmed with the amount of work, make a list and complete one item at a time.
  • Find a good study environment to study in.
  • Enjoy the college life- meet new people, join clubs & organizations, and support the mavericks.

Connect with Emilia on LinkedIn


Meet More Recent Grads