Career Moves: Internships lead to U.S. Census job
A young alumna has already returned to campus to recruit more Elon University students to analyze data in Washington, D.C.
By the time Adley Kloth graduated in May after triple majoring in international studies, political science and public administration, she knew she wanted to work with data. Lots of data. The Ohio native now living in Silver Spring, Md., discovered her passion for statistics through her public administration courses and her work with the Elon University Poll.
Those experiences also guided her to the Office of Career Services. Starting her sophomore year, Kloth met with counselors on a regular basis to hone her resume and find internships that fit her interests. She today works in the United States Census Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Kloth, who can be followed on Twitter at @adleymay, is the third person to be featured this year in a series of E-net profiles on the recent experiences of students and alumni who use the Career Center to not only find job and internship openings, but to prepare for interviews and improve applications with guidance from Career Services staff.
She answered questions recently from the Office of University Communications.
Tell me about the Census and your role as an employee.
I began working at the United States Census Bureau headquarters in June of this year. The facility is based in Suitland, Md., which is right outside of Washington, D.C. When people ask me what the Census Bureau does the other 10 years when there isn’t a decennial census, I tell them that I do not actually count people – I count businesses! I work in the Current Wholesale Branch within the Economic Directorate and help develop, disseminate, collect and publish data gathered from a select sample of more than 6,000 wholesale establishments.
How did your interest in the profession first develop?
My interest and passion for collecting and analyzing data developed during my experiences working at the Elon Poll and my public administration courses. In one of my public administration classes, Policy Evaluation and Analysis, I was exposed to the process of coding large amounts of data in order to create various visual models.
What did you learn from the experience?
My experiences at Elon helped me apply what I had learned in my classes to projects I was assigned during internships and the full-time job I have now. For example, during my last semester at Elon, another student and I coded data that had been collected by Judicial Services in Alamance County. She and I then analyzed this data to find out what the recidivism rate was for offenders in Alamance County. I quickly learned how rewarding collecting and analyzing data could be because the results can have a large impact on people, companies, and policy decisions.
Who did you work with in Career Services to prepare for your internship, and what help did you receive?
I have used Career Services since my sophomore year. I began meeting with Pam Brumbaugh, who helped me create my first resume and cover letter, which helped me secure my first internship in Berlin, Germany back in 2009. Looking back, I am almost positive I have ended up meeting with almost every single career counselor in Career Services.
Everyone that works there is extremely helpful – I have set up appointments to get help on resume questions and cover letters. I have also come in during their walk-in hours to get professional advice. Pam Brumbaugh, in tandem with Dr. Betty Morgan, did amazing work in helping me and my senior seminar class prepare for interviews. I completely owe the success I had in college, and now my career after graduation, to Career Services.
How do you plan on using Career Services in the future? And what recommendations would you share with other students about the office?
I have already used Career Services after graduation when I had the honor of attending the Fall Career Fair on behalf of the United States Census Bureau. It was such a rewarding experience to help recruit new students to the Census Bureau so soon after I had graduated.
My recommendation to current Elon students is that it is never too early to start working on your resume, cover letter and interview skills. The Career Center does a wonderful job helping students prepare for internship and job applications. In this day and age, it is absolutely imperative that college students have at least one internship experiences under their belt before applying for a job after graduation. The Career Center can help students succeed during college and after graduation.