July 14, 2020
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Ruth Cohen ’20, an economics major from St. Paul, Minnesota, has spent much of her Kenyon career studying trends. Now a graduating senior, she joined a particularly favorable one: Cohen is the 15th Kenyon graduate in the past 20 years to take a research assistant position with the Federal Reserve, according to Bruce L. Gensemer Professor of Economics Will Melick.
“Time spent with faculty in both classes and office hours over the years helped me to feel comfortable seeking their advice when figuring out my postgraduate plans,” Cohen said. “The department faculty are incredibly supportive and invested in our success.”
Cohen, who will join the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston next year, knew she wanted a job that would provide her the opportunity to hone her research skills in preparation for graduate school. Melick, who counts more than 20 combined years of experience as a research economist and advisor at the Federal Reserve in Washington and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, is excited that Cohen’s hard work helped secure her position.
“Ruth is an extremely strong student: bright, hard-working and interested in the insights that economic analysis can provide,” Melick said. “She has the technical know-how necessary for contributing to the research effort at the Boston Fed and the writing skills to provide an intuitive, easy-to-read explanation of what she’s done and why what she’s done is important.”
The personal relationships Kenyon students forge with faculty and alumni uniquely situate them to secure jobs and internships in competitive markets, said Lee Schott, interim director of career development. More than 2,400 alumni mentors have registered for the Kenyon Career Network to provide career and industry-related information and advice for students and fellow alumni.
Like Cohen, Patrick Kawakami ’20 has experienced first-hand the power of the Kenyon network. A history major from Northport, New York, Kawakami entered his junior year determined to find “a golden internship” that would help him launch his career in the entertainment industry. He scoured job boards with little success, until a connection made through his time with Kenyon’s golf team, and with help from Kim Wallace in the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement, led him to a pivotal conversation with Zach Hardin ’15, a television literary coordinator at the Los Angeles-based talent agency ICM Partners.
“Zach and I spent hours on the phone and communicating via text and email,” Kawakami recalls. “He helped me refine my interests within the entertainment world, gave me as much knowledge as possible about certain opportunities and made me more confident about wanting to be in the industry.”
Following Hardin’s advice, Kawakami applied for and eventually secured his golden internship with ICM Partners’ Talent and Television Literary Departments — a position that led to a full-time job as an agent assistant, which he will begin this summer.
Kawakami credits his history coursework and his leadership experiences with Kenyon’s golf team, Social Board, and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with instilling in him the value of strategic communication. “All of these roles on campus taught me how to effectively communicate with multiple kinds of organizations and different people,” he said. “In an industry that is relationship-based, learning how to read people and communicate with them is a key skill.”
—Ben Hunkler ’20
Find out what kinds of jobs newly graduated Kenyon students have held in recent years.