The story of how Amy Shirer ’18 landed a post-graduation job at a Fortune 500 company started with making the right connection.
When she arrived at Kenyon, Shirer began exploring possible careers the way many first-years do: scanning lists of alumni and parents willing to host Kenyon students for job shadows.
The English major spotted the name of Eileen Lehmann ’86, who was then director of internal communications at Cardinal Health, a healthcare services and products company in Shirer’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
Lehmann hosted Shirer for a job shadow, giving her the opportunity to see the global organization’s daily operations up close. Shirer then applied for a selective internship program at Lehmann’s recommendation. Her work writing blog posts, newsletter articles and announcements, and her dedication to expanding her skillset, resulted in an offer to work full-time after graduation.
“Without doing the job shadow, I wouldn’t have learned that I loved Cardinal Health’s culture and the people and the work that I would be doing,” Shirer said.
Ivonne García, associate professor of English, has known Shirer since the summer before her first year when she came to campus early and took an analytical writing course through the Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program (KEEP), which García co-directs. Shirer has been hardworking, clear in her goals and extremely self-motivated from the start, says García, who also serves as Shirer’s academic advisor.
In Kenyon’s analytical English courses, students evaluate narrative in its many forms — such as literature, news stories and films — learning about what makes us human and how to decode any topic within historical and cultural context, García said.
Those skills provide Shirer and all English majors a strong edge in a competitive marketplace. “Our focus on analytical reading, thinking and writing makes for an unbeatable combination,” she said.
Shirer also hones her professional writing chops as a Gund Gallery Associate, overseeing student blog and social media posts as co-leader of the digital outreach team. Plus, she puts her interpersonal skills to the test on a daily basis as a campus tour guide and admissions fellow, welcoming prospective students and families to Kenyon.
Ahead of starting full-time this summer, Shirer works for Cardinal Health during the academic year, fitting in assignments between her classwork. She regularly updates Lehmann, who has encouraged her in each step, even after she left Cardinal Health. “We have kept in communication since the job shadow,” Shirer said. “She’s been really supportive.”