Since its founding in 2011, the Graham Office of Career Management at the Gatton College of Business and Economics has been committed to helping students excel in their chosen career paths. Led today by Josh Taylor, a seasoned professional with two decades of experience in higher education, communications, and marketing, the Graham Office continues to wholeheartedly embrace its mission: to prepare Gatton students to achieve employment success as knowledgeable, world-ready leaders. At the heart of this mission lies a central goal: to foster meaningful connections with students from their first day on campus — offering them support and guidance throughout their college-to-career journey.
MEETING TODAY’S STUDENTS WHERE THEY ARE
In 2019, when Taylor joined the Graham Office, higher education was just beginning to greet Generation Z. He promptly made it a priority to ensure that Graham was prepared to meet the evolving needs of a generation that thrives in the 24/7 digital landscape. “We began by taking a fresh slant in how we marketed ourselves — coining a tagline meets mission statement that anchored our work along three objectives that both challenge and equip students to get into purposeful career alignment: Learn who you are. Plan where you’ll go. Get where you’re going,” Taylor continued. “Next, we established a tri-fold approach to scale our efforts across three differentiated channels: Graham in the Office, Graham in the Classroom, and Graham, Virtually. These strategic investments have had very solid returns, as our four-year data now shows.” The Gatton College has experienced a remarkable enrollment growth of 59% over the last four years, and Graham’s multipronged approach to reaching students in different ways (career-coaching sessions with a counselor, career fairs, for-credit career development courses, online resources) has allowed the office’s reach to expand alongside the college’s growth.
GRAHAM IN THE OFFICE
Since 2019, the number of students requesting 1:1 appointments with Graham’s career counselors has increased by 65%, which outpaces the enrollment growth the college has seen during that time. Across the same period, career fair attendance has repeatedly exceeded records, and the percentage of graduating Gatton seniors who secure full time jobs (or acceptance to graduate school), has risen by 41%. Graham’s counselors are nationally certified, and whether they’re helping students discern their best-fit major or preparing for an interview, their expertise ensures students are prepared for the job market.
GRAHAM IN THE CLASSROOM
The Gatton Pro Series is a three-course curriculum designed to teach students how to navigate the college to careerreadiness journey. By encouraging enrollment in this series, students are learning professional development practices early in the curriculum, readying them for internships. These scaffolded courses include:
B&E 150 - Professional Leadership Development
B&E 250 - Professional Exploration & Career Management
CIS 300 - Strategic Business & Professional Communication
Raven Gibson, Graham Office career counselor agrees: “Students often come to Graham feeling unsure of themselves and their direction, and I love seeing that shift after an appointment. It’s always my goal to inspire confidence in their ability — whether that’s through a review of their resume, a mock interview, or discussion on ways to build their professional network.”
After launching a virtual hub, Navigate, in 2020, there has been a 600% increase in the number of students who engage with the office’s digital resources, from in-house downloadable guides to partner platforms like What Can I Do With This Major? and Handshake. Graham now serves more than 2,000 unique users each month through Navigate, which features weekly spotlights on internships and full time roles available to students.
The Graham Office’s efforts have yielded impressive results over the past four years. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a successful career outcome is defined as a full time job offer or acceptance into graduate school. Successful career outcomes for Gatton students, with full time offers or graduate student acceptances, has risen from 61% to 86% from 2019 to 2022. Another indicator of our graduates’ career-readiness is the percentage of students who complete internships or other highimpact experiences. More than 70% of Gatton students complete internships, which is well above the national collegiate average of 60% (NACE). Graham’s data shows that students who intern have shorter job searches, receive more offers, and command higher starting salaries than their non-interning peers. Finally, salary offers have increased by nearly 10% in the last four years. In 2022, the mean entry level salary for business majors in the Southeast was $57,914 and 63% of Gatton graduates secured salaries at or above this average, with highest earners securing salaries in the $80-90K range.
To enhance job placement and internship opportunities, the Graham Office actively engages with employers and alumni. They leverage multiple channels, such as career fairs, DEI initiatives, guest speakers, and study abroad experiences. With nearly 400 companies ining on-campus recruiting pipelines, Gatton students have access to a broad range of opportunities. Rachel Clark, Graham’s director of employer engagement, believes “Building strong employer partnerships is not just a job; it’s our commitment to shaping the future of our students. Together, we build bridges between education and industry — ensuring our graduates are not just prepared for the workforce, but poised to excel and lead in it.”
WHO IS HIRING OUR GRADS?
We are proud to partner with more than 400 employers. Here are the top 25 Fortune-ranked companies that hire our Gatton graduates across industries as well as many more in Lexington and beyond.
CAREER FAIR SUCCESS
Each semester, the Graham Office hosts its Business Career Fair, a critical event for students seeking internships and job opportunities. This fall, a record 117 employers met with a record 948 students regarding potential internships and full time employment. The Graham Office of Career Management has achieved remarkable success in guiding students toward successful careers. Through their commitment to helping students learn who they are, plan their paths and reach their destinations, they have transformed how our students navigate the college-tocareer journey. With a continued focus on student success, they are poised to make even greater strides in the future. Ryan Smith, Gatton senior, BBA in Marketing: “Being a transfer student, I came to UK with almost no idea of what resources and opportunities were available to me in Gatton. Through a referral from one of my professors, I found out about the Graham Office, where I scheduled my first career advising appointment and ultimately became a Graham Peer Advisor, where I had the opportunity to provide that same career support to Gatton students. The support I have received has been immeasurable and has helped me land several internships, and most recently a job in tech sales with Dynatrace in Denver. The Graham Office has been a pivotal part of my college journey, and I am very grateful for the time and resources they have invested in me.”