Corporate-level student support
Charles Schwab’s College to Careers Program paves the way for Roadrunner success.
By Lynne Winter '17
Graduation is an exciting time for Metropolitan State University of Denver students. The culmination of years of education is finally about to be parlayed into personal and professional success. But the transition from college to career can be scary, causing some students to question whether they are genuinely prepared to leap into the “real world.”
“I found myself in uncharted territory,” says Kayla Roesler, ’18, a high net worth specialist with Pinnacle Team, Charles Schwab. “I had an education and skills, but no idea how to put together a resume or prepare for an interview to get my first big job after graduation.”
On a whim, the economics alumna applied to the Charles Schwab College to Careers Program, open to sophomores, juniors and seniors at MSU Denver. As one of the twenty-five students selected to participate in the annual five-week professional development program, Roesler acquired the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the working world.
“The curriculum covers career and relationship-building skills that make students competitive in the current work environment, in addition to providing time with mentors to practice implementing those skills,” she says. “College to Careers had the resources I needed to get where I am today.”
And today, Roesler and coworker Rosa Ramirez, senior specialist, risk analyst, are co-program managers for the College to Careers Program. Their day-to-day responsibilities include reaching out to Schwab leaders for their involvement, organizing the efforts of Schwab volunteers, designing the program and reading applications. Roesler is proud to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, program founder and Charles Schwab communications manager, Phatsany Pongphachanxay.
“Phatsany collaborated with MSU Denver seven years ago to start the program and has been a tremendous source of support during my time at Schwab,” says Roesler. “Over the last year and a half, she has actively helped me build my project management experience, which is key to making this program successful.”
Roesler hopes the program will be as impactful this year as it was for her – even if the experience for the incoming cohort will look a little different from that of year’s past. Changes include pivoting from day-long, in-person instruction held on the Charles Schwab campus in Lone Tree, Colorado, to a virtual format made up of shorter sessions during the week. Other new features include partnering students with mentors aligned with their major, providing specialized instruction to enhance the experience.
Roesler says that while Charles Schwab is known for its financial acumen – with the company and program traditionally attracting business students – students from all majors are encouraged to apply for College to Careers.
“We are inclusive – there are no limits to the majors that can participate,” she says. “We want all students to have the best possible opportunity to be successful and find a career.”
In addition to having a flourishing career where she uses information from the program every day, Roesler credits College to Careers with empowering her to own her future and build the professional path of her dreams.
“Without that experience, my voice might not be as strong as it is,” she says. “It’s easy to come into a large corporation and feel like you don’t have a voice, but I learned to be confident in my abilities and share my ideas with leadership.”
Roesler says MSU Denver does a great job reaching out and building relationships with industry leaders with the goal of supporting students and views the University’s partnership with Charles Schwab as a perfect match. Although, she might be a little bit biased – they both led her to a career she loves.
“Going to MSU Denver was the best choice I could have made for myself,” she says. “Between the long-lasting relationships I formed with my peers, professors and advisors, and the opportunity to participate in the College to Careers Program, I owe who I am to MSU Denver.”
“I now feel like I can take any career goal and run with it.”