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Evangel alumni perspective: Caitlin Joy O'Guin

Name: Caitlin Joy O’Guin

Graduation Year: May 2018

Major: Social Work

Current Position: Research Assistant 1

City and State: Beavercreek, OH

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I am a hired contractor under the Henry Jackson Foundation working as a research assistant at the Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton (NAMRU-D) at Wright-Patterson Airforce Base. I assist primary researchers in conducting their studies to advance knowledge and technology significant to the enhancement of the Naval force.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

During my junior year, in spring of 2017, my cohort and I traveled to Jefferson City to advocate for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that was being presented through HB90. We spoke to multiple representatives about our position and encouraged them to join in supporting of HB90.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Both students and faculty were very open and willing to just discuss with me about options and opportunities that were available to me as I was trying to navigate what I wanted to major in. I am not sure I would say Evangel identified my calling, but I can say with confidence that God used Evangel to develop the calling He had for me. Evangel has a high standard academically, and I think that this definitely played a role in strongly developing the calling of social work in my life because it pushed me to go farther in my studies and practice.

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

The social work program at Evangel prepared me first by acquiring the appropriate and needed knowledge to understand the fundamentals of the social work field. Second, they then prepared me by having me practice the knowledge and skills retained through simulations, role-play, and outside experience. I would never have gained the competence and confidence in my own abilities without this wide variety of preparation. 

What advice would you give current students preparing for the workforce? 

I would say to students to get as much experience outside of the classroom as possible while you’re in school. I did this, and it helped me be able to find my passions, but also revealed to me my preferred style of agencies and work atmospheres. A person can benefit a lot from outside experience.

Also, I would advise students to utilize the Evangel faculty. My academic advisor was critical in guiding me in order to know what to look for after graduation in both my future educational and professional careers. This is only time where you get the full access of advisors, professors, and mentors to be able to seek advice and guidance when exploring and preparing for life after graduation.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?  

Personally, I would look for experience. What extracurricular activities are they involved in, have they been in a leadership position, or what jobs/volunteer experience outside of school have they had? Grades, yes, are a factor, but I believe grades along with a variety of experience shows more competency and knowledge than grades alone. Experience shows me that they know how to apply what they know to skills within the workforce.