UAB among Forbes’ Best Employers for New Graduates 2021

UAB is being recognized for the third time this year, now as one of Forbes’ Best Employers for New Graduates 2021.

forbes grad.streamUAB has been named as one of Forbes’ Best Employers for New Graduates 2021. (Photography: Andrea Mabry)The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the largest employer in Alabama, has received a third award from Forbes this year by being named America’s No. 4 Best Employer for New Graduates 2021. Among the top four, UAB is the top ranking institution in education.

“We are honored that so many new graduates choose to begin their careers at UAB,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “I think they understand how big an impact they can make at UAB, and that we value their perspectives and educational experiences. Having highly engaged new graduates on our team is important to the work we do.” 

From experiential learning to employment

Caroline Andrews, a researcher in the UAB Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, was hired May 10 upon graduation in spring 2021. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in genetics and genomic sciences from the College of Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree in multidisciplinary biomedical sciences, having been enrolled in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program in the UAB Graduate School.

“After graduation, I knew I wanted to stay and become an employee of UAB,” said Andrews, who plans on pursuing her Ph.D. at UAB. “There are so many incredible people here, and with wanting to work in genetics, I couldn’t leave, knowing UAB is the future of research.”

Caroline AndrewsCaroline Andrews (Photography: Lexi Coon)During Andrews’ time as a student, she participated in UAB’s experiential learning opportunities, which helped pave her path into a research lab at UAB. She gained valuable experience by working as an undergraduate student with Karolina Mukhtar, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Biology, where she gained hands-on experience studying plant stress and immunity in the lab.

UAB provides opportunities for employees to grow their careers as students and beyond. Experiential learning is a part of every student’s curriculum, with opportunities to jump-start any career, including internships, hands-on research and service learning. 

"Using the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program, I was able to graduate in four years with both degrees needed for my profession,” she said. “UAB created my future and continues to propel my career in pharmacology research.”

Providing resources beyond graduation

Fall 2019 UAB graduate Kierra Parker became a student worker in her first semester on UAB’s campus and was eventually promoted to a student coordinator position during her junior year. In this position, Parker was responsible for recruiting and training other student workers at the Hill Student Center.  

“Serving as a coordinator showed me that I really enjoyed working in the human resources field,” she said. “My student job opened the door for an internship in the human resources office at UAB, which led me to my first professional job.”

Parker started her position as an office associate in the Office of the Chief Human Resources just two days after walking across the graduation stage, where she received her bachelor’s degree in human resources.

Kierra ParkerKierra Parker (Photography: Lexi Coon)Like Parker, many students utilize resources to help them at graduation and beyond. UAB provides students and recent graduates a number of free resources through the Career Center, including: 

  • Handshake, an online recruiting system that allows students 24/7 access to search internships and jobs and apply for on-campus interviews.
  • Career consultants, a career education and readiness team that provides students with industry-specific assistance equipping them to pursue meaningful careers.
  • Career Closet, which houses a variety of clothing students can use for interviews, career fairs, and other business and job-related purposes. UAB students who need professional attire for interviews or events may borrow items such as button-down shirts, blouses, blazers, pants, skirts, ties and suits from the UAB Career Closet for free.
  • Interview resources, such as mock one-on-one interviews and resume assistance.
  • Financial coaching. 

In addition to the Career Center, other departments across campus recruit and assist students in finding their path following graduation. 

“UAB’s human resources department engages with the Collat School of BusinessHuman Resources Management Degree program to use student interns, which has proved to be a great way to share HR knowledge and skills with students, while also offering the potential to build a pipeline of talent,” said Josephine Jackson Banks, Ph.D., executive director of Human Resources. “Recruitment Services recently started a program via our temporary services unit to attract senior-status undergraduates majoring in the life sciences to help fill entry-level researcher needs.”

To learn how to start your Blazer journey, click here.

Forbes’ Best Employers for New Graduates were chosen by more than 20,000 young professionals through an independent survey focused on work-related issues and their experiences in the workplace. Participants were asked to rate the likelihood that they would recommend their employer to family and friends.

This announcement follows the awarding of America’s No. 1 Best Large Employer by Forbes in February and one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity by Forbes in April.