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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Alums find post-grad opportunities in Grinnell

Shelby Carroll ’13 Photo by Mary Zheng.

Many Grinnell students go on to travel the country, or even the world, following graduation. However, there are also a handful of graduates who found unique opportunities without going far at all.

Shelby Carroll and Tasos Papachristoudis (both ’13) made the decision to stay in Grinnell as part of their post-grad plans, but for very different reasons. And they are not alone. In the last five years, over 25 Grinnell graduates have chosen to stay in the town to pursue various interests. Despite being small, the town of Grinnell has provided a wide spectrum of opportunities for Grinnell graduates.

Shelby Carroll '13 Photo by Mary Zheng.
Shelby Carroll ’13
Photo by Mary Zheng.

Carroll currently works for Grinnell’s Development and Alumni Relations office in the Old Glove Factory. Her interview for this article took place in a large, well decorated office—an office she has been able to call her own for the past four months. She began as a Development Generalist for seven months before receiving a promotion to her current position as a Development Officer.

Her job entails traveling often, usually once a month, to locations with a high concentration of Grinnell alumni in attempts to increase alumni donations. Her delegated region is the East Coast. As such, she has already visited Boston, Washington D.C. and Maine and is set to travel to Philadelphia in two weeks. For Carroll, she followed where opportunities took her and that just happened to be in Grinnell.

“I’d never thought I’d end up staying here, but when this opportunity came up I couldn’t really turn it down. It’s a great job,” Carroll said with a smile.

Despite having her time at Grinnell extended beyond what she had originally expected, Carroll ensures it is far different from her time as a student.

“I feel like I’m more involved in the town as a community,” Carroll shared. “I think it helps that people I work with are from the town and have lived here [for] so long, so that when I first moved back they were the ones helping me adjust.”

Despite still knowing a fair amount of students at Grinnell, Carroll is also aware that her relationship with the College is not the same as when she was a student.

“It’s really weird to adjust to this life,” she said. “[10/10] was fun, but at the same time I knew it wasn’t my element anymore. It was a hello and goodbye type relationship.”

Another member of the class of 2013, Papachristoudis has managed to integrate his degree in Biochemistry with opportunities he found in the town. He currently works for Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) as a certified application counselor.

“I help people certify for health insurances, for Obamacare and Medicaid,” he shared.

Papachristoudis is originally from Greece, but determined early on that he wanted to begin his career in the U.S. following graduation.

“It’s cheaper to live, and I have friends here and connections,” Papachristoudis said. “It worked out really well—it’s what I want to do.”

He was offered the job in November after interning at GRMC throughout this past summer. His work in the hospital has helped him become more familiar with the medical field and change his initial career goals.

“I always wanted to be in the health sector. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor, but now I want to be an executive officer; an administrator in a hospital,” Papachristoudis said.

Tasos Papachristoudis '13 Photo by John Brady
Tasos Papachristoudis ’13
Photo by John Brady

Papachristoudis plans to continue to stay close to home in pursuit of this new interest. He will be attending the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health this upcoming academic year to work toward a career in health administration.

These two alums have found success in the small but thriving community surrounding the College. On top of that, they have maintained a strong relationship with the College and its students, as well as built new ones. The two have continued contact with friends at Grinnell and still occasionally pop up on campus. Both expressed interest in attending one of most widely-attended campus events, Block Party—with Papachristoudis leading the charge.

“Definitely, I’m going to Block Party. I will go to all the parties!” he said enthusiastically.

In recent years, the College has had a strengthened relationship with the town of Grinnell. With more and more alumni helping to contribute to the town’s vitality, this relationship will likely continue to grow.

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