October is no longer just a month filled with spooky treats and colorful leaves — it’s career month here at Gonzaga University.

During career month, GU offers students career fairs, mock interviews and LinkedIn headshots at events. Recent research from Zippia shows GU ranks first in Washington for jobs post-graduation, with almost 92% of alumni employed. 

James Moody graduated from GU in 2014 with a mechanical engineering degree, now he works as a forensic accident reconstruction expert at Origin Forensics. In his role, Moody investigates car crashes and reports results.

Through investigation he can find exactly how, why, and when a car crashed. A few years back, a boy in Spokane Valley was hit and killed by a police car while he was riding his bicycle. This case was under investigation for a long time with much uncertainty, but once they brought Moody and his forensics team on the case, they finally uncovered the truth of how the accident happened.

Moody solves mystery cases like this and many others through science, mathematics and investigation.  

“Engineering isn’t always pretty, but its always extremely necessary,” Moody said. 

His degree took him in a completely different direction than he anticipated, but he could not be happier. He did not realize the variety of unique career paths he could pursue post-graduation. Moody appreciates the doors that GU opened up for him. 

“Gonzaga gave me the freedom to be able to follow my own ideas; to find out what I really can do and in the end be rewarded for that,” Moody said.

Sammy Vowels graduated from GU in 2019 with a computer science degree. She now works as an associate developer for Expeditors International. For Vowels, working for a freight company out of college was not where she expected to be, but it has given her unique insight into the global freight business.  

“I love my job at Expeditors International because of the friendly and empowering community and innovation of technology,” Vowels said.

Jenny Hoefel graduated from GU in 2017 and is now a structural engineer at KPFF Consulting Engineers. The Seattle-based consulting firm focuses on the structural design of waterfront properties like piers, wharfs and fish hatcheries.  

“I love my career at KPFF because it is similar to GU. It is extremely community driven, emphasizes giving back and feels like a big family,” Hoefel said.  

Patrice MacMillan graduated from GU in 2012 with a business administration degree with a concentration in marketing. Now, she is a marketing director for a nationwide recruiting company, Johnson Service Group, Inc., covering everything from individual marketing and sales projects to full scale company campaigns.  

“Gonzaga helped me take a holistic look at my career and consider all aspects including how it affects the greater community,” MacMillan said. 

Nikki Robison graduated in 2009 from GU with a business administration degree, with concentrations in marketing and human resources. Today, Robison is a recruiter at McKinstry. 

McKinstry is a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings.

Currently McKinstry is building the largest zero waste energy building in the United States in Spokane. They are currently designing and constructing the new GU and University of Washington School of Medicine building.

Robison is excited to the recruit the best work force to help with complete this innovative project that will hopefully be a pioneer building for the rest of the country.  

“Gonzaga pushed me to find a career where I could make an impact on the world, and now I’m doing it,” Robison said.  

Ariel Evans is a contributor. 


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