March 5, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 11

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    Strategic planning: With J.D., M.B.A., grad to head for NFL

    Strong economy a boon in searches for 'perfect' employment

    By Catherine Behan
    News Office

    After the excitement of college and graduate school, there's not much to look forward to, is there?

    For Eric Nyquist, that couldn't be further from the truth.

    Nyquist, who will receive both his J.D. and M.B.A. this year, will go right from graduate school to his "dream job" as a strategist for the National Football League.

    "I think I'm beside myself," Nyquist said. "One week, I had no job and no great hopes. A week later, I'm hired by the NFL."

    With a strong economy, new graduates of the College, as well as those from the graduate and professional schools, are finding themselves not only confident they will have a job after graduation, but juggling up to a dozen offers -- many with salaries previous graduates only hoped to achieve.

    "It is as strong a job market as anyone has seen in years," said Robert Riesman, Director of Career & Placement Services. "For graduating students participating in on-campus recruiting programs, it's common to get multiple offers."

    Many of those jobs are in investment banking and consulting. But there are a few students, like Nyquist, with less conventional jobs ahead. "Recent University graduates have gotten jobs ranging from video-game developer to community organizer," Riesman said.

    For Nyquist, the NFL is the perfect place to be. He has loved athletics all his life and played sports throughout high school and college. He also helped coach his hometown high school football team in Minnesota during graduate school, commuting on weekends during football season.

    During graduate school, he began contacting the NFL, the National Basketball Association and other sports organizations, seeking a job in the "front office." Until recently, he said, his quest "wasn't looking too good." Although he has strong academic marks, he went right from Carleton College to graduate school, and lacks the professional experience that some employers desire. But he persisted, and it paid off.

    A friend relayed the news that a senior executive in the NFL had left his position. Two days later, Nyquist was in New York interviewing with the president of the NFL. Two days after that, he had an offer to work in the front office. He will work on projects including management of revenue sharing, expansion efforts and financial management of the league.

    "People have their passions," said Nyquist, who soon will earn a living from his. As he can attest, a first job doesn't get much dreamier than that.