By Alana Gaither ’15
With graduation still a recent memory, many new alumni are still navigating the job market. Wesley Thorne ’96, current UCLA career center director, remembers those bittersweet feelings of knowing the “real world” has arrived and offers advice to those on the job hunt.
“Don’t feel pressure to figure everything out as a senior,” said Thorne. “But you must be engaged in the process. If you’re not actively involved in seeking out opportunity then it will pass you by.”
Like many students, Thorne struggled with finding his own career calling. The public relations major decided to test the waters by joining Americorps National Civilian Community Corps after graduation.
“One unique aspect of my experience was the opportunity to mentor other Americorps members who were younger than I and were about to enter college,” said Thorne. “It was through this experience that I realized I was well suited to pursue a helping profession where my work would have meaningful impact – so student affairs made perfect sense.”
Thorne leads a staff of more than 60 members, making sure they feel supported, while managing financial decisions and campus programs. His main focus is to enhance the student and alumni experience.
The self-proclaimed “easily-bored” Thorne finds excitement in having the opportunity to influence and dramatically change his institution’s culture surrounding career planning. After living in places like Ohio, Connecticut, Chicago, Denver and Pittsburgh, Thorne appreciates learning about and experiencing new cultures by building relationships in Los Angeles.
Thorne credits his experience at Otterbein for giving him the opportunity to challenge himself and figure out who he is and the type of person he wants to become. He lives his life with the mindset that no one owes you anything. He believes that in order to be truly successful you can’t live your life thinking you are entitled to anything.
“It’s up to me to go after opportunity and pursue success,” said Thorne. “You never know what you can accomplish or what you’re capable of unless you take chances. And that’s how I’ve lived my life and it’s worked thus far.”
Thorne may have more sunny days and be able to hear the Pacific waves crashing in his backyard, but as a man who loves tradition, he still misses hearing the majestic sounds of the Otterbein carillon bells that ring out beautiful hymns and chimes each day.