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Highlights from the 2023 Niner Career Challenge

Wanseok Oh poses with the columbus mckinnon employer, they are both holding the large 3500 dollar check he won through the career challenge
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The Career Center held its fourth ‘Niner Career Challenge’ in fall 2023, engaging students in their career development for a chance to win spring 2024 tuition and monthly prizes. Students earned points through event attendance, coaching appointments, drop-in sessions, and more. The Center for Graduate Life and Learning and the University Center of Academic Excellence had programming that counted toward the challenge too.  Wanseok Oh, Sydney Kelly, Maris Carpenter, and Anna Fisher were this year’s grand prize winners.

The challenge, designed to support students actively involved in their career planning, experienced growth, with more students taking an active role in shaping their futures. The career center marketed the opportunity to students throughout the summer of 2023 and the fall semester.

Upon registration, our system tracked students' attendance and involvement, assigning points from August 28 to November 30. One of the winners, Wanseok Oh, set this year’s record with 91 points. Winners were selected through a random drawing, emphasizing both earned points and luck.

Out of 2,479 registered students, incoming freshmen constituted the largest group. Thanks to employer sponsors – Columbus McKinnon, Equitable, Novant Health, and FlexCare Medical Staffing – four students secured spring 2024 tuition. 

Moreover, 12 students secured monthly prizes, each receiving $50 gift cards. Grand prize winners Wanseok Oh, Sydney Kelly, and Anna Fisher were among those who earned gift cards. Notably, Wanseok and Anna each earned two, likely attributed to the substantial number of points they earned.

One of the grand prize winners, Carpenter, highlighted the significance of the Niner Career Challenge, stating, “The Niner Career Challenge taught me many important things about joining the workforce — from crafting professional resumes to discovering where and how to reach out for job opportunities in our area.”

Wanseok Oh added, “The initial intention of the niner career challenge is to prepare job search strategies as I approach graduation and possibly get a grand prize…Although I did not apply for a job yet, all the know-how and skills that I learned will make job search more successful.”

The fall 2024 Niner Career Challenge, starting in late August, promises another significant opportunity for students. The grand prize is a huge opportunity for students. Regardless of a win though, students do not necessarily lose. Active participation with the Career Center ensures students progress on their paths.


Special thanks to our sponsors for the 2023 Niner Career Challenge: Columbus McKinnon, Equitable, Novant Health, and Flexcare Medical Staffing.

Student holds a gift card that they won during the niner career challenge monthly giveaways