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2016 Anthony and NikkiAlumni Snapshot

Anthony Costulas, '12
Degree Earned: B.A. in Political Science
Class Year: 2012
Current Occupation: Analyst
Employer: U.S. Government Accountability Office
Current Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Clubs, Teams, Interests on Campus: United Student Government, WPPJ and Resident Educator

Nikki Williams, '13
Degree Earned: B.A. in Multimedia
Class Year: 2013
Current Occupation: Online Communications Coordinator
Employer: American Society for Radiation Oncology
Current Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Clubs, Teams, Interests on Campus: United Student Government, Resident Educator and Writer for The Globe

Adjusting to the 'Real World'

Recent grads and newly engaged college sweethearts Anthony Costulas, '12, (left) and Nikki Williams, '13, (right) first met while serving the Point Park campus community as community facilitators (resident educators) and United Student Government members. Nowadays, Nikki and Anthony spend their time reading, trying new restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area and running with their dog.

At first glance, these young alumni exhibit all the signs of early career success, but they also have first-hand knowledge of what it means to be a recent graduate and the struggle that is often involved with that transition. When speaking of their time at Point Park and early professional life, Anthony addresses the shock of this adjustment:

"I guess the biggest challenge was just getting used to not being in college. Adjusting to the real world, going from spending every day with our friends to spending 40 hours a week at a job, was a big adjustment."

Nikki urges patience during that first professional experience since, for her, every experience has value. "I feel first jobs are always a little difficult because you are trying to figure out what you enjoy in a more professional setting. I would just tell myself to go to work every day and keep learning. Your first job isn't the best job you ever imagined having, but it is a stepping stone to something great."

When I Grow Up

Anthony is an analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where he works directly for Congress researching various topics for elected officials. Nikki is an online communications coordinator at the American Society for Radiation Oncology, where she manages the company's multiple websites, social media channels and marketing materials. While Anthony and Nikki are focused on building their immediate skills, they also have a keen eye fixed on the future.

Anthony: "I would like to keep working in government, and return to Pittsburgh to work in city government. I could also see myself remaining with the federal government or maybe becoming a college professor someday."

Nikki: "I would definitely like to continue to improve at what I am doing with social media, marketing and graphic design. I'd like to take classes and perfect the skills I have already learned and continue to do the things that I enjoy. I am lucky that I have already found what I want to do with the rest of my life. I would like to continue to improve and hope to advance my career."

The Right Time is Now

As Point Park seniors begin to look ahead to graduation, Nikki and Anthony urge their future fellow alumni to do what they can to smooth the transition between college and 'real life.' Don't wait to receive your diploma to start thinking about and planning for the future. Nikki considers landing her first job before graduation her greatest personal success to date.

"I was on track to graduate a semester early, so I didn't really feel the last semester pressure. I focused on the job search, and started looking really early in the fall. It was a huge success to have a job secured by November. I finished my degree in December was even able to have some time off before I started my job in January. It was nice that I didn't have to continue my job search after I was done with school. I was really proud of that."

Professional photo by Rachel M. Norris Photography, owned and operated by fellow Point Park alumna, Rachel Norris, '13.

More About: multimedia, social media, political science, The Globe, WPPJ, United Student Government, School of Communication