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Classroom to Careers: Alumni Spotlight – Seth Selken

Name: Seth Selken

Major: Mathematics

Graduated: May 2017

Job Title: Technical Problem Solver at Epic

Our academic and professional journeys can look vastly different from person to person but somehow there still seems to be a mold which we are expected to fit into. Graduate high school, graduate college (with a Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D.), find a job (or a few), and work until you are able to retire! Sound familiar to anyone? 

As we all know, sometimes this seemingly simple journey can have a few unexpected twists and turns until we get to where we want to go. This was the case for ISU alumni, Seth Selken. 

Seth had some twists in his journey that originally seemed like a straight forward path. During his time at Iowa State, Seth majored in mathematics and had always had his sights set on being a professor. Knowing he had to go to graduate school to accomplish this goal, upon graduation from ISU Seth went to Clemson University to get his graduate degree in mathematics.  

“The transition from being an undergraduate to becoming a graduate student is a jarring one”, said Seth. 

From taking a full-time credit load, teaching undergraduate courses and conducting research, Seth did not have a great work-life balance while in graduate school. Seth had to make a tough decision. Instead of continuing his education and going into academia, he decided to cut his grad school journey short and leave with a masters.  

“As you can imagine, graduating three to four years earlier than expected and completely changing the direction you want your life to go can be a smidge stressful,” said Seth.  

At the start of his final year, he began applying for jobs within the mathematics industry. 

“I initially took a shotgun approach to find a job. I applied to almost any job that I met the basic qualifications for… I got a few interviews this way, but there were no offers that I was ready to accept” said Seth.  

By the time winter break hit, Seth realized his job search was too broad and he needed to narrow it down to jobs that he thought he would fit well in. This is when he heard about Epic, a software company used in the healthcare industry 

“I’d heard about Epic via word of mouth, so I checked out their website and thought it was a company I could thrive and grow at,” said Seth.  

After a fairly simple application process, a couple of interviews and an online assessment, Seth received a great offer and accepted a position with Epic. He will begin his new professional journey as a Technical Problem Solver with Epic after graduation in May from Clemson with his master’s degree in mathematics.  

Seth’s story is just one of many examples of our paths not quite developing the way we thought because they aren’t supposed to. Even though he didn’t know where his path would be leading, he utilized his network and made thoughtful decisions until he got to where he wanted to go. This is something the majority of us will run into at some point in our lives but we eventually figure out where we want to go. 

If you have any questions or need help figuring out your career path make sure to stop by Career Services so we can help you get there – set up an advising appointment through CyHire TODAY. 

For more information about LAS Career Services, check out our webpage at