Ready to launch: MU graduates are well prepared to succeed after college

The recent annual career outcomes survey shows more than 95% of graduating Tigers thrive in various fields within six months after graduation. Meet Luke Pfitzinger, a May 2023 nursing graduate.

Contact: Brian Consiglio, 573-882-9144,

University of Missouri graduates leave campus fully equipped to forge a path toward career success.

A new career outcomes survey shows that more than 95% of recent MU graduates found employment, continued their education, joined the military or started volunteer service within six months of spring graduation. Prospective students and their families are taking notice, as applications for enrollment are at a record-setting pace, up 14% in 2024 compared to 2023.

In addition, Mizzou is

  • attracting higher-achieving students, as 35% of incoming students ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class in 2023 compared to 29% in 2017.
  • shaping aspiring leaders, as the university was named No. 13 among all public universities on Time magazine’s inaugural Best Colleges for Future Leaders list.
  • providing an affordable education, as MU was ranked No. 7 Best Value among all flagship universities by U.S. News & World Report.

“Students at Mizzou learn from world-class faculty, conduct research, enjoy SEC sports and participate in many activities including fraternity and sorority life for a well-rounded education and development,” said Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri. “These impressive career outcome results show that Mizzou prepares students to lead our state and world.”

The latest career outcomes survey, conducted in partnership with the National Association of Colleges and Employers, shows that 2,504 employers have hired class of 2023 graduates, ranging from Fortune 100 firms to small business enterprises. Additionally, class of 2023 graduates were accepted into 283 institutions worldwide and reside in 47 states, the District of Columbia and 21 countries worldwide. 

“At MU, we aim to support students as they make the transition from college to the workforce, post-grad studies or other pursuits so they can apply what they have learned as they continue to explore their interests,” said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies at MU. “Our alumni are changing the world every day, and out of all the benefits of attending college at MU, the one pride point we hear from our students more than any other at graduation is that they feel prepared and equipped for life after college.”

So, what does it mean to be a Mizzou grad? Hear from three class of 2023 alumni.

Luke Pfitzinger – May 2023 nursing graduate

Both of Luke Pfitzinger’s parents are graduates of the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, and when it was his time to pick his own academic focus at Mizzou, he decided to follow in his parents’ footsteps.

To help cover his college expenses, Pfitzinger worked 80 hours per week as a firefighter and emergency medical technician for Boone County Fire District Station 8, where he lived while taking many of his classes asynchronously during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I like taking care of people and helping others, and that played a big part in me wanting to be a nurse,” Pfitzinger said. “When responding to 9-1-1 calls, I liked how the problem-solving aspect of each situation is unique. Figuring things out on the fly under high stress has definitely helped prepare me for my career as a nurse.”

Pfitzinger now works as a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at MU Health Care, assisting patients who have suffered traumatic injuries, including fractured ribs, broken bones, punctures and lacerations.

“I definitely benefitted from the simulations lab and all the high-tech mannequins in the new nursing building during my undergraduate career at Mizzou,” Pfitzinger said. “Being able to simulate actual care scenarios played a big part in my knowledge and success as I started my career as a nurse.”

Pfitzinger credits the nursing school’s faculty members, particularly Sherri Ulbrich, Meghan Coburn Brocco and Jessica Peuterbaugh, for their combination of professionalism and empathy.

“The faculty were really good at helping me make sense of things I was learning for the first time,” he said. “They were great teachers and mentors to me.”

Pfitzinger also credits the connection between the Sinclair School of Nursing and University Hospital — an academic teaching hospital and Level I trauma center — for allowing him to familiarize himself with his surroundings, the software programs used to complete various tasks, and the logistics of understanding how complex documentation and charting systems work for such a massive organization.

“Having already done clinicals through University Hospital during my undergraduate career, it definitely made the transition to my current career smoother knowing where things are and how they work,” he said.

Above all, Pfitzinger said one of the most important lessons he learned through the Sinclair School of Nursing is the value of family-centered care.

“One of the biggest things I learned is building relationships with not just the patients but also their family members, who are obviously concerned for their loved ones and all the anxiety that comes with that,” Pfitzinger said. “Seeing patients make progress over time and seeing how gracious their family members are is gratifying. Regardless of where I end up in the future, I know I’ll find success thanks to my time at MU.”

This article was originally published on ShowMe Mizzou, April 2, 2024. Read the full article here.

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