Jamie Cooney found her dream job.

As soon as she graduates and obtains her security clearance, the UR senior, who double-majored in Latin American and Iberian Studies and Psychology, will begin working at the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, with the Office of International Affairs Honors Paralegal program.

“I love studying foreign languages and learning about different cultures, and I’ve always enjoyed community service,” said Cooney, who will work with attorneys on more than 400 different cases at a time. “I also plan on going to law school, so this position truly is the ideal combination of my many passions.”

So how exactly does someone land a dream position, especially in a tight economy?

For Cooney, it took perseverance, patience and the willingness to explore career areas she never thought about before.

“Originally I was focused primarily on applying to jobs in non-profit organizations in Richmond because I have had so much experience interning with them,” she said. “But then I attended the Career Development Center’s Spiders for the Common Good road trip to Washington, D.C., and I realized how many great options there are in the federal government.”

After returning from the trip, Cooney decided to sign-up to attend the CDC’s trip to the Government and Non-Profit Career Expo hosted at Georgetown University each spring.

“One of my best friends was with me at the fair, and she stopped at the Office of International Affairs table,” said Cooney. “She came running over to me and told me that she found my dream job. After talking to the representatives myself, I knew it was the perfect fit for me, so I applied. Before too long, I had an interview and offer.”

Cooney used the right combination of CDC programs and services to reach the opportunity that ultimately worked out perfectly for her, but she wasn’t always so sure about using the CDC’s services.

“My first few years at UR, I felt that the CDC catered primarily to business students, and I was a psychology and foreign language major with no specific career plans yet,” Cooney said. “But after attending a few CDC events and meeting with the advisors there, I quickly realized that I was wrong. The CDC is a great resource for all UR students, regardless of major or year. I appreciate all the time and effort the CDC staff put in to helping me find my perfect fit.”