Persistance pays off for Liberal Arts alumnus

Michaela Harpster
December 18, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When he did not receive the job offers he wanted upon graduation, 2019 Liberal Arts alumnus Mitchell Wootten said he felt like he had been "punched in the gut." Although discouraged, Wootten was motivated to continue his job search while working in some temporary positions, until he eventually landed his current job as a policy specialist for Google, only four months later.

“It is important to remember that even when you are down, it is an opportunity to show your persistence and determination to conquer the issue at hand,” Wootten said. “I initially worked as an UberEats driver then eventually accepted a temporary job with Berry Appleman & Leiden LLC, an immigration law firm in downtown Washington, D.C. This was a great stepping stone until I eventually accepted my position here at Google.”

As a policy specialist, Wootten handles requests for user data received from law enforcement agencies and courts. In addition, he analyzes the best strategies for implementing policies across regions and conducts regular data analysis to ensure consistency of decision-making and establishing improvements for regional trends.

So far, Wootten has found great meaning in his career at Google.

“Working with the brightest minds in the world who are driven daily to reach new levels of success is the best experience a young professional like me could ask for. I am surrounded by amazing colleagues that strive to go above and beyond at work but also make a lasting impact in local communities,” he said.

A political science major and economics minor, Wootten’s liberal arts education helped prepare him for his career. He learned the analysis tools needed to be an effective leader and communicator, he said.

Coming from a family of Penn State alumni including his dad, grandma and brother, there was never any question that Wootten would also attend Penn State. Wootten explained that he felt he got the full Penn State experience by “having great professors and an even better football team.”

Impressively, he completed three internships during his time as an undergraduate. Wootten also enjoyed participating in several philanthropic events through his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. His favorite Penn State memory was attending his first THON.

“It blew me away and sparked an interest in helping the most vulnerable of society. I still continue to support THON all the way from the Lone Star State,” Wootten said.  

Wootten advises current students to take advantage of Penn State’s career resources. He participated in networking events through the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network.

“Until my senior year, I was unaware that the events were often open to all grades,” he said. “Some additional advice that I often tell my younger brother Cory or any current student would be to take advantage of Penn State's career resources.”

Last Updated December 22, 2020