What do you plan on doing after graduation? Seniors that are graduating this summer are starting to figure this out. Some are applying for graduate school and others are applying for jobs. Some are trying to relocate and others are ready to pack up and go home. Two seniors from the College of Communication and Information have started to get their lives on track for after graduation on May 7th.
Rachel Wall is a senior interpersonal communications major from Westfield, New Jersey. Rachel plans on going home for a few weeks before coming back to Kent to finish a few classes to graduate in August. In the meantime, Rachel is exploring her options in the culinary arts field by visiting local culinary schools. She wants to attend culinary school and is looking to get out of Ohio as soon as she can. Rachel says she is leaving Ohio because, “For one I’m not from here. I hate that most of the year is consumed by winter. I want to experience other parts of the United States, broaden my horizons.” In an ideal world Rachel would be a restaurant manager outside Ohio. When asked what scares her most about the months after graduation Rachel had only one concern, switching locations. She knows starting new in a strange place and “growing up” can be a task in itself, but doing it alone is so much harder. Even with her fears Rachel stays positive. She did it once before when she came to Kent State University and has faith she can do it again.
Another senior from Lakewood, Ohio has a different plan for after graduation in May. Charlotte Van Duzee is an applied communications major with an art history minor. Charlotte is looking for work around the Kent area until her apartment lease ends in August. She hopes to find any type of work for the few months she will still be around. Ideally, in August, Charlotte plans to move to either Colorado or Portland although she is willing to stay if she is offered a full-time position in Ohio. Relocation is not a problem for Charlotte. When asked why she wanted to leave Ohio, Charlotte said, “Because I am sick of the weather, the economy and I’m ready to start fresh.” So far Charlotte has edited her resumes and applied for jobs in and out of state. Her ideal job would be to become an art history professor in Portland, Chicago, or Colorado. Charlotte is still looking for her first breakthrough into the professional world but will not let the bad economy and weather stop her from achieving her goals. When asked what her biggest fears about the months after graduation, Charlotte replied, “Finding a decent job and being able to pay my loans back.” Money is always an issue for new graduates and not everyone is lucky enough to get a job right out of college.
As for me, I am an applied communications major from North Royalton, Ohio. After graduation I have received a temporary position at Playhouse Square, in Cleveland as the Assistant Director of Outdoor Events. I begin the Monday after graduation and work until mid September. Planning events is only one of the many things I would like to do in my professional career. I am not thinking about graduate school for at least a few more years. Hopefully I can find a job where I will get paid to go back to school. I currently am still looking for jobs for after September by applying online through Monster.com. I have also expanded my LinkedIn connections and hope to find a position I will enjoy. My biggest fear about the months after graduation is being able to support myself. Like Charlotte, I want to be able to make all the payments I need and still be able to eat. I do not mind relocating and plan to move in with a friend in Cuyahoga Falls until I find a permanent position.
For those who have not yet received a job and are concerned about loans, AmeriCorps is a great way to gain experience and have your loans managed. AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults to serve with local and national nonprofit groups. It involves services that make a community safer, give children a second chance, or help preserve the environment. This program has helped many college graduates focus their careers into fields they had never thought of before.
Graduation is a time for celebration, so set aside your fears and enjoy the fact that your life is just beginning.
AmeriCorps website for more information: http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/why/index.asp
Julie Battaglia is a senior applied communication studies major and practicum student in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.