Graduating seniors unsure about the future

Jennie Kushner

Seniors graduating next Saturday have three choices: step into the real world, continue their education at a higher level or take a little vacation time.

Due to tough economic times, it seems as though they are doing the latter two.

On Dec. 11, about 2,000 degrees will be confirmed but only 1,100 students will participate in the graduation ceremony, said Susan Dowling, communication specialist for the University.

Dowling said 3,278 students graduated in May of this year.

Students said they have confidence in the education the University has allotted them but unsure as to what the future holds.

“I feel as if Alabama has properly prepared me for the ‘real world,’” said Holly Poole, a senior majoring in marketing. “As a marketing major in the Business school, I had to take many courses that were taught by using real situations of Fortune 500 companies.”

Poole said post graduation, she plans to move to Philadelphia. She said she has been searching for jobs all semester, but has had no such luck.

“Partly because I do not have many contacts in Philadelphia right now, but also due to the poor economy,” she said. “Hopefully, once I get to Philadelphia, I will be able to build my network and have better luck in the job market.”

LaCresha Crawford, a senior majoring in general business, plans to move to Georgia and attend graduate school to get a master’s in human resources.

Crawford, like Poole, has yet to find a job but said feels confident in her credentials.

“I feel I am prepared for the real world, because being a business major you have to focus on getting results out of whatever you are doing,” she said. “The excellent staff of the College of Commerce and Business Administration has prepared its students very well to be successful in the business world.”

Charles Menges, a senior majoring in management, determined his best option was to graduate in three and a half years to secure an internship.

“Once I graduate I have an internship lined up in Birmingham with enc?rIT, LLC,” he said. “I decided to do an internship for the spring since I’m graduating early in three and a half years.”

Menges said his lease at the Retreat expires in July, and he decided to stay in the South while he weighed his options of graduate school or finding a full time job.

“With the economy the way it is, I felt taking an internship and waiting a few more months to see if things begin to turn around was my best option at this time,” he said.

“ I feel Alabama has prepared me for my future,” he said.

Cam Avent, a senior majoring in marketing, said he plans to move to Colorado. Avent said due to tough economic times, he couldn’t find a job prior to graduation.

“I didn’t want to sit around Tuscaloosa or Newnan, my home town, jobless for a few months and then get stuck with a job I didn’t want and look back on my life three years from now and say ‘man I wish I could have gone out West when I had the chance,’” he said.  “Plus, I don’t think I’m ready to grow up completely yet.”

Jimmy Smith, a senior majoring in urban planning, said at this stage in his life, he is not ready to enter the full time work force.

“Upon my graduation, I will return to Kentucky and for the next month and a half I will go on a conquest of ducks, geese and quail,” he said. “After that, I will take the LSAT again in February.”

Smith said the current job situation swayed his option.

“With my degree and the current lack of jobs, for me to have a stability in the future, I know now is the time to further my education rather than try to enter the work force,” Smith said.