By: Jeffrey Anderson, Caitlyn Belson & Sabrina Vang
As another year at the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay continues, one of the most important parts looms for this year’s senior class: graduation and beyond. In times of not knowing what to do, it is always good to get some advice and help from those who have been through it already.
Graduation represents a change in livelihood, thrusting the former dorm-livers into the real world shortly after celebrating their achievement of making it through college. It poses a question that can be challenging to answer: Now what?
Billy Palmer, a computer science major who also graduated in spring 2021, said, “I encountered troubles finding a landing spot, eventually finding an entry-level job in my field, working at Cash Depot as an ATM repairman while doing software coding for ATM’s as well. I didn’t have an internship while in school, so it was difficult. I’d say [the difficulty] is almost still ongoing.” Palmer also said, “The commitment to searching for jobs after graduation is paramount.”
“Hammer applications,” Palmer added, “Make your job finding a job…spend eight hours a day looking for it, do it as soon as possible because once COVID-19 stops, those jobs are going to be filled up.”
Palmer is a first-generation college student, being the first to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in his family.
Pangkou Yang, a senior majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Women and Gender studies, anticipates graduating in the fall of 2022. Yang is currently an intern at Schreiber Foods as a Customer Order Support and a sales associate at Express. Yang stated, “Though I am currently an intern at Schreiber, my future is yet to be determined.” She added, “I am very nervous. Like many other students, I am just trying to get through the semester, and having to think about plans after graduation is very overwhelming and stressful. I’m not quite sure what I want to do.” With the impact COVID-19 has left on many students, she mentioned, “I am still recovering.” COVID-19 has drastically impacted her motivation towards her academics. Juggling two jobs and being a full-time student is not easy on anyone, but she is determined to graduate on a strong note.
Yang is devoted to graduating in the fall of 2022 and says, “I’m ready to graduate, and I’m ready for whatever is meant to happen after graduation.”
Danielle Bina, a professor of Communication and Information Science at UWGB, advised, “Some do, and some don’t. Some students have a promising idea when they arrive. Others take classes and find a path later. In some cases, students take that ‘one’ class that clicks, and they find their career passion.” There are still students who have already graduated and still do not know what they are doing. Professor Bina advises, “[Students should] enter the workforce, and be open to new experiences. Be curious; ask questions, and learn. You may be surprised to find a new option that is a great fit!”
Bina added, “Complete at least one internship. Internships are the best way to sample career options. You learn, make valuable contacts, and can rule out jobs that might not suit your goals.”
Bina advised, “If you can’t find that ‘perfect’ opportunity, don’t be afraid to take a job in an area that might be a bit different than your major. It’s a start and sometimes leads to another successful career journey.”