Graduating during a pandemic comes with all sorts of challenges many of the graduating class did not see coming as they first embarked on their journey through college. Now that it’s time to graduate, there is a lot to consider for Weber State University’s graduating seniors.
The Signpost reached out to WSU seniors and the graduating class to get some insight as to how graduates feel about their higher education experience and where some of these students plan on taking their degree.
Clayton Winn, a French major and chemistry minor with an associate degree as a chemical technician, is one of the many graduating students who spoke about his time at WSU and what he plans on doing next. Currently, Winn works as a phlebotomist and hopes to be a podiatrist soon.
Winn stated that his biggest personal profit from his experience is to not have any fears or regrets as he gets ready to start off into the professional world with his degrees.
“My biggest takeaway is to not have any fear for the future,” Winn said. “And to have the courage to challenge myself even when it seemed to be too difficult to accomplish. This has allowed me to practically increase my workload and gave me experiences that helped me grow more as an individual.”
Another graduating student, Olivia Bailey, is a communication major with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising. Bailey plans on pursuing a master’s degree next fall, and at the moment she currently works as a teller at a credit union.
“Eventually, I want to work for a non-profit organization doing something to improve my community,” Bailey said.
One theme these students talked about was the experience of making sure to create relationships on campus and getting involved with the campus life during their time at WSU to better ensure their successes and to begin their networking experience while still at WSU.
“I think it is really important to get involved in school events,” Bailey said. “That could be clubs, sports, service, student councils and so many other things. Being involved in those things helps to feel part of the college community and to make good memories. There are so many opportunities to be involved.”
Another graduating student, Marleen Leist, has taken a little bit of a different path to graduation than other students at WSU, earning a double degree through a partnership with a German university, Hochschule Bremen, where she started studying.
Leist has a plan and a dream to work as a comptroller and has her plans set for her professional life after graduating.
“My dream has always been to work as a comptroller,” Leist said, “and so I am extremely excited to start my internship as a finance intern, where I will be working mostly with the controller of the company, this May.”
Leist is heavily involved on campus, being an international student, and she currently has two jobs on campus.
Leist stated that her biggest takeaways from her WSU experience are in the realms of learning, gaining confidence in herself — as well as her choice in a career after she graduates—and the relationships that she was able to make during her time at WSU.
“The professors at Weber, and especially the Goddard School, have been great teachers and helped me not only gain knowledge about my field of study but also helped me become more confident in my abilities,” Leist said.
Graduation, as Winn mentioned, comes with its fair share of general uncertainties.
While Winn is adamant about ensuring that he doesn’t enter the professional world — or to live his life in general — with regrets and fears, each student has their own unique futures and their individual professional paths to navigate after they graduate.
“My biggest fear is not finding a job that I enjoy doing,” Bailey said. “I want to feel like whatever I do has purpose and is important. I think my fear with this comes from not having much experience in the job market and from not knowing exactly what I want to do after graduation.”
Leist expressed her fears and uncertainties about life after graduation as well.
“My biggest fear about life after graduation is that I won’t be able to live up to my potential,” Leist said. “I have been doing everything to become the best student I can be in my classes and I hope I will be able to do the same in the workplace.”
No matter what these graduating students’ fears are, despite all of life’s uncertainties, especially after graduation, these students have all reached the academic mile marker of graduation.
Whether they plan on pursuing further education, if they hope to enter their respective professional workplaces directly, or if there is still some uncertainty, these students all have achieved their academic goals by making their university experience at WSU work for them.