Students optimistic about future after graduation


(Webster Groves, MO, April 27, 2011) With graduation just around the corner, seniors are preparing to leave the safety of Webster University’s walls and dive into the real world. Most, if not all, have thoughts plagued with job applications and student loan bills, and some wonder if they’ll have success in the field that they chose.

Despite the uncertainty that many face, students seem to remain optimistic about their lives after graduation. Although 4 out of 10 predicted that it would be tough for them to afford the lifestyle they dream of, according to an Associated Press-Viacom poll of 18 to 24 year old Americans, over 90 percent surveyed said that they expect to find careers that will bring them happiness, if not wealth.

Senior photography major Cara Longo said that the amount of money she would make after graduating wasn’t a factor when deciding on her major.

“I love photography,” Longo said. “There was nothing else I wanted to do.”

Now, as her senior year at Webster comes to an end, Longo said she plans on getting a second undergraduate degree in biological and forensic photography. Longo said she wishes she had known that she would need a more specialized degree, and said she would’ve just skipped her generic photography degree.

“I’m definitely scared about the job market,” Longo said. “There isn’t one – anyone these days can buy a nice camera and say they’re a good photographer.”

Other seniors, like Jess Harker, who will graduate in December 2011, chose a double major from the beginning. Harker chose to major in music and business administration – the music major because she plays piano and the business major so she would be able to “get a real job,” she said.

“I taught piano lessons, but a lot of my students had to quit because of the economy,” Harker said. “When that happened, I knew that a music major alone wouldn’t be enough.”

Harker said she has started to apply for internships, hoping that an internship will make it easier for her to find a job in December. Though she said she is glad to chose to double major, she still worries about not being able to find a job.

“My boyfriend graduated last May and he still hasn’t found a job,” she said. “Now, I wish I would’ve picked a more specific business major.”

Unlike Harker, Bobby Trussell will be graduating this May with just one undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism. Trussell said he knew from the beginning that broadcast was the choice for him.

“I love to tell stories,” he said. “I just always knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Trussell said he’s nervous about graduation and has already started applying for jobs at different restaurants, so he’d be able to get a job faster.

“I get worried about student loans,” Trussel said. “I need to get a job immediately.”

Longo and Harker said they are happy with their chosen majors, but wish they could change certain things about their time at Webster. However, Trussell remains confident that the path he chose was the right one.

“I’m happy telling stories,” Trussell said. “It’s just what I do.”

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