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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Graduation: beginning of whole new experience

By Sangmin Lee

Nearly 90 percent of 2008 Day Campus bachelor’s degree recipients reported being employed after graduation, according to the Day Program Graduate Survey Summary report. The report is based on responses from 75 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients. Of 2008 graduates, 76 percent reported full-time employment, and 52 percent were employed in their major fields of study. Twenty-two percent of 2008 graduates had plans to attend graduate school.

Don Malson, director of the Career Services Center, said, “The job market for college graduates at this time is very slow. However, there are job opportunities available, and one needs to utilize all the resources they can.”

Some graduates get jobs and start their careers after their graduation, and others go to graduate school and continue their studies. Graduating seniors at Columbia College are making their own plans. When seniors have only two months before their graduation, what are they thinking about and what do they feel?

Magdalene Pride, a senior who is getting three degrees in chemistry, mathematics and forensic science, said that she is excited about graduation because her life is going to be a whole new experience after she graduates from Columbia College. At the same time, she said she feels nervous about the future. Pride said she is going to graduate school to study either chemistry or materials science and engineering.

Pride is satisfied with the way she has achieved the goals she had in mind before she came to Columbia College. “My goal was to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. I’m achieving that and more than I would have ever expected,” Pride said. She said she was lucky that she could meet good professors at Columbia College. “Because I was here, I met Dr. Nataliya Latushkina, who saw that I was good at mathematics. When I didn’t even know I was good at math to begin with, she encouraged me to study math. Now, I’m getting a degree in mathematics,” Pride said.

So-yeon Jeong, who is getting an associate degree in general studies, is planning to go back to South Korea and finish her bachelor’s degree after her graduation. Jeong came to Columbia College in 2007 as an international student from Kongju National University, so she has to finish school there. At first, she had planned to stay at Columbia College for just one semester, but she decided to keep studying and graduate from Columbia College. She decided to do so because of the scholarships and good educational environment at Columbia College. Jeong said, “I really liked Columbia College because its classes are small. I could get more attention from professors. I also liked that I could participate in discussion in classes.”

Both students feel they had many beneficial extracurricular experiences. Jeong said that she experienced a lot of things that she would have never done in her country. As she met many friends who are from various countries, she could broaden her view of the world. Similarly, Pride said, “Being here has allowed me the opportunity to really expand my horizons. I feel like that coming here made me who I am.” As Pride got involved in many things at Columbia College—being a president of the International Club and going abroad with the choir—she said Columbia College was helpful to build her experience and knowledge.

The Columbia College spring commencement will be held on May 8, 2010. Ivy Chain will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Atkins-Holman Student Commons. The first commencement ceremony for graduate, associate and Day Campus baccalaureate degree candidates will be held at 12 p.m. in Southwell Gymnasium. The second ceremony for baccalaureate candidates in the Evening, Online, and Nationwide campuses will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Southwell Gymnasium.

Photo provided by the Public Relations Department
The Columbia College 2009 fall commencement

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