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UWRF graduating seniors reflect on college experience

May 7, 2009

May 16 marks the day 640 UWRF graduating seniors will walk across that stage dressed in their cap and gowns and receive the fruit of their hard earned labours; a diploma. 

There will be two commencement ceremonies to accommodate the large number of graduates this year. They will be held in at 9:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. in the Roger P. Knowles Center. 

Graduation is a huge accomplishment in any college student’s life. It proves that all the years of homework and exams were not endured for nothing. 

For senior marketing major Melissa Roberts, walking across that stage means starting a new chapter in her life.

“I feel like I will have taken the next step in my future,” Roberts said. “Walking off that stage will be my walk towards the real world.” Roberts, 21, said she hopes to work in the marketing department of Lifetime Fitness after graduating. 

One thing that Roberts said she wished someone would have told her when she started college is that “it is OK not to know what to do with the rest of your life.” 

While her classmates went out and partied, Katie Delk, a marketing communications major, kept her nose to the grindstone, however she said she regrets not cutting loose a little more often. “I only spent four years here and I will very likely never turn back,” she said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have great memories, but I studied more often than necessary and quite possibly missed out on some pretty great college times with my friends.”

Along with Roberts and Delk are the 1.6 million other college graduates receiving degrees this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

With an unpredictable economy, it is uncertain how recent graduates will fare out in the real world. Despite the tough economic times, six UWRF seniors said they feel they are optimistic about finding jobs in their chosen field. 

Double majoring in physics and mathematics, McNair Scholar Devin Underwood said he thinks he will have no trouble finding a job because of the excellent education he received at UWRF. “I have dedicated teachers who work hard to prepare students for the real world,” said Underwood. “When the time comes that I end up going to work I will be plenty prepared.”

After graduation, Underwood will be headed to Princeton University, where he will pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Not all students had good things to say about their time at the University. One graduating business major, Matthew Page, said he was frustrated with some of the professors they had at UWRF.

“I didn’t enjoy some of the professors because they were hard to understand and I feel that I didn’t receive a lot of information in some of my classes,” Page said.

For underclassmen looking for a leg up on the competition, business administration major Skipp Haseley, who currently has an internship with North Western Mutual Financial Network, and will be working there full time after graduation, offers a bit of advice.

“My advice to any underclassmen would be to start looking for internships early in college,” he said. “In today’s economy it’s all about who you know and your experience.”