Jitters and joy: graduates prepare for work force and higher degrees

With only 37 days left until the fall 2006 commencement ceremony, graduating seniors are preparing themselves to make the decision to continue their education or take the skills they’ve learned in school to obtain a job.

While some students will decide to continue their education, others will explore the option of the career world by starting their career and the responsibilities that follow.

Making the transition from college to a career is a big step for anyone. Florida A&M University’s Excellence with Caring Preparedness program assists students in making the transition from college to corporate America more attainable.

“I’m nervous, but I’m ready,” said Gary Banks II, an industrial and manufacturing engineering student, from San Jose, Calif. “It’s a long time coming, and I’m very excited. I have a lot going for myself.”

After graduation, Banks plans to start his own business while working for a fortune 500 company. He has three offers in line: Hitachi Data Systems, EMC and possibly Google.

“I do feel overly prepared,” Banks said. “I know it’s not going to be this vacation like at school, but I embrace it all the same.”

While some students know their immediate plans after graduation, Jawan Stewart did not plan on immediately working. But due to circumstances, she realized she had no other choice.

“I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was,” said Stewart, an elementary education student from Laurel, Md. “You can’t be a child anymore. You got to grow up real quick and be prepared to be dependent on yourself.”

Stewart found life after graduation to be stressful. “I thought my parents were still going to provide for me, and they’re not,” she said.

Stewart said she discovered the real world is quite consuming and a tad bit overwhelming. She is adjusting to recent relocation and paying her utilities while still making payments on college loans.

When it comes to dealing with anxiety and stress for finding an internship or job, the FAMU Career Center is available to assist.A number of students go to the career center seeking advice about transitioning into the workforce, said Delores Dean, the director of the career center.

“The center offers students a workshop about transitioning from school to work, adjusting to an eight-to-five work day, learning the work cultures, professionalism from etiquette to dress and educating students on the evaluation process and job requirements,” Dean said.

Dean stressed the importance of starting early at the career center and taking advantage of internships that can lead to possible jobs.

“It’s time to go,” said Irene O. Aihie, a graduating pharmacy student from Miami. “I’ve had many ups and a few downs. My time at FAMU has been well spent.”

Aihie next plans are to work and attend graduate school. She is hopeful about attending a master’s of business administration program at Emory College and is in the process of lining up a job.

To receive tips on making the transition from college to corporate America, contact Dean at the FAMU Career Center.