With graduation coming up faster than anyone can stop it, it's important for seniors to start thinking about what their futures hold. Some might be going to graduate school, beginning work in their respective fields or doing whatever they can to pay off student loans. Regardless of their position, an undergraduate degree provides opportunities that are limitless, as Kean provides its students with various platforms to launch off.
So, the question is, what comes next?
Gianna Landy, a soon-to-be communications graduate with a concentration in public relations, regards Kean as being a school that makes the transition into the real world easier.
"Kean has prepared me in a lot of ways for post-graduation. Mainly, my adviser, Professor Sullivan, sends out internship opportunities whether they fall under your major or not so that students will be able to expand their horizons. Also, I really like that the university treats you as an adult. Even though we're not really in the real world yet, we already have our foot in the door because there's no one here to tell you when your deadlines are. It's a kind of freedom that teaches you and empowers you," Landy said.
Global fitness and wellness major Brandon Graham, who is also minoring in athletic coaching and health, is so grateful that he spent his college experience at Kean creating many important bonds with peers, professors and advisers alike.
"Kean prepared me for life after graduation by providing a balance of everything. I made friends that I know I will be in contact with forever, and my adviser turned out to be my best friend since I did not only come to them during advisement time. Kean provided a humble environment that made me feel welcomed and I can 100 percent say I’m glad I decided to enroll in this university," Graham said.
Nicole Diefenbacher, a journalism major, credits Dr. Fitch's class with helping her learn the basics of professional relationships, such as always shaking someone's hand and making eye contact. She also credits joining a sorority as being one of the most influential parts of her college career.
"When I joined Nu Theta Chi, there were 40 active sisters," Diefenbacher said. "My sorority taught me personally how to react and mix well with different types of people, even if you're completely different."
Jess Stinson, a psychology major, is grateful for the psychology department and the opportunities it has provided to explore her future field.
"Kean has helped prepare me by offering the course field experience that allowed me to get hands-on experience in the world of psychology, which helped me decide what I want to have as my career," Stinson said.
Julia Giambrone, also a psychology major with a minor in American Sign Language, is thankful to have found affordable education that could guide her in the right direction. Like Landy, Giambrone credits her adviser Dr. Conti with giving her a solid platform to launch from.
"My adviser was a huge help in the preparation for applying to doctorate programs and the Career Center guided me in many ways for interviews, writing a professional resume and curriculum vitae, or CV," Giambrone said.
Janis Beltran, a design and technology theatre major with a concentration in stage management, said that she would not be nearly as prepared as she is for her future without the theatre department. Also, because of Kean, she will be working right after graduation in the Disney College Program as a merchandise cast member, crediting the theatre department with helping her prepare for her interview.
"The theatre department has helped me with graduation by getting my portfolio together and helped me create a business card and website, all things I'm doing currently in my senior seminar class," Beltran said. "On top of that one of my professors helped me get in contact with a stage manager on Broadway and because of that I will be shadowing that stage manager for their 8 p.m. show May 8! The theatre department, I feel, does as much as they can to get their students ready for graduation."
Communications media and film major Alexandra Loaiza, who is also pursuing a minor in marketing, would not have had the chance to flourish in her pursuit of knowledge and personal growth had it not been for her professors.
"Kean University’s professors are what really made my college experience. I had the help of some of my professors with professional advice and information that I need to build after college. I will be having an internship this summer and hopefully it will turn into a permanent job position," Loaiza said.
Another communication media and film major Kyle Green was able to network with higher ups at Kean beginning his freshman year.
"While at Kean I worked in the Office of Admissions for four years. This gave me a tremendous amount of office experience and communication opportunities. Through this I was able to make connections with many faculty and higher ups that have and still are helping me with my future plans after Kean," Green said.
Delano Smalls is a biology major with a specialty in health professions who definitely feels prepared for life after graduation.
"I believe Kean has prepared individuals like myself for life after graduation through the services they offer. The career services page helped me secure a full-time position that I will begin as soon as the semester ends. The faculty in my department also made it a priority to make us aware of the different things we might see in our careers. Advisers like Dr. Reilly even take the time to do practice interviews with her students," Smalls said.
It's clear to see that there is success awaiting these seniors and their peers after they receive their diplomas at the undergraduate commencement Thursday, May 23.