Oh, the places they’ll go…

Keri Lynn McHale

When Quinnipiac seniors walk across the stage on graduation day, they will leave the only life they have ever known. In their hands will be a diploma, their ticket to the real world. But what will they do with it?

For some, that piece of paper is the passport to adventure. Wendy Wei, a senior majoring in public relations, plans to travel throughout Europe for a month after she graduates. After four years of reading, hearing and learning about the world, she thinks it’s time to experience it.

Wei advises future and current seniors to live life to its fullest after graduation.

“If you want to travel the world, do it. Don’t do anything just because it’s ‘what your supposed to do’ after graduation,” she said. “Just have fun.”

For many, receiving their diplomas is like cutting the ribbon at the start of a race. The competitive chase for employment begins. Alison Loyka and Nicolas Gilleran, two seniors majoring in public relations, will pursue jobs in major cities and move home to commence their hunts.

Gilleran wants to work for NBC in Boston. “If that doesn’t work out, I’m moving to Los Angeles to potentially work for Paramount Pictures,” he said.

Loyka plans to snag a job at a record label in New York City. “I’ll be living home until I save enough money to get my own apartment in New York City,” she said.

Both Gilleran and Loyka advise the Class of 2008, especially those in communications fields, to intern.

“Intern as much as you can. It’s the best way to get your foot in the door,” Loyka said. “It’s where you make a lot of your connections before heading out into the real world. .It’s all about who you know.”

Loyka is not the only senior trying to take her bite out of the Big Apple. Scott Wormser, a senior media production major, and Casey Manning, a senior broadcast journalism major, want to move to New York City to pursue acting careers. Manning is crossing his fingers that he will find his big break in New York City, he said.

He advises the juniors to not let opportunities pass them by. “You do not want to be at the end of a long list of names, you want yours right at the top.,” he said. “Work hard until the very end and stay dedicated to your work.”

For some seniors, there is no end to school work any time soon. Monica Sisca, a senior sociology major, plans to attend graduate school at Quinnipiac to obtain her Master of Arts in teaching. Senior physical therapy major Katherine Leduc also plans to stay at Quinnipiac. At the completion of her program, she will receive her doctorate in physical therapy.

Sisca recommends that upcoming seniors take challenging classes in the fall so there is time to interview for jobs and graduate schools in the spring. “When going on interviews learn how to sell yourself; it’s the best way to get what you want.”

Leduc advises juniors to take life into their own hands. “Be proactive–about everything, your education, your life. Don’t just sit around and let others guide you along. Take action and take control of your future,” she said.

Although some seniors choose to continue their educations at Quinnipiac, some choose to attend other universities. Jaclyn Trojanowski, a senior majoring in social services, plans to attend the School of Social Work at Rutgers University to acquire her Masters. Other seniors attend graduate school to study a field unrelated to their undergraduate field. Sara Fiore, a senior broadcast journalism major, plans to attend the University of New Haven to work on her master’s in sports management.

Trojanowski reminds juniors that there is nothing wrong with being unsure about the future during their senior year in college.

“It is OK to not have your life planned out for you as you approach graduation,” she said. “So many opportunities may come your way and this is only the beginning to the rest of your life. .Take it as it comes.”

For a handful of seniors, a diploma on graduation day is the last piece of the puzzle. They are waiting patiently to walk across that stage and into the offices of the jobs they already have. Dina Rocco, a senior accounting major, starts work in September as a new associate auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Hartford. Mike Fagoli, a senior majoring in media production, will work on documentaries for Kismet Films in New York City.

As the school year at Quinnipiac comes to an end, Wormser reminds current seniors and those soon to be, to cherish the memories.

“Do not hold back because time flies by. And remember, no matter what, Quinnipiac University will always be here.”