Graduating students start professional chapter of life

With undergraduate commencement quickly approaching on May 11, finding a job right out of college is a priority for most seniors. It can be a stressful time, but the Cahill Career Center is dedicated to helping students find job opportunities and helping them work on important skills like resume building and interviewing.

The Cahill Center is also responsible for administering the First Destination Survey, a nationwide survey that gathers and measures data through post-graduation outcomes for students. This data can be used for Ramapo to highlight and celebrate student success, and the survey can be a useful tool for students who are still looking for jobs.

LaQuan Norman, director of the Cahill Center, said the survey is sent out three times a year and the results are based on when a student’s degree is conferred. For example, the survey for spring 2023 was sent out to graduating seniors on April 10, but the information will not be published until June when degrees are conferred.

According to the most recent published survey data from August 2022, 95.3% of the students who responded to the survey reported they are employed or continuing their education and 84.7% of those students reported being employed before graduation.

The Ramapo News spoke to a few graduating seniors with jobs lined up to learn more about what their post-graduation plan will look like.

“I’m very excited to get into student affairs and continue to innovate.”

-Paolo Miyashiro-Bedoya

Environmental science major Kristina Hollosi currently works part-time at Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary in Short Hills as an environmental educator. She was hired in March and will work full-time from June through August. She found her job outside of Handshake.

“I’m going to have to figure out what I want to do afterwards,” Hollosi said. “And I probably want to do some type of research or fieldwork that’s outside of New Jersey.”

She said she is unsure if she wants to stick with the type of field and job, but she likes being able to talk to many different age groups of children about what she’s learned and what her major is about.

“They bring different classes, which is great because it makes you able to talk about different topics like… learning about nature for the first time all the way to learning about climate change and complex issues like that,” she said.

Cynthia Slizewski is a first-generation student and Education Opportunity Fund scholar with a social sciences contract major. She doesn’t have a declared focus, but said she is interested in mental health overall. She will be working as a registered behavior tech for A Friendly Face (AFF), an autism treatment services company that provides treatments for children. Both of their locations are near Staten Island, which is where Slizewski said she is from and will be moving back to after graduation to be closer to her family.

“Sometimes my parents lived paycheck to paycheck at certain points in our lives, so a big concern for me was to find a job that pays well but also that I love that’s not going to make me hate my jobs as everyone else may,” she said 

Slizewski learned about AFF through the Career and Internship Fair on March 1. She researched them before the event and asked them a few questions at their table. They told her they were interested in speaking with her and to email them back. By the next week, she had an interview with AFF lined up and was hired on the spot. 

Finding a job is not the only path students can take for post-graduation. Some students, like SGA President Paolo Miyashiro-Bedoya, choose to pursue graduate school to further their education. Miyashiro-Bedoya is a management major and was accepted into Rutgers-New Brunswick for his Ed.M. in College Student Affairs Program.

“I’m very excited to get into student affairs and continue to innovate. I want to be able to work in a college, maybe come back to Ramapo, in student affairs and student involvement,” he said.

Ramapo also offers graduate programs like Master of Social Work and M.S. in Accounting for students who wish to continue their education here. Applications for summer and fall 2023 terms are currently open, and the full list of programs and admissions requirements can be found on the graduate program page on the college’s website.

Featured photo by Matthew Wikfors