Seniors prepare for life after graduation


Linda Smith
Assistant News Editor

Since the final weeks of school are upon us, everyone is making plans for the summer and the upcoming fall. While some students are prepping for their Rome experience and others are eagerly awaiting their final year at the University of Dallas, members of the class of 2012 are finalizing their plans for their lives after undergraduate study. Current seniors have big plans for the next few months, including moving across the country, starting fantastic internships or jobs, and getting married.

Senior Julianne Watkins will wed Zachary Stangebye in August, as they move to Philadelphia. Stangebye will finish his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, while Watkins will pursue a master’s in Social Work/Administration to later run non-profit organizations.

“I have become more myself, solidified who I am,” Watkins said. “I hope to continue to be a student for the rest of my life – I never want to stop learning. I have learned the art of thinking for myself; that is why I came to the University of Dallas – and I am happy to say that I got exactly what I was looking for.”

Others will be moving across the globe to start on a career path. Through the Salesian sisters’ VIDES+USA program, senior Annie Dougherty will get the chance to volunteer in Africa for six months.

“The UD education has given me a synthetic view of the disciplines and a greater appreciation for the fields that I was previously unfamiliar with,” Dougherty said. “My interest in volunteering was strengthened while at UD as I came to a greater understanding of the blessings I have been given. I want to share those blessings and the talents that God has given me with those who do not enjoy the gifts we have been given in the U.S., of freedom and prosperity.”

Although many students have plans, others are still unsure of their plans for the immediate future. Some students will take advantage of Braniff graduate courses to further their learning with programs such as the Early Career MBA. ECMBA Admissions and Academic Advisor Julia Jakab feels that the program is especially beneficial not only for the internships available each semester, but also for the professional development and mentoring in the program.

“Many MBA programs require work experience, but most of the work experience would come post-graduation anyway,” Jakab said. “We are meeting the need of the students. It is a cohort of all the classes together, along with a set program.”

While many feel that business and liberal arts are not a natural fit, students emerge from their four semesters of MBA work ready to face the business world.

“You’re getting classes like business education and marketing, and the liberal arts education you’ve already received rounds it all out,” Jakab said.

Senior Katie Piescik will be pursuing an MBA as well, because she finds the internships helpful to people still searching for a future career. Piescik hopes the program will help her decide between administrative work for a non-profit organization, writing/editing for a home décor or cooking magazine, or both.

“I have no idea what I am going to do with my life in the career sense, so I would say this is a great option for people who don’t know what they want to do,” Piescik said. “That is the beauty of this program – it gives you a degree and work experience, but it is flexible enough to allow you to pursue things that interest you.”

As the year comes to a close, the class of 2012 will be getting ready to make its mark on the world, and from my brief experience with so many of these talented individuals, I am confident that they will all succeed. Congratulations, seniors!


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