Where Are You Going…Where Have You Been?

Michael LaCagnin

College is a place for learning, enlightenment and self-discovery. At Wittenberg, students are exposed to many different opportunities to aid in this process, but when it is all said and done, does it prepare its graduates for the real world?

Tyler Palmer, graduating this year with a B.A. in Business, says that if a student is proactive and utilizes the resources available, he or she can leave prepared for the next step. “If you talk to your advisors they will help you with finding different opportunities to help you succeed,” said Palmer. Even though Palmer said Wittenberg has prepared him, there are still issues about graduation that bring him anxiety. Where he is going to live and how he is going to buy a car are his main concerns, but the freedom of those responsibilities also excite him.

“I am most looking forward to fully becoming an adult.” Upon graduation, Palmer plans to move back to Pittsburgh to attend graduate school.

Shelly Gregory, who graduated last year, said that she too felt prepared to enter the professional world. A contributing factor to her confidence was the Communication and Business Leadership experience (CABLE) program. Gregory said that all majors should have programs similar to CABLE. This program provided her with many opportunities to learn and grow as a student, but she also believes that if you truly want something you have to go out and take it.

“It’s your education, it’s your future and you have to take the bull by the horns,” said Gregory. Advice Gregory would give to current seniors? Relax, everything will work out. “You don’t have to have all of the answers or connections. Who you are as person means just as much as what you can do.” Gregory is currently working in San Francisco, California with LEWIS PR.

Ben Longstreth, Class of 2014 President, absolutely believes Wittenberg has prepared him for the next chapter of his life. “I feel that Wittenberg has prepared me to make the biggest impact I can as a citizen of the world and not just in the work force.” But leaving is bittersweet “Leaving a place I care so deeply about and losing some of my best friends are two of my biggest concerns,” said Longstreth. His advice to underclassman? Say yes to as many opportunities as possible. “You never know where one yes could lead you.” After graduation Longstreth will be working on his Masters of Higher Education and Policy studies at the University of Central Florida.

Swati Shivshankar, who also graduated last year, is currently working for Callsocket, a customer service agency. She said her liberal arts education at Wittenberg provided her with the skills to be prepared for the real world. “The well rounded education and opportunities Wittenberg provides helped me a lot when I was applying and interviewing for jobs,” said Shivshankar. The most challenging aspect of graduation for Shivshankar was balancing her finances. “I wish Witt offered a class or something on managing and budgeting your money.”

“The real world is an exponential learning curve,” she continued, “Every day you are learning new things about yourself and the world around you.” Advice she would give to current seniors is to expect the unexpected. “Be open to new opportunities and don’t limit yourself. Your first job might not be what you want, but as long as you are learning and growing everything will work out.”

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