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Saint Mary’s students plan for post-graduate opportunities

| Friday, May 18, 2018

The annual Graduate Destination Survey administered by the Career Crossings Office at Saint Mary’s, in conjunction with the Office for Institutional Research, gave statistical data about the post-graduate plans for this year’s senior class.

“[The survey] helps provide a ‘snapshot’ of where [graduating seniors] are at the time of graduation,” Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office, said in an email.

The survey demonstrated that 62 percent of graduating seniors who responded plan to pursue employment, 43 percent plan to pursue post-graduate studies, 11 percent plan to pursue internships and externships, nine percent plan to pursue service and one percent will be pursuing military service.

Dominique DeMoe | The Observer

“[The percentages] do not add up to 100 percent because graduates are pursuing more than one option—for example, grad school and employment,” Jeffirs said.

These options are the most common for graduates, Jeffirs said, but there are others, such as gap year opportunities.

“For most of our graduating seniors, they pursue employment and graduate [or] professional school,” Jeffirs said. “Post-grad service programs also continue to be valued by our graduates.”

The Career Crossings Office conducts this survey of seniors’ plans to follow the guidance provided by the office throughout students’ years at the College, according to Jeffirs.

“We work with students from the moment they arrive on campus to help set a solid foundation for students to build upon during the four years they are at Saint Mary’s,” Jeffirs said. “We start by helping them explore and discern their interests and how these relate to academic majors and potential paths.”

From there, students can work with Career Crossings to create resumes and cover letters, and also use methods such as online resources and networking to help with preparations for their future plans, Jeffirs said.

“[Career Crossings] assist[s] with the internship search process to help students gain experience,” Jeffirs said. “We help them as they enter their senior year with the job search process, applying to graduate and professional schools, exploring post-grad service options and more.”

Jeffirs said Career Crossings aims to work with students as early as possible in order to provide guidance so students feel prepared for opportunities presented to them following graduation.

Senior Fiona Van Antwerp plans to continue to put her business administration major to work after graduation.

“I plan on going back to the Henry Ford Museum and continuing my hands on management experiences by being a food service supervisor,” Van Antwerp said. “I also have other opportunities I am exploring.”

Van Antwerp said she feels her time at Saint Mary’s has prepared her for any endeavors she faces after graduation.

“Saint Mary’s prepared me for graduation through the hands on projects my business professors gave me,” Van Antwerp said. “Saint Mary’s challenged me to think critically about problems which will allow me to come up with unique solutions. Saint Mary’s has made me a well-rounded individual and a strong, empowered woman.”

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