Early graduates reflect on decisions, job searches and post-grad goals

By Heather Johansen

There are 24 seniors graduating a semester early this year, nearly matching the five-year high of 25. Early grad numbers have been as low as 13 in the past five years. For Hannah Strauss-Albee ’13 and Carley Davenport ’13, graduating early was a decision to save a few bucks. But for Lorenza Pellicioli ’13 it wasn’t the same story.

“Graduating early wasn’t a conscious decision,” said Pellicioli. “I wanted to spend my senior year taking the classes I wanted to take, so I got my requirements out of the way early. It helped that almost all of my classes from abroad went towards my major. Once it became clear that it would be complicated to graduate in regular time, I decided to graduate early.”

Albee is planning to stick around the Twin Cities. “I’m interviewing right now for various teaching and paraprofessional positions in public schools around the Twin Cities,” Albee said. “Hopefully one of those will work out so I can start working next semester.” Albee, a psychology major, sees benefits and drawbacks to graduating early. “In some ways it’s nice to graduate now because you’re not competing with as many college graduates for jobs in the area,” she said. “But in another way it presents a higher level of stress because you are trying to finish up school and find a job at the same time, which is hard when the majority of friends aren’t going through the same thing.” Albee is sticking around to walk with the class in May. Pellicioli, a geography major, would like to do the same if granted flexibility with her future work plans. In the meantime she intends to travel for a few months between graduating and getting a job. “I will be taking a few months off to travel to Australia,” she said. “I’m from Paris, so I will also be spending the time before I leave on my trip with my family who I don’t get to see very often. Because I want to work in entertainment, the work I could do in the Cities as opposed to New York or London is limited. I would like to stay, and I definitely have come to love this place, but it seems unlikely that this will happen anytime soon.” Though Pellicioli hasn’t applied for a job yet, she has started to weigh her options seriously. “Entertainment jobs are usually meant to be filled right away, so it just doesn’t make sense to apply until I can actually start working,” she said. “That being said, I have been networking, and I have done a lot of internships in the past. I feel as though I have people on my side and I’m not too worried about finding something. I’m trying not to stress too much. I also have some money set aside that should help me survive for a while.” Davenport, a sociology major, plans on sticking around the Mac-Groveland area for the next semester.

“I have an internship lined up for the spring in downtown St. Paul, and I’m also planning on getting a part-time job to make some money before I walk in May,” she said. “If time permits, I would love to audit a class (alumni can audit one class per semester for free). Also, apply for real jobs, of course! I will hopefully have something lined up for May or June.”

Davenport feels pressure about finding a job but she’s hopeful that the absence of classes in the spring will give her enough time to figure out a plan.

“I’m a little bit concerned, but it’s nice to know that I will have plenty of time next semester to devote to applying for jobs,” Davenport said. “I’m not planning on getting a ‘job-job’ until May or June, since I plan on moving out of the Twin Cities after I walk in May. Who knows, though? Things are kind of up in the air.” There will be a champagne reception on December 7th in the Alumni House for early graduates. refresh –>