Life after college, the next chapter

Beth Hyatt
Copy Editor

As the semester comes to a close, the thought on the minds of graduating seniors is “What now?” For some, there are plans of relaxation on the horizon, while others may have a more adventurous road ahead of them. Some graduates may head straight into the workforce; some may take time away from the professional and scholastic world. Others may continue with their education.

Trey Stewart, an English major from Birmingham, plans to take time off after graduation to relax and prepare for his future. “Right now, I plan on going home, studying for the GRE, taking the GRE and then applying to grad school,” he said.
During his time away from school, Stewart plans to continue working on his novel, as well as pursue a career in editing, publishing and journalism. He said that his time at Troy has been an enlightening and enjoyable experience for him, and it has taught him valuable lessons.
“This has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Stewart said. “Just don’t take all of your hard classes at the end of your last semester.”

Another endeavor that some graduates pursue is traveling. Rachel Wallace, a broadcast journalism major from Helena, plans to take a two-month backpacking trip across Europe. Her plan is to start in London, work her way over to Scotland, stop in Dublin and end in Paris.
“I’ve always wanted to do it, and I decided that now was the time,” she said. Wallace has been fascinated with all things London-based since reading the “Harry Potter” series, and now she is following her dreams. “I want to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, and when I get to Scotland, my biggest place I want to see is the clan of Wallace’s stone.”

While some graduates pursue traveling after graduation, others traveled during college and now are on the hunt for a job. Courtney Odom, a psychology major from Atmore, traveled to Romania on mission trips while in college. She said her experiences at Troy and in Chi Alpha have helped her prepare for her future goals.
“I want to become a youth pastor and work with youth and children,” Odom said. “My time here at Troy has given me numerous opportunities to do those things because I’ve gotten to go on two mission trips to Romania. I’ve also been able to work with the kids at the church I’m attending right now. I love Troy, and I am grateful to be able to go to a school like this.”

Theresa Kiernan, a communication major from Bedford, New Hampshire, contemplates hiking the Appalachian Trail. It is her hope to use her communication major to make her own travel show.
“The thing about college is, it’s the whole experience that prepares you. So, not only has Troy given me classes and an education to prepare me, but I know I will be prepared to do whatever it is in the next stage that comes up,” she said. Kiernan is also considering pursuing a master’s degree in strategic communication in order to continue traveling while staying connected to Troy.

Kevin Bishop, a computer science major from Dothan, has already gotten a head start on finding a job after graduation. His internship with CGI has already given him work experience as an entry-level business analyst.
“I have a full-time job set up after I graduate,” he said. “I will be living in Troy for the next few years, possibly, and then after that I may branch out beyond CGI.” Bishop said he has received support from his teachers, friends and the Career Center during his time at Troy. “I’ve learned to value people more. It always helps to make a lot of friends within your major. When in doubt, the best thing, the best way to get a career, is through your connections,” Bishop said.

Some graduates, like Nyari Chanakira, a hospitality and tourism major from Harare, Zimbabwe, plan to stay within the Trojan family as long as possible. Chanakira expressed an interest in finding a job with Troy University after graduating.
“Possibly working as a recruiter would be my dream job. Coming to Troy has really opened up lots of avenues for me. I’m a senior RA. I’ve also served as an IMPACT leader, and I was president for ISCO (International Student Cultural Organization).
“So, Troy has allowed me to not only achieve my goals academically, but expand into the real world and use my talents and my gifts to be a better person and to help other people. That’s my passion, to help other people.” Chanakira hopes to continue at Troy as a faculty member one day.

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