Five months ago, the Castleton State College class of 2011 marched to Pomp and Circumstance on a very special day.
But where are these grads in the real world just five months later? And what’s their advice to the seniors this year?
“Most importantly, enjoy your time at Castleton while it lasts. Work hard to get where you want to be, but have fun while you can. Life after Castleton will be one of the most exciting times in your life, but it’s an adjustment that won’t always be easy … so don’t take this time for granted,” Katelyn Doran said as she reflected back on her time at CSC.
Doran, born and raised just four miles away from the college in Hydeville, graduated at the top of 2011 class. She double majored in health science and biology. Just one week after graduation, she moved to Bear, Del. to further her education at Arcadia University.
“I’m almost halfway through my second semester of physician assistant school. My program is so intense, nothing like undergrad,” Doran said. “But, I often find myself sitting in class thanking professors like Dr. Kimmel in my head for giving me such a good foundation to build on.”
The faculty at Arcadia University is known for comparing the demanding physician assistants program to “trying to drink water from a fire hose,” she said.
“I can’t really think of a better way to put it. It’s been one of the most challenging times in my life, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” Doran said. “But, of course, I do miss Castleton.”
Not all of the 2011 grads decided to pursue higher education directly after graduation. Some like Ryan Baldinelli, Mike Carrier, and Megan Johnson began their journey into the real world by getting a “real” job or at least trying to.
Baldinelli found a job three months after graduating. He’s working as an account manager at Allied Wire & Cable in Massachusetts – but he’s living with his parents and beginning to pay back his student loans.
While at Castleton, Baldinelli majored in business management, was treasurer of the 2011 class and president of the club hockey team.
“I’m adjusting to not living on my own as well as knowing Monday-Friday I can’t wake up and say ‘I don’t feel like going to work today’ like you sometimes can with class,” he said.
Like Baldinelli, Carrier was quickly able to find a full-time job. Although he was unable to find a position where he is directly using his business management degree, he landed a potential career working as a teller at the TD Bank on Main Street in Burlington.
“Although it can be stressful at times, it is my first full-time position with benefits, so I’m open minded for now and above all just thankful to have a job,” he said.
But it has been a bittersweet transition.
“I miss every single thing about my four years at Castleton. Going into my freshman year I thought I was going to hate college and Castleton. But, going out after four years, I couldn’t have asked for much more in a college experience,” he said.
Not all graduates have been as fortunate in the job market. Megan Johnson has yet to find a job in her major and as a result recently made a spur of the moment decision to move to North Carolina — not only for a change but to hopefully find a job using her degree.
“I am currently working two jobs so that I am able to support myself but, nothing in my field. I plan on getting my master’s degree in sports administration in the future,” she said.
Although all four recent grads are all on very different career paths, their advice to current students is almost the same. Baldinelli would tell the students, “to enjoy every moment they have at school because once its over- It really is done; and your new life begins.
“Put the effort in because if you put it in now, it will be an easy transition into the working world only hopefully you’ll be getting paid nicely for it.”