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Q&A: Mike Shalgeniwicz lands job

Michael Shalgeniwicz walks through the halls of Mountain View Center in Rutland. Bright green scrubs mirror the energy Shalgeniwicz brings to the old folks home. If you were to turn the clock back a year, you’d find Shalgeniwicz in the SGA office as president, probably brushing up on his nursing textbook. I had a chance to sit down with the former Student Government Association president and get a glimpse of his life after Castleton.
Q. How has your life changed since graduation?
A. This is the first time I’m living completely independently on my own. Paying bills, buying groceries, rent, everything just makes me feel like an adult. It’s just hard to believe I’m going to be spending the rest of my life working full time.
Q. How long did it take you to get your first job as a nurse?
A. I got my nursing degree my junior year, I only applied to three different places and three days before graduation I got my first job offer. I took two days to decide then I accepted. I chose it because it was a lot closer than the other job offer.
Q. Do you feel relieved getting a job within your major?
A. Yes! It’s just very gratifying having a job with the career choice you made. It makes me feel like I’m not wasting all the money I spent in college because I have I career I enjoy.
Q. What has more responsibility, being a nurse or SGA president?
A. Being a nurse (he chuckled). The overall job responsibility of being a nurse is more than being SGA president. Being president I had to do a lot of coordinating with just SGA things. My job as a nurse I have to manage a 40-bed unit of patients. My patients are generally stable, but it does require close attention.
Q. What’s the craziest thing you’ve experienced in your career so far?
A. I work on a dementia unit … so there’s a lot of a crazy incidents. One time an elderly woman wheeled up to me, I leaned over to talk to her and she smacked me in the face and just wheeled away.
Q. How do you feel after those kinds of moments?
A. When I first started, it was hard for me to adjust to things like that. But as the months go on, it all starts to seem normal. I feel like I’m just losing my mind slowly.
Q. Do you plan to stay in the area, or are there bigger things for Shennanigans?
A. Originally I planned to be gone last summer, but after I put in my notice, my managers asked if I would be interested in starting a career in management. So I decided to spend one more year here as the nurse manager in my nursing home. I plan on going to graduate school and hoping to get a job at a major hospital. Hopefully Boston, but I don’t know where I’m going to end up.
Q. What advice would you give to graduating seniors this year?
A. You’re probably gonna spend the first year just missing college, which I still do, but remember there’s bigger and better things out in the world for you.