With just three months left, seniors graduating this winter are looking ahead to what waits for them as they pass through the gates of campus into the real world.
Cristina Sabia, a senior public relations major, said she is not nervous for what waits for her once she graduates.
“I believe my previous internship experiences and alumni connections in the PR industry will allow me to find a job smoothly,” Sabia said. “I am ready to receive my degree and start my career as soon as possible.”
Sabia said she hopes to receive a job offer from COYNE PR, where she is currently interning for the semester.
“Besides that, there are countless opportunities in the tri-state area for my career,” Sabia said.
When reflecting on her time at Seton Hall, Sabia said she wishes she had gotten more involved in clubs as a commuter.
“Being a commuter, it's difficult at times to meet people and truly find friends,” Sabia said. “I am happy I joined the previous clubs I did... Those clubs alone allowed me to make numerous connections and grow my network.”
Sabia said Seton Hall has taught her about the importance of developing relationships with professors.
“Being in a smaller school, and especially being part of a smaller major, has allowed me to truly form a bond with many of my professors,” Sabia said. “I almost send them too many emails but having that connection with them has allowed me to feel super comfortable and ready for post-grad life. I know I can reach out to them after I graduate and ask them for help or advice on anything.”
Sabia said she recommends that rising seniors join clubs despite it being their last year.
“Employers love to see that you are an active student at your school,” Sabia said. “Even being part of a club or a society for one year, you can meet so many students and alumni through events and panels. Those connections can help you so much when finding a job or internship.”
Sabia added that public relations majors should consider joining the Public Relations Student Society of America.
“Students majoring in public relations tend to forget that there's a national society for individuals specifically in this major,” Sabia said. “Not only is this society a resume booster, but there are many benefits, such as scholarships, networking and internship opportunities.”
Rishi Shah, a senior biology major, said he is excited to be attending the New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University after graduation.
“It's something I’ve been pursuing since I was 15,” Shah said. “To finally be able to realize it, you’re over the moon. Emotionally, I can’t even process all of it because it’s been something I’ve wanted for so long.”
Reflecting on his time at Seton Hall, Shah said he worried about taking even one day off from studying.
“My friends would go play basketball,” Shah said. “Sometimes I would say no, just the sheer fact that I was afraid [of] not studying.”
Shah said he learned things at Seton Hall that could not be learned anywhere else.
“Because Seton Hall is a smaller campus, and I’ve been able to be involved in so much really quickly, I learned how to manage time,” Shah said. “I’m a procrastinator —a serial procrastinator, it’s so bad— but forcing myself to be involved in so much, I had to time balance because I had to get my homework done.”
Shah said he has been involved in the Student Government Association for four years, along with doing research with professors in the biology department, and with the company Medic Zero, where he learned CPR and emergency response.
Shah said he is proud of his graduating class for the amount they have accomplished.
“You’re about to get your degrees and congrats to you for doing that,” Shah said. “Four years of blood, sweat, and tears and final stress.”
“Start appreciating what you have because you’ve done so much to get here,” he added. “Love yourself more and start appreciating life more and making the most of your senior year.”
Kaitlyn D’Addezio, a senior public relations major, said she is currently interning at UpSpring Public Relations. D’Addezio said she serves on executive boards as president of Lambda Pi Eta, secretary and treasurer of PRSSA, and PR chair of Food Recovery Network.
D’Addezio said although graduate school is not currently in the picture, she would consider it sometime “down the road.”
D’Addezio said she has a lot of insecurities about graduating and going into the “real world.”
“Not so much because of the pressure of the job market competition or just working in general,” D’Addezio said. “I’m more nervous about the change in lifestyle and fearing the unknown. I’m nervous about finding a job where I realize I might not actually like it.”
D’Addezio said, at the same time, she gets excited thinking about “life after college and pursuing new avenues” that she is interested in.
D’Addezio said she has no regrets when it comes to networking and being involved in college. However, D’Addezio said she wishes she had put herself out there more socially.
“I wish I attended more events that SAB hosted, being more present on campus, and so much more because, all throughout college, I didn’t really have that many friends,” D’Addezio said.
D’Addezio said, looking back at her experience, she has two pieces of advice for rising seniors.
“One, it is so, so important to network,” D’Addezio said. “Building your network is what will land you that internship or job. Two, enjoy your senior year. As cliché as it sounds, time flies by, and when you are so caught up in work and school, you forget to soak up your last year of college.”
D’Addezio said students that are anxious about the future, specifically seniors, should be patient with themselves.
“Getting a job isn’t a rush, nor should it ever be,” D’Addezio said. “You are on your own path, and you shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks. As long as you are doing the things you need to do to pursue your goals, that’s all that should matter. Above all else, be kind to yourself.”
Kim Fallas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.