Entries tagged with “Graduation” from Hawk Talk - Guthrie

Full Circle...

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This past weekend marks the end of my undergraduate career at UMass Lowell. I will be going on to get my masterís degree in plastics engineering here at UML, but only on a part time basis. I am eager to get out into the work force and try to make some money.


I went back and read some of my old blogs, including the first one I ever wrote entitled ďBack to School at lastÖĒ In this blog, I wrote about how I was tired of working full time, and how I wanted to stay in school for my masterís degree. I can certainly say that a lot has changed since then.


I am certainly not in a big hurry to get my masterís degree. Since I have spent the past four monthís job searching, I have found a masterís degree with no experience is not any better than a bachelorís degree with little to no experience. Typically companies want 3-5 years of experience with a masterís degree for a job better than entry level. For this reason, I think it would be the best idea for me to get my masterís degree part time, while getting the experience I need.


As far as being tired of working full time, I think I am ready to enter the work place. When I start at NxStage Medical in January, it will mark the beginning of my fourth internship (my third in the medical devices industry). I think I know most of the Doís and Doníts of the workplace. I plan to work very hard to get a promotion to a full time position.


I feel like I have had a very successful college career at UMass Lowell. I built myself a powerful resume. I have worked three internships. I have lived on campus as a resident and a residential advisor. I have lived off campus with friends, lived off campus with my girlfriend, and even spent six months 200 miles away from campus. I have made many friends, and very few enemies. I am glad to say that I have no regrets about the past 4.5 years.


So if you are entering college, or you are part way through your college career; here is my advice:

  • Build your resume: I know itís a tough market, but apply for internships, and take the job. Even if you think something might be below you, you can learn a lot and build some good references.
  • Go to class: I constantly hear people complaining about 8:30 classes. Give me a break! When you are working full time you will probably have to be in at 7:00 everyday. Nothing will make you look better than near perfect attendance, whether that is in the eyes of a teacher or employer.
  • Have some fun, but take things seriously: You donít need to go to college to party 5-7 nights a week. Whether you are taking out student loans, or your parents are paying, or you won the lottery; college is expensive. Donít let that money go to waste. Keep up with your homework and study hard so that you will get the grades you deserve.
  • Get connected: Get involved, meet some people, and make some friends. Everyone encourages you to join societies and groups. Thereís a good reason for that; people who get involved with their campus do better in school.


Thanks for reading everyone, best of luck to you!

Happy Holidays!

Done with classes, and halfway through finals, the finitude of college has certainly set in. It really blows my mind how fast it all went by, the classes I have attended, the homework assignments I worked on, all the exams I studied for. Now with only one final left, I really do have my foot out the door. I remember looking forward to graduation, but now that I am there I find myself looking back. It really is a bittersweet feeling.


Here is the sweet half of it: I have a job, only a co-op, not a full time engineer, but nonetheless a job. In todayís tough economy, I am glad to have an entry level position in a field that I am interested in. I am also on the verge of accomplishing the most challenging task I have taken on so far; studying for my bachelorís degree. I really beat the odds too, coming from a vocational high school; I was not even expected to go to college. Iíve managed to pull my GPA out of the hole I dug for it my first two years. Going from a 2.5 to a 3.0 is a serious challenge. I will be walking in the spring. I will not be cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude, but that does not matter to me. I am proud of myself for what I have done.


Here is the bitter half of it: I will be saying goodbye to what has been my life for the past 4.5 years. I will no longer be a full time college student. I know that I have a lot of growing up to do. Society pressures us to get married and start a family soon after graduation. Thatís how my older sister did it, thatís how my girlfriendís older sister did it. And quite frankly, it scares the life out of me. Above all, the scariest part is that life will be taken off of auto-pilot. When you are a student, you have a schedule and a curriculum laid out for you:

         2 tbsp. of electives

          1 cup of gen edís

          2 cups of core classes

          bring to a boil

          reduce heat and simmer for 8 semesters.

But now, there is no set path, no recipe for life. I have spent a good amount of time searching for a direction. I have been looking for someone or something to tell me what to do next. I have finally come to the conclusion that there is no one to tell me what to do, I have to make my own way.


In conclusion, I have long thought that college was supposed to be the Ďbest time of your life.í I felt like leaving college was the end of my young life. Now I see things in a different perspective. When I realized that I have unlimited opportunities and potential, I came to understand that I can mold my life anyway I want to. I am starting a journey, not as a passenger, but as the driver. I am excited to get out into the real world and make a name for myself. ďEvery new beginning comes from some other beginningís end.Ē


Thanks for reading.

A few months back I was pretty up in the air about what I wanted to do after graduation. I was unsure if I wanted to go to grad school full time or part time. I didnít know if I would be working a full time job or an internship position. I had assumed that my best opportunity would unravel in front of me, but now I am realizing that I will need to make my own path.


I have decided that I am going to sign up for 1 or 2 night classes next semester towards my masterís degree at UMass Lowell. I have been actively applying for both full time and internship positions. I have also narrowed down my search field to the medical devices industry. Two of my previous internships worked with medical devices, and I find this field to be the most interesting and the most meaningful to me.


I had originally hoped that I would find a full time employer that would reimburse any classes I took. However, I am finding that the job market is a lot tougher than I had hoped. I am going to stay optimistic, and hope to find an opening somewhere in the next couple of months. But I have accepted the fact that I may not have a job lined up for me right when I get out of school.


I think that patience and determination are going to be the keys to my success. With time, I am sure things will work out for me. Iíll be sure to keep my eyes and ears open, and to keep my head up.


For any of you out there who are actively job searching, know that you are not alone, stay positive, and donít give up. For any of you going into school now, keep in mind that itís a tough world. You need to make yourself a valuable candidate while you are in school. Do whatever you can to build your resume, because in the end it will pay off. A friend of mine who graduated recently told me to ďAlways plan things out two steps in advance,Ē

Hopefully the economy will get better, and many new jobs open up, but we cannot rely on it. We need to take control of our own futures.


Thanks for reading, good luck out there!

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