UA alumnae: How they are making a difference after college

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From left to bottom right: Lauren Ludovico, photo courtesy of
Ludovico; Jasmine Drummer, photo courtesy of Drummer;
Sterling Stokes, photo courtesy of Stokes. 

As the semester ends, millions of college seniors are trying to find inspiration on what to do with their majors. With an endless array of possible options, this can be a challenge. Choosing a career path is a daunting task for many people, especially fresh out of college or if you're just finishing up your degree.

Several University of Arizona alumnae have found their post-graduate calling and are eager to help others do the same.

Jasmine Drummer, a 2021 UA graduate of Africana studies, spoke about post-undergraduate plans for continuing her education.

"I was just recently accepted into a doctorate program for clinical psychology at William James College. The school has a wide selection of concentrations and I plan on focusing my studies in African and Caribbean mental health. I hope to provide mental health services to diverse populations who have been historically under-served," Drummer said. 

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Like Drummer, Lauren Ludovico, a UA 2019 psychology graduate, has made the most of her time post-graduation. Ludovico spoke about her role as a cast member at Disney World. 

"Being a cast member is such a blessing. Regardless of my job duties, my job at the end of the day is to make our guests happy. I hold myself to high standards of customer service and am thrilled to employ those skills during my guest interactions. If I can make someone's day just a little bit better, whether I helped them find the restroom or recommended a fun rollercoaster for them to go on, then I've done my job and I can be satisfied with that," Ludovico said.

According to an article on Meditopia, graduating from college and thinking about post-graduation plans aren't always reserved for deciding what career field you will be working in. It can also be a time to figure out who you are as a person and individually grow.

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Sterling Stokes, a 2021 UA psychology graduate, spoke about how college has impacted her personally and her experiences beyond her education. 

"I found college to be more about personal exploration and individual understanding. Socially, I learned that differences in perspectives are crucial for diversity and growth. I think apart from everything, learn to love where you're at. Appreciating the little things and understanding that life has a natural ebb and flow and can be so transformative for personal growth, and after graduating, it taught me to find myself," Stokes said. 

According to Indeed, one of the main reasons college graduates might struggle to find employment after college could be a lack of work experience.

However, another reason recent college graduates might face some challenges might also be because they tend to apply for jobs solely within the field of study for their college major. Still, by expanding their job search outside of their college major, it can open up more opportunities for college graduates and help them gain more work experience in the process, according to an article by The New York Times.

"I would tell students who are about to graduate to try everything and be open to anything, even if it's not within their comfort zone. One of my jobs I applied to without knowing the full extent of the job duties. When the hiring manager contacted me for an interview, I was anxious to pursue a field that I had never worked in nor had any interest in, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to go through with the interview process," Ludovico said. "When I received an offer, I was shocked but decided to accept and see where it would take me. To this day, I am so glad that job worked out for me because I learned a lot of business skills that I would have never gotten experience with elsewhere."

Similarly, Drummer had words of wisdom for soon-to-be graduates. 

"Do not let anyone doubt you, your journey or your aspirations. There are many students that seek higher education and pursue certain career paths that they don't truly love simply because they are afraid of the disapproval from the people in their life. Do what you love regardless of what others think. It's your life, your education, your happiness and well-being," Drummer said.


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