Seniors finishing early taking different paths

Written By Sarah Gibson, Co-News Editor

While the ending of the semester signifies a simple holiday break for most students, for others it’s something much more significant: graduation. For a select amount of students, graduating early is a relieving way to get the jump on a career path for their major.

Some students know exactly what they’re doing, like Sara Mackulin, a senior broadcast reporting major, whose post-graduation plans are in a familiar place.

Mackulin was offered a job with Point Park’s athletic department just weeks ago.

“I always wanted to work in sports,” Mackulin said. “When I was presented with the opportunity to be a graduate assistant with Point Park’s athletic department, and they’d pay for me in full to get my masters, it’s kind of like a no-brainer for me.”

Other students, like senior theater performance and practices major Elena Lazaro, are keeping doors open to different opportunities.

“Well, I’ve been going back and forth because I feel like I have a lot of opportunities available to me,” Lazaro said. “But for right now I’m just going to audition locally, try and do some theatre, maybe some film and try and do some creative stuff with my friends who are still here who haven’t graduated before I go off and do my own thing.”

Lazaro said her decision to do this came after she turned down the opportunity to become an intern in the capital of Jordan, where her brother lives.

Cheryl Guyer, internship coordinator with the Center for Career Development, explained that all alumni from Point Park have access to career development services free for life, including services available to all current or part time students at Point Park. These include mock interviews, personality profiles, resume reviews, cover letter reviews and more. While Guyer can see positives and negatives in graduating early, she explained that it all comes down to the student.

“It all depends on the maturity level of the student and it all depends on the job readiness of the student, so I guess the answer is that it depends on the type of student who’s graduating early,” Guyer said.

While Point Park offers a lot of resources to students who are graduating early, Mackulin explained the most valuable resources she made at Point Park are the friends she made along the way.

“I think the nice thing about Point Park is that you make lots of friends in your field, and if you’re good enough friends, and if you’re nice enough, they can refer you. A lot of help also came from the faculty on campus, referring me to things that would best suit me.”

Similarly, Lazaro felt like the most useful resources at Point Park for her were the very people who taught her what she knows.

“I think the best resource I have from going here is actually my teachers,” Lazaro said. “I know for a fact that once I graduate, I’m going to contact my teachers all the time. The teachers in COPA are easy to communicate with and a lot of them really know their stuff and they really care about us.”

Lazaro, who still has friends going to Point Park, noted she will definitely feel a change once she graduates.

“It’s certainly going to be weird,” Lazaro said. “It’ll definitely be strange, especially since I’m still going to be here and I’m still going to see my friends who are still in school.”

For Mackulin, what awaits her after she receives her bachelor’s degree is a complete

“Coming up in January, I’ll be starting school again, which is not what I expected at all, but it’s an opportunity that I can’t pass up,” Mackulin said.

While Lazaro has high hopes for the coming months, she also feels a little

“I’m relieved and excited and very scared, because you don’t realize you’re in the bubble while you’re in it sometimes, until you’re out of it, and I think I’m about to get a cold shock, but hopefully I’m prepared,” Lazaro said.