The Real World: Life After WC

By Eric Dubrow
Elm Staff Writer

For some graduation lies far into the future, but for others the prospect of soon leaving the shelter of campus to make their way in the real world is a reality.

This can be a daunting change for students. Recently The Elm sat down with four 2010 graduates to get their take on working for a living.

Marissa Babnew, a psychology major with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience, is currently working at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. She “works in a lab on chemical warfare and nerve agents.” Starting in August, she will be attending Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school.

Ricky Davis, an English major, moved to Boston to attend Emerson College where he is pursuing a graduate degree in creative writing. He describes the move from Chestertown to Boston as “most likely the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Joyell Johnson, with a degree in humanities and a minor in black studies, took neither the graduate school nor the typical job route.

“I will be a member of AmeriCorps working at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis,” Johnson said. “I am the volunteer Maryland coordinator and work with the education outreach program–recruiting and supervising volunteers, assisting with programming, and establishing connections with other organizations with the mission of preserving Maryland’s African American culture and history.”
Max Rodriguez graduated with a degree in business management.

“The business department prepared me very well for the real world,” he said.

He currently works for a company called RxNT, which produces software that allows for online prescription of medicines.

Although the four have settled in well to their new lives, they sometimes have mixed feelings about their past experiences at Washington College and how well the school prepared them for a job or graduate school.

Davis said he “found that the ‘real world’ is a bit scary compared to the Shire-esque haven that is Chestertown.”

Rodriguez cites a different problem. “I feel WAC has always lacked in helping students find jobs. The most reliable way in finding a position is keeping in contact with your alums.”

Professors though seem to have been a high mark, with both Babnew and Rodriguez expressing gratitude to certain mentors for their ability to teach according to real world situations. Rodriguez cites Professor Terrence Scout of the business management department, while Babnew thanks Professors Michael Kerchner and Cynthia Gibson, both of the psychology department.

They also express nostalgia for the relatively idyllic life they had while at college.

“It’s great, my job is great, I really enjoy what I’m doing, but I miss being in that college, academic environment, as opposed to an industry environment. I miss being able to see my friends everyday, being able to go to lunch with my friends everyday, but now we’re scattered, and it’s harder to stay in touch with everyone,” Babnew said.

Although their plans are set for the present, the four are constantly looking down the road as well.
“I have applied to graduate school (for the fall of 2011) and am anxiously waiting to hear back,” said Johnson.

Rodrigue also hopes to attend graduate school next year. Ultimately though, his plan is a simple and appealing one. “ Of course, to make a lot of money,” he said.

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