Recent graduates look to join the workforce, others have plans to build their skills, portfolio over summer

Benny’s Business Closet, located on the Oregon State University Corvallis, Ore. campus, offers students affordable business attire.

Teresita Guzman Nader, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article is a part of the 2020 graduation issue. Graduation is when a student completes their degree program, whereas, Commencement is an optional ceremony to celebrate graduating students. The Baro put together a graduation issue rather than a Commencement issue because OSU’s 2020 Commencement ceremony has been postponed due to COVID-19.

Some recent Oregon State University graduates are waiting for summer to start new jobs, while others have plans to use summer to build their portfolio. 2020 graduates shared what they are most excited about this summer, and what they have learned at OSU that they think will help them in their career path. 

Logan Quinn, a fourth-year horticulture student who graduated this spring term, said she is planning to move to the East Coast to accept a full-time job offer as a laboratory technician this summer, from Penn State University.

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“I’ve accepted a full-time job offer, but I’m always looking for learning opportunities in my field,” Quinn said in an email. “It was difficult given the job hiring freeze, health pandemic, trying to complete the term and the social climate of racial inequalities. To balance all these circumstances and look for employment was not easy to stay motivated.”

Quinn said OSU prepared her to pursue her career path because it gave her the opportunity to build her network, while it also allowed her to have hands-on experience in laboratory research and presenting at conferences. 

“I would recommend to incoming students to find their career path by being involved in any opportunity that piques your interest. If you’re interested in something, then you’ll have the passion to carry you through your career,” Quinn said via email.

Quinn said Black women social advocates have inspired her to look at internship opportunities in public policy. 

“As a Black woman who is studying in the Agriculture field, I think it’s important to work on the racial injustices of food production. This would be a great intersection of my degree and passions,” Quinn said via email.

Brian Kim, a fourth-year nuclear engineering student who graduated this spring, said he is planning to complete a postgraduate internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab as a health physics intern in Lawrence’s Environmental, Health and Safety team. 

“Originally, this internship was going to take place in California, however, complications due to COVID-19 transitioned it into a remote internship,” Kim said via email.

According to Kim, joining Sigma Phi Epsilon helped him to succeed in college and prepare him for his career. 

“SigEp provided me with the connections to help me secure a job in the College of Engineering and what is now Community Engagement and Leadership,” Kim said via email. “Both positions spurred my growth as a leader, worker, friend and student as I took on challenges I was not normally presented. I am incredibly thankful for my supervisors that provided the opportunities for growth at both the COE and CEL.”

Kim said in his time at OSU, he learned the value of taking on challenges outside of his comfort zone. 

“Many times during these challenges, I would fail. With each failure, I learned how I needed to adjust to avoid that problem again,” Kim said via email. “Essentially, learning how to harvest lessons from my mistakes and continuing to grow. All of the groups I mentioned above helped me maintain this continuous process of growth.”

According to Kim, the most exciting thing about starting his new job at Lawrence is the opportunity to meet new people and build friendships, like the ones he had built during previous internships. 

“The best part about graduating for me is looking back to everything I gained in college. Of course I am ecstatic to have earned my degree, but the most valuable thing I got out of college was the people I met,” Kim said via email. “Throughout my four years, I met some of the brightest, kindest and amazing people I have ever known. Even in tough times of quarantine, these people found a way to shine light on the situation and make the most out of our last term. I cannot express how grateful I am for the people I met because it goes beyond words. I just look forward to keeping in touch with them.”

Maia Farris, a fifth-year student who graduated this spring with a major in graphic design, said she will use this summer to update her portfolio, read, hike, do yoga, drawing and fill her extra time with freelance graphic design and photography work.

“I am not currently applying for jobs or internships due to COVID. I hope to job hunt in the fall though. I am hoping for a certain position that will be opening at OSU in the fall,” Farris said via email.

According to Farris, she is most excited to not have homework and be able to focus on personal projects and learning and improving her skills to apply for a job in the future.

“I think my time at OSU has prepared me for a career path in many ways. For example, my business minor helped me improve my personal accounting skills and learn aspects of working in the marketing field as a designer. My education minor allowed me to work with kids (another passion of mine), travel to China to teach English, and learn about communities, cultures and social justice topics; all of which are very applicable skills to be a well-rounded employee in any job position,” Farris said via email. ”With a BFA in graphic design, the additional art classes allowed me to experiment in other mediums that didn’t require a screen; such as figure drawing and bookmaking. A job position that would allow me to experiment with other mediums or learn new skills is something that I would be interested in.”