Juniata College Computer Science, Information Technology, and Digital Media seniors are preparing to take the stage at the 133rd Commencement on Saturday, May 14th. As they look beyond Juniata, they talk of their future plans and how well they were prepared.
While some students may be ready to get out into the real world, others wish to take it slow.
“I’m hoping to get an internship in the fall. [I may be] looking for a Multimedia internship. Of course with an internship, it would be a step up with possibly getting a career.” said Digital Media Senior Matina Patsos.
Despite the shift into the real world, seniors are too involved in their work to notice the transition.
“Right now, I’m so busy with my thesis and work that I’ve just been pushing off thinking about graduation. I’m pretty nervous and scared because I don’t have any jobs lined up yet,” said Patsos.
Even with the fear of not finding a job, Patsos says that Juniata and the Computer Science/Information Technology/Digital Media have prepared her well. Juniata’s Program of Emphasis has allowed many students to create their own majors from their specific interests.
“The nice thing about Digital Media here [is that] it is really flexible. When you are a freshman or sophomore, you get a chance to shape your Program of Emphasis. Once you figure out what you want to do, you can do independent studies for the things you are interested in. It [helped] me go abroad [to] England and take classes there that I can’t take at Juniata. I’m also [part] Communications, so I take those classes, as well,” said Patsos.
Even with the flexibility of the program, there can also be some negative aspects.
“For Digital Media, the flexibility is both positive and negative. If you find out you want to be a cinematographer your senior year, you’re not going to be in a good position. Also, the program is [very] small. There are not many [faculty in] the department.”
Keeping this in mind, the department program has also been shaped closely to help suit the needs of the students. It is also guided by faculty members that are deeply invested in helping the students.
“[Communications Professor] Donna [Weimer] really understands the [Digital Media] program here because she set it up. She’s very helpful because she actually knows what you should be doing. She is also very helpful when it comes to writing resumes and finding internships. She knows a lot about finding jobs in Digital Media,” said Patsos. “[Director of New Media Communication] Nathan [Wagoner] understands the Digital Media industry very well. He’s one person that will be a very big help after I graduate.”
The professors and faculty are also helping the students get different perspectives on their career path. Patsos pointed out two different perspectives from the faculty overseeing Digital Media.
“Donna and Nathan [have] very different philosophies. [Donna’s] philosophy is that this is a liberal arts college, so you should take a bunch of [different] classes and get a general idea. Nathan thinks you need to [stay] on one [specific] route,” said Patsos.
Even with these varying opinions, Patsos says that she feels prepared through the courses she has studied and real world experiences. “[Classes taught by] Nathan and working at the Digital Media Studio [have helped]. Studying abroad [helps to] put you out of the comfort zone and make you redo basic things,” said Patsos.
Commencement at Juniata will be held at 10:00am on the front lawn of the Rosenberger Auditorium, if the weather cooperates. The Baccalaureate Service will be held on Friday, May 13 at 6:00pm in Memoria Gymnasium of Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center.The students of these departments have made drastic improvements that will benefit their future. Through the courses offered and the faculty aid, they plan to come out with the proper experience. The Computer Science/Information Technology/Digital Media department is involved in the process of helping students find the right path in the real world.
“Juniata is committed to helping you graduate,” said Patsos. “It is a learning process to figure out what you want to do.”