May commencement is taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday as 2021 undergraduate and graduate students accept their diplomas. In total between both semesters, ACU saw 1,187 graduates and now seniors are in the process of finding job placements nearing graduation.
ACU’s Career Center keeps stats on the graduating students and their placement status each year.
Jill Fortson, director of career center, has continued to see high percentages of graduates with set plans for after graduation.
For 2020, roughly 90% of the May graduates had secured a job or an acceptance to graduate school.
“We gather this data each year and report the aggregate data 6 months post-graduation,” said Fortson. “We then report this information to the Senior Leadership team annually for the previous May graduating class.”
These stats are important to ACU because they strive for students to be employable and well-rounded post-graduation.
ACU has various resources for students and faculty to use throughout their time here. Two of these resources are Handshake and LinkedIn, which students are also able to use with their ACU email even after graduating.
Emilee Gant, graduating special education major from Allen, has accepted a job as a special education teacher at Rockhill High School and will also be a cheerleading coach.
“ACU has given me a really good community and faith-based support system,” said Gant. “We have instructional planning every summer we can come back to ask questions and receive tips, which is an excellent resource.
Students graduating who have not yet found a job are able to still access their Handshake and LinkedIn accounts, as well as continue to use ACU and the career center as a resource.
“Being an education major, it’s about the connections you make throughout your college years,” said Gant.
For many graduating seniors, COVID-19 took a toll on the job hunt as many places were not able to hire new employees or either were solely working virtually.
Emily Parisi, graduating accounting major, was accepted at PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm is Austin last year after completing a summer internship. Though she was able to secure a job before the pandemic hit, she said that COVID-19 still had a major impact on her last year at ACU.
“I didn’t return to ACU in the spring and had to engage in online classes that I had no prior experience with,” Parisi said. “ It went pretty smoothly but returning to a more normal class environment in the fall was easier to navigate.”
Parisi, like many other graduating students, took advantage of opportunities the university and her department gave her to improve her interview skills and resumé.
“Having opportunities to practice interviewing through various classes was also incredibly helpful,” Parisi. “If you embrace ACU’s attempts to help you prepare for the process, you will be more than prepared and have the chance to excel.”