Graduation is quickly approaching, and seniors have been busy preparing to enter the world of working professionals. The United States is facing the highest inflation rates in four years, and college graduates across the nation have been trying to handle this intimidating reality.
Dawne Swearingin-Meeks, theatre professor and chair of the theatre department, said that she is pleased with students preparing for graduation.
“Interestingly, even in the midst of global and national downturn impacts, our ACU Theatre students are thriving,” Swearingin-Meeks said. “I believe 100% of our May graduates already have secured work. As artists, we are always on the lookout for the next contract. Our students are smart, focused, tenacious and talented. I couldn’t be more pleased and proud.”
For the fourth year, ACU was named the highest-ranking university in Texas in the U.S. News and World Report named for “Academic Programs to Look For” that focuses on student success. Every department at ACU aims to help students succeed.
Sarah Ann Miller, graduating senior and theatre design and technology major from Flower Mound, said that it can be nerve-wracking to graduate in a time of economic uncertainty, but despite this, has felt overall prepared.
“I feel like there is a lot of insecurity in starting any job in any field because of all the layoffs and hiring freezes across all businesses,” Miller said. “Since theatre and film is a contract or freelance-based business, I feel like the department has trained and encouraged us to always be looking ahead to what’s next and how to utilize our unique skills in a variety of ways.”
With the country feeling like it’s on the edge of a recession, there has been a decline in job opportunities. Many students in the creative fields are doing their best to prepare for these upcoming challenges while others are finding work that fits their current living situation.
Jasmine McCabe-Gossett, professional development and internship director in the College of Business Administration, helps many students as they approach graduation.
“This time of change and adjustment can be taxing on all students, regardless of employment status,” McCabe-Gossett said. “I am seeing, however, that many students are putting more emphasis on finding companies that align with their personal values and will allow them space to grow and evolve professionally. I believe this approach provides students with a little more confidence and peace knowing that when they find a job, they will likely have higher job satisfaction, too.”
With Christianity being very important for most students on campus, many have said that they have relied on God and their faith during times of uncertainty. Students are trying their best to look positively to the future and say yes to things that might seem unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
“Throughout this time of anxiety and fear as we graduate into an uncertain world, what has brought me peace is being willing to walk in whatever direction the Lord leads me, even if it wasn’t what I had planned,” Miller said. “While it can be challenging, I try to find joy and learn lessons in all of the expected and unexpected opportunities that I am given.”
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