Post graduation: seniors make plans for after earning degree

 
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BY CARA BUCHANAN —

After long hours in Cline Library, writing 20-page papers and gulping down coffee, finals week will be over in a blink of an eye and students can breathe once more. For those graduating seniors, however, they are faced with one last question: Now what?

Senior Olivia Drummond, who is earning a degree in environmental science, was unsure of what college would behold, but she pursued her dreams of working with animals. In her three-year career at NAU, she has embraced Flagstaff, tackled “tornado-force winds” and discovered she is not afraid to push boundaries.

“I’ve discovered my love for research; I will be working at the San Diego Zoo this summer as an animal trainer in the Front Plaza Bird Show,” Drummond said. “I am also currently applying to the Peace Corps, so I can travel to third world countries and benefit the lives of others.”

Drummond eventually plans to get a Ph.D in animal behavior and complete field research on a variety of species.

“I was a very naïve freshman, but you learn to have fun and not to take everything too seriously,” Drummond said. “It’s hard to separate any memory because each has contributed greatly to the college experience and all have contributed to my growth as an adult, a student and a woman.”

For Drummond, working at the San Diego Zoo will not only allow her to fulfill her dream of working with animals, but it will allow her to do her favorite thing: care for others.

Another future graduate, Sean Canterbury, is leaping right into the paid world after graduation. He is getting his degree in environmental science with an emphasis in biology, but he has no plans to stop there. Canterbury stayed academically focused while continually taking on new challenges and navigating his way through school.

“For the summer Ill be working on a fire crew doing wild land firefighting here in flagstaff,” Canterbury said.

Fortunately for Canterbury, this is a paid position, and he will be working it for 6 months.

“I found out about this crew from a fire chief in Tucson. He said I should apply so that’s what I did and I got on,” he said. “I am looking forward to getting out in the working world and try new things and go new places.”

One of the greatest attributions senior James Curtis, who is earning a degree in geology, gives for his success is to the support of his family.

“My biggest supporters through my college career were my parents,” he said. “They provided me with the means to support myself through this entire process and have given me everything when I felt like college was getting to be too much to handle. Without them, I would not be where I am today.”

Curtis plans to travel Europe post-graduation and explore the world’s wonders with his degree. Looking back, he attests his road to success to lower level classes — explaining that even though they seem easy, the information you learn helped greatly later on — a lesson he can now apply in his everyday strides.

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