WKU Graduates Prepare

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Western Kentucky University students are moving out of their dorms and many of them are venturing into the real world.

Western's undergraduate graduation is on May 12, 2007, and seniors say they're ready to take the next big step in their lives, but do they have jobs?

A graduating student survey shows more than half of seniors will have accepted a job by the time they get their diploma.

In fact many employers report competition for college graduates is their biggest challenge this year.

Graduates are packing their things and leaving their college years behind all in preparation to move on to a whole new world.

"I have some jobs lined up. I'm not sure if I'm going to take them - when I'm going to take them," said Miranda Price, a graduating senior.

Price is ready to graduate.

"I'm past ready - very. Seniorits has set in a long time ago," Price explained.

Price will receive a degree in nutrition and dietetics and she's already had two job offers, but she's not accepting either of them - not yet at least.

Price said she's taking the summer to work at Yosemite National Park as a tour guide, but that won't be her main focus.

"Pretty much a summer vacation as I graduated, sort of thing. I'm going out there to backpack, hike and do all sorts of stuff like that," Price said.

Price said she's lucky.

"I didn't really have to look for jobs. They came to me and kept them in mind over the years," Price explained.

Price's job prospects are waiting for her to come back. On the other hand, some seniors, like Jessica Wright don't have big plans after graduation and don't have jobs.

"Eventually I want to end up in Yellowstone National Park working for the National Park Service or U.S. Forest Service out in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho area," Wright said.

But what about now?

"I've been searching on the government websites for quite a while, but I'll probably get more down to the nitty-gritty with that during the summer," Wright said.

Even though these two seniors aren't in the 50 percent of graduates who already have jobs, they're not stressing about it.

"I think as long as you're motivated and you have a goal and you kind of work towards that goal eventually. As long as you keep your eye on that goal you'll end up where you need to be," Wright explained.

More than 1,800 WKU students will receive degrees this year and there will be three graduation ceremonies.

The Graduate ceremony is Friday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m. at Diddle Arena.

Two separate Undergraduate ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 12 at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

To view a press release from the National Association of Colleges and Employees on the hiring of students out of college, click here and to learn more on WKU's Career Services, click here.