So what’s next? AC graduates talk about their future plans

By Summer Tessneer and Ruth Martinez

Staff Reporters

As the semester draws to a close, Amarillo College students are making plans for the future. Many are preparing for a new era as graduation approaches. For some students, the next step is continuing their education at a university. 

“I plan on transferring to WT to finish up my bachelor’s. However, I would like to start looking for potential jobs after graduating at AC as well,” Taylor Burton, a graphic design major, said. “I am majoring in graphic design and getting a certificate in photography. When I transfer, I believe I’ll be continuing my degree in graphic design. But I haven’t fully explored those options yet.” 

Pamela Valdez, an academic adviser, says many of the students she talks to end up transferring. 

“What I do is start a conversation about their hobbies, interests, what excites them. It is magical to witness a student talk about what they are passionate about. This usually leads to discussing plans for the future,” she said. 

Other students are looking to begin their careers after graduating. 

“I have students that are ready to work in their fields. They have the skills and foundation to do that as well,” Valdez said. 

“If students are looking for a job after AC, my first suggestion would be to get on our Amarillo College Job Board, College Central Network,” Taylor Bingham, a career and employment services coordinator, said. “We have tons of active jobs with employers that are looking for Amarillo College students. Once a student has made an account, I would highly encourage them to come to Career Services for a resume critique, mock interview, cover letter critique and any possible questions they may have concerning the application process.” 

Bingham said that successfully landing a first job or transferring both begin with preparation.

“To prepare for graduation effectively, I would suggest crafting a resume for the field you want to go in, and/or start researching schools to transfer to,” Bingham said. “Jamie Perez is our director of transfer, and I know he would be just as happy as I would be to meet with any student. So, craft a resume, if you are unsure of your plan come visit Career Services, and once you have that plan forward we can help you achieve that plan either by transfer, or helping you find that job of your dreams.”

For students who aren’t graduating, the end of the spring semester means it is time to register for summer classes. 

 “Taking classes in the summer can help the students get ahead in completing their degrees. Also, students need summer classes for different circumstances,” Valdez.

Summer classes are delivered in two six-week sessions and one online eight-week session. Professors say summer classes move quickly and students should be prepared.

“It’s important to keep up with the work from the very beginning of the semester.  The best advice is not to let it become a challenge, but to work ahead if you can,” said Dr. Bill Netherton, an English professor. 

The first session for summer classes starts May 24 and ends July 1. Online summer classes start on June 7. The second session for summer classes starts July 6. Fall classes begin on Aug. 23. 

Many students choose summer classes in order to graduate earlier. Janel Vargas, a criminal justice major, said she enjoyed being able to have her summer classes accessible online. “It allowed me to be busy during the summer doing what I love.” Vargas graduates this May. 

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