Seniors weigh options, prepare for life after graduating from Simpson


by Jason Staker

Every year as graduation approaches, seniors prepare for the daunting jump out of Simpson life and into the real world.

“A lot of the seniors were really on the case in the fall,” said Denise Ross Haynes, director of career and counseling services.

Ross Haynes said that as the year comes to an end many seniors come to her office looking for practical assistance with resumes and interviews.

“We don’t really have a lot of seniors coming in for career advice per se,” Ross Haynes said. “We do have some that have come back and said they have decided to change their major or move forward with their major and they ask what options there are.”

Senior Om Gurung, a computer science major, is weighing his options right now.

“I want to work for a year or so then go back to grad school,” Gurung said. “As of right now I am working to prepare for my [Graduate Records Exam] then I will apply for my grad school.”

Senior Megan Calderwood, a religion and psychology major, plans to attend seminary school in Philadelphia.

“When I first came here I wasn’t a religion major,” Calderwood said. “I wanted to be a social worker. I’m now getting my masters in divinity.”

Last year 16 percent of Simpson grads entered into grad school. The majority – 78 percent – entered the work force full-time.

Ross Haynes said each year there are numerous opportunities on campus for seniors to find their first job.

“We had two major events this spring that we didn’t do last year,” Ross Haynes said. “We had the Senior Essentials that had a good turnout and the career fair had record numbers this year.”

Simpson is also visited regularly by Iowa companies searching for new employees. Among the largest are Principal Financial Group, Pella Corporation and Allied Insurance. The hard part is not getting these businesses to recruit at Simpson, Ross Haynes said, but to keep students applying.

“What’s challenging is supplying them with interested students because if we don’t they’ll start to look elsewhere,” Ross Haynes said.

Looking elsewhere is also what some seniors are finding themselves doing.

“If I don’t get a job here I’m going to move out-of-state,” Gurung said. “I might go somewhere like Chicago or Dallas.”

Though some seniors may leave the state because of necessity, other say their choice was one of finding the best fit.

“This fall I am going to go to seminary in Philadelphia for three years,” Calderwood said. “I went out and visited it and it felt right and had good opportunities.”