The Next Chapter in Life
By: Luis “Luigi” Finston
Seniors at NMSU are preparing for one of the biggest days of their lives as College Graduation inches closer every day. On December 10, scores of young men and women will take the stage and walk at the Pan Am American Center and handed the degree that they have been working on for the past several years.
College graduation is a milestone that lives on in people’s lives forever. It is a day when hard work pays off. After years of taking core classes, prerequisite courses, and making new friends in various communities and student organizations, students are prepared to take the next big step in life in the what we call “REAL WORLD”.
Some graduating Senior are not one hundred percent sure what they want to do after they graduate. But others have an agenda and a game plan already set into place. Several seniors look to have promising career opportunities because of previous internships, work experience, leadership roles, and college involvement.
Julian Martinez is senior majoring in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Martinez said that while others in his commencement class may be anxious to move away and leave right away, his plan is to stick around for a temporary time. “I’m going to stay in the area for a little”, he said. “I just want to save up a little more money rather than making a big transition right off the bat.”
“My plan after graduation is to settle into a nice job and work for a bit and build up my resume slightly more. Hopefully in the next few years I can move up to an upper management position in the Hotel Industry.”
Martinez described his “Dream Job” as having obtained the position of a General Manager of a Hotel in a larger city such as Phoenix or a significantly populated city in Texas such as Houston or Dallas. He stated that any of those options or a corporate type of job would be most fitting.
“Those are goals that many in the Hotel and Management industry strive for”, he said.
“I do want to stay within the Southwestern part of the U.S., unless an offer comes my way that blows my mind. I’m not a very big fan of cold weather”, he laughs.
Martinez has been in school for four and a half years. In that time period, it has been nothing short of an experience and rewarding.
“I’ve really been one to keep myself busy”, he said.
“I severed as the President of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and I was a senator for the College of ACES this past academic year. At one point I was a co-founder for the NMSU Campus Lions Club and served as the Treasurer, and was a co-founder and president of DECA at NMSU. I’ve been Treasurer of the College of Business; on the Business Council and for a brief time, I was a sports writer for the NMSU RoundUp. I also took the opportunity to work as an intern for the Wood Spring Suites here in Las Cruces.”
Martinez’s accomplishments go without saying and the NMSU Senior is excited to begin a new chapter in his life. When asked how he made it to graduation through all the work and hardships, Martinez said one of the key things is to find something that motivates you besides a degree.
“I think that having something bigger whether the motivation be your family or anything is always crucial”, he said.
“For me, it was being in the student organizations that I was in and not wanting to let others down in those organizations. Be sure to find something that drives you to want to get things done.”
But the main statement that Martinez posed is one that all college students should ponder about at one point or another, and that is: “Don’t forget why you are here.”
“We’re here to get a better education and put ourselves above others”, Martinez said.
“With hard work and dedication, you are placing yourself in a much higher tier of level and demand, and you have to take it seriously. Don’t lose your motivation and just keep moving forward.”
“Be sure to get involved in the time that you are in college. It goes by much more rapidly than you think and if you’re not a part of some type of community or organization, you won’t get the full experience or benefits that college has to offer you.”
As for the others who are partaking in the Winter Commencement the outlook of Graduation is slightly different. Darron Cook is a Communication Studies major and upon graduating will be moving back home and living with his parents in Albuquerque for a few months. But this move back home will only be a temporary one.
“The reason why I wish to return back home to my family is because I’m planning on moving away” he said.
“I want to leave New Mexico because I’ve spent most of my life here and I desire to see and do something different and new. I’ve applied to a place in Texas and a place in North Carolina. I’m really looking all over the place, and before I leave I want to spend some quality time with my family.”
Cook said that he wanted to finish school strong and not worry too much about applying for jobs for the time being.
“One of the main things that I’ll be doing once I return is applying for jobs non-stop and applying several times a week. My fall back plan is a place in New Hampshire that I used to work at, and if I ever needed a job they would hire me.” Cook described himself as a person who is very open to where he is located and will be going wherever the job takes him.
In terms of the forth coming future, Cook envisions himself working at a summer camp full time and being either a group director or a section director.
“I would love to have my own place and have that stable job and building my life around that. Hopefully in ten years I would have found someone who I can settle down with, which would be great.”
Cook started College four and half years ago in the Fall of 2012. He described it as a long and hard journey which had many ups and downs but worth it in the end. However, he doesn’t see himself returning to school anytime soon.
“I don’t foresee myself going into graduate school because I’m tired of school, and burnt out”, he laughs.
“However, that may change in the future. If I find a job that I’m super hyped about but it needs a graduate degree and some type of a masters, then of course I’ll go back.”
Cook’s plan is to use apply his degree with interpersonal relations with parents of children, children themselves, staff members, and other co-workers in a working environment. His overall goal is to make a setting a better workplace and make it more suitable for everyone.
“I definitely wouldn’t mind being in an educational environment and I’ve thought about becoming a teacher”, he said.
“Teenagers are my favorite age group to work with and I think being a high school teacher would be really cool. I love how you can really talk about deep and personal issues and topics in the communications field, since we’re so close to Psychology and Anthropology. We can talk about who we are as a culture and what we value as people. I believe that would make a great impact on kids.”
In his time spent as NMSU as an Undergraduate, Cook obtained the position of Grand Master of Ceremonies in Kappa Sigma Fraternity, worked for the Alumni Association as a student delegate and for their front desk, worked as a referee for the Intramural Department, and was a part of Aggie Thon 2015.
“One of the biggest pieces of advice that I have to give to anybody during school and especially in college is to never neglect your family and your friends back home”, he said.
“I myself personally have grown distant from a friends that I had in High School, and I kind of wish I hadn’t, but it has played out that way. There are times when I don’t call my mom back for nearly a month or two and she gets furious at me. So don’t do it. Make sure to keep up to date with them and talk to them. I’m very fortunate that my parents are involved and support me so much. Your parents deserve to be a part of your life. Even though we are adults living our own lives they deserve that.”