Graduation, or “The G-Word,” as most seniors prefer to call it, brings up different emotions for different people.
There are people who feel ready to enter the “real world” and those who want to stay at school forever. Some are excited by the prospect of starting their career and others need some time off or travel to help them figure out what they want to do next. UD Honors Program 2016 alumnus Tim D’Agostino wasn’t sure how he felt about graduation during his last semester on campus.
“I remember feeling ambivalent about graduation,” D’Agostino said. “I was looking forward to getting through finals but didn’t want to leave UD and knew I would miss seeing my friends everyday.”
Tim decided to do what many college students do after graduation – travel. Accompanied by three friends, Tim embarked on an Icelandic and Scandinavian road trip during the summer of 2016. Tim and his friends spent the first portion of their trip exploring the Ring Road around Iceland in a Smart Sedan and later traveled to Denmark, Sweden and Norway. “Each place was beautiful and I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to visit,” D’Agostino said.
Some students rule out traveling after graduation, worried it might hinder their job search. For D’Agostino, it was just the opposite. “When I was mulling over joining the trip, one factor in my decision was the impact on starting work. I wasn’t sure how employers would look at the delay, but when I shared my plans during interviews they were very supportive of the trip and even asked me to send them some photos.”
D’Agostino successfully found a job and now works as a civil and environmental engineer at D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C., where he works on projects in the water supply division that involve designing ways to access, pump and deliver drinking water. While he enjoys his job, D’Agostino recognizes how different working full-time is from being in school. He explained:
“One of the biggest downsides [to full time employment over college life] is that I don’t get to see friends as much as I used to and visiting isn’t as easy as walking across campus. It also can be intimidating when you start a new job and realize how much you need to learn, but I’ve been lucky to have coworkers that are eager to teach and help me. It’s really rewarding to apply the material I learned in school so I’ve enjoyed getting to use my courses to help solve problems our clients are facing.”
While some experience trepidation about the transition from college to full-time employment, D’Agostino felt more confident in his ability to navigate the “real world” because of the support and guidance he received during his time at UD.
“At least for me, the more I learn about something, the more confident I feel making decisions about it,” he said. “Professors, friends and the career center counselors have a wealth of knowledge about each field and also know other students’ plans. They can point you towards alumni with similar experiences. The uncertainty might not completely go away, but you’ll get a clearer picture.”
If anyone would like to connect with Tim D’Agostino about his post-graduate journey, you can reach him at email@example.com.
Feature written by: Victoria Dellacava, ’17