While all students at the College are, of course, driven, motivated and intelligent, choosing a career is not always easy. And not everyone has it all figured out just yet. Four students tell their stories of sucess, future plans and job possibilities.
Helping the Nursing Shortage
As a child, a hospital full of doctors and needles can seem intimidating and overbearing. But when welcomed by Denny Reid’s caring, enthusiastic face, those fears disappear in a second.
Reid, senior nursing major, is getting ready to take his love of children and welcoming aura to the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Working as a pediatric oncologist for children with cancer, Reid inspires kids who, in turn, inspire him.
“It’s the most amazing experience I’ve ever had,” Reid said about his internship at the hospital last summer. The internship was Reid’s “in” with the Children’s Hospital, as it is one of the most selective and endorsed hospitals in the country.
“There’s a big nursing shortage now, but it’s such an accredited hospital that they can chose who they want to work for them,” Reid said, explaining how competitive his position is.
Yet, Reid’s main goal for his career has nothing to do with competition. His love of children and his outgoing personality is his real motivation for going to work everyday.
“I really enjoy patient-to-patient contact,” Reid said. “It’s not just about being knowledgeable. You have to be able to relate to the kids.”
Since Reid does his job so well, some of the patients ask for him by name. During his internship, he met a young girl who took a liking to him. After his internship was over, the little girl came back to the hospital for a bone-marrow transplant. Nervous and unhappy about other doctors and nurses, she requested to speak with “Denny.” Even though he was at school, the nurses called Reid and the patient got her wish.
“She was so excited to talk to me,” Reid said. “You go in there and put a smile on their face and then their day is that much better. It gives me the inspiration to go to work everyday.”
On to Greater Academic Pursuits
Holly Kent is a senior English major with minors in history and women’s and gender studies. After graduation, she will be enrolled in Lehigh University for her masters, and eventual PhD in history.
“I chose to go to school for history because I’ve always loved history, and I’m a history minor,” Kent said. “I’m really looking forward to four more years of reading, researching and writing. Plus, the program at Lehigh has several faculty members who focus on American women’s history, which is what I want to study. So, it’s perfect!”
Kent is glad to be accepted into the program, because she didn’t have any alternative plans.
“If school didn’t work out – for me, it was pretty much school, or panic,” she said. “So I’m really glad that school did work out!”
Kent is unsure what she will do with her degree, but hopes to be working as a teacher or in a museum, instructing people about women’s history.
Kent said that the College helped her find her perfect fit in a graduate school. The reference room in the library is filled with books that describe the programs offered by colleges and universities all over the world.
“For people who are thinking about grad school – I would say, number one, start looking really soon – it’s a big decision, and the more time you have to think about it, and to go through the application process, the better,” Kent advised. “Number two, talk to your professors – they’ll know what the good schools are for what you want to study, and will have lots of resources to help you.”
Pete Dolcy is a senior history elementary education major who spent the first half of the semester student-teaching in Ireland.
“I suppose I would really like to be teaching internationally (within five years),” Dolcy said. “After Global Student Teaching earlier this semester, I have really taken an interest in seeing the world, and that seems to be the best option out there.”
If working internationally doesn’t pan out, however, Dolcy plans on returning to school to earn a master’s degree in education administration.
“I hope to begin my training in education administration and start on the path toward becoming a school principal,” Dolcy said.
Dolcy said that the College provided him with opportunities he would otherwise not have experienced.
“Student teaching both abroad in Ireland and here in Bordentown has really taught me a lot about teaching, both instructing and the small things that go on behind the scenes,” he said. “I really feel that the College has prepared me to enter the workforce completely.”
The College’s Junior Professional Experience program has helped him immensely, he said.
“Most of the districts that I have spoken with have asked questions about programs that they are developing that mirror those that we learn about in our methods classes,” Dolcy said.
Teaching in N.J.
With elementary education being one of the premier majors at the College, it isn’t easy for all those majors to find a job with a school in the area. Even though the College is known for its exceptional teaching program, Megan Baiada, senior elementary education major, is in the midst of an intensive job search for a teacher’s position.
“Hopefully, someone will hire me,” Baiada said, explaining how she has sent out resumes to schools all over Burlington County and is waiting for responses.
She hopes to be teaching by September, but is unsure if she will have a job by then. Had she participated in the College’s on-campus recruitment program, she said, she might have had a better chance finding work.
Schools from all over the area come to on-campus recruitment and have students sign up for interviews and applications. Baiada didn’t sign up for it because she had originally planned to go to grad school. When her plans changed, it was too late to go back to the recruitment program.
“I decided I’m going to go to grad school while I’m working,” she said, explaining her change of mind.
While she is not sure of her job status for September, she plans to substitute at schools in her hometown over the summer. She is also involved in Habitat for Humanity, and will be traveling to Kentucky for a week this summer to build houses.
“I haven’t been able to do as much as I’d like to,” she said. “Trying to get done with school as well as the job search is very hard, because they’re both so time-consuming.”