What is the Class of 2011 doing after graduation? After four years at Wake Forest it’s down to one week for members of the Class of 2011.
On May 16 they’ll walk across the stage, Wait Chapel looming in the background, and after a handshake from President Hatch they’ll be on the road to their future.
This summer Emily Rabbitt, from Alexandria, Va., will follow her political aspirations to Richmond, Va., for the Virginia Governor’s Fellows program. “I will be working with Gov. Bob McDonnell for six weeks, learning about the administration of state government in the Commonwealth,” said Rabbitt. As she approaches graduation, Rabbitt said, “While I will miss many things about Wake Forest, including my friends, I will truly miss the strong sense of community. WFU is a fairly moderately sized campus, yet you can walk around the Quad and always recognize a familiar face. Every student has a great feeling of belonging at Wake, and I don’t know if I will find that anywhere else.”
Alex Paraison, from Dallas, Texas, plans to take time after graduation to travel. “I am planning on going to Las Vegas and then up and down the coast of California with my friends from home. I haven’t seen them in a few years so I am looking forward to it,” said Paraison. As is true for many graduating seniors, leaving Wake Forest won’t be easy. “I am going to miss my friends a lot. We’ve had some great times over our four years together,” said Paraison.
Following graduation, Lindsay Stuart, of Atlanta, Ga., plans to get her masters in English education at the University of Virginia. She was accepted into the program in April and will begin classes in August. As an English major and education minor, Stuart has spent the second half of her senior year student-teaching at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem. As she departs for graduate school, Stuart said, “I will especially miss the sense of community at Wake Forest.”
Biophysics major Sol Hayon, from Princeton Junction, N.J., will be testing out his science degree as he joins Teach for America. “I am excited to be teaching high school science in Charlotte, N.C., this fall,” said Hayon. Following his two-year commitment, Hayon is considering attending medical school. When asked about graduation, Hayon said, “I will really miss going to the Pit with friends. At Wake Forest you are always surrounded by people who want to have a good time.”
History major Aveen Karim, of Silver Spring, Md., plans on heading back to the Washington, D.C., area following graduation. Karim hopes to continue her “Pro Humanitate” attitude by meeting with the Kurdistan Regional Government representative office and developing a plan to help children who have been impacted by the war in Iraq. “I want to travel to Kurdistan, particularly the Kirkuk region, this summer and help deliver the basic resources needed to run an elementary school,” said Karim. As she gets ready to leave Wake Forest, Karim said, “I believe Wake Forest is full of professors and students who encourage intellectual growth and social awareness, as well as taking action. I hope to take what I learned at WFU and apply it to my everyday life following graduation.”
Bailey Anderson, from Dallas, Texas, is taking time off before she begins work. “I will be traveling with my family to Costa Rica and then will be taking a cruise from Turkey to Greece,” Anderson said. Starting in August she will be working at Stream Realty Partners, LLC, a commercial real estate company in Dallas. As she faces graduation, Anderson said, “The thing I am going to miss most about Wake Forest is having all of my best friends within a three-mile radius. I can’t say I’m going to miss the work [laughs], but the friends I’ve made here are the best and it will be really hard to not see them every day.”
Political science major Stuart Kessler, of Charlotte, N.C., will be diving into politics, working in Washington, D.C. at the General Services Administration, an independent agency that helps manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. Before starting his job, Kessler plans to take a little break: “I will be traveling in South America, more specifically Argentina, Brazil and Colombia,” Kessler said. As graduation approaches, Kessler said, “I will miss all of the friends I have made at Wake Forest. And of course my parents paying rent.”
Following several successful internships in Winston-Salem, Kelsey Garvey of Fairfield, Conn., hopes to pursue a career in advertising in New York City, working in account management. “My dream job would be to move to Europe, work for a global agency, and specialize in image branding,” said Garvey. Like many others, Garvey says she will miss Wake Forest’s strong sense of community. “Moving to a big city post-grad, I will certainly reminisce about Pit-sits with good friends, campus events on the Quad, and tailgating football games with fellow students. You won’t find this community anywhere else,” said Garvey.
After graduating in May with a degree in English, Alana Wilson, from Timnath, Co., plans to return home for the summer. “I will be working at Geneva Glen Camp, serving as Head Wrangler for the camp’s 90th season,” said Wilson. In the fall Wilson will be returning to the east coast to Washington, D.C., to get involved with either public office or the realm of conservative think-tanks. Wilson is excited about the future but knows she will miss Wake Forest. “The incredible sense of community is something that I have come to expect and rely upon. Aside from the faculty and friends that I treasure, I will miss the splendor of this campus. I do not think there is anywhere more beautiful than Wake Forest in the spring when the tulips are in bloom,” said Wilson.
This semester I was the intern at Wake Forest University Magazine. This experience has opened my eyes to the amazing things that WFU alumni are doing around the world and has made me excited to become an alumna myself. After studying English and film at WFU, I will return to Rye, N.Y., to spend my summer interning on a documentary about the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman. I am excited to spend the summer in the city and gain hands-on experience in the film industry. When thinking about graduation, the thing I will miss most about Wake Forest is the positive atmosphere that exists everywhere on campus. I don’t know that I will find that anywhere else. WFU has honestly helped me grow into the best possible version of myself. Now I get to try it out in the real world.