Almost 50 percent of Georgia College students who responded to a recent survey will have secured their professions when they walk across the stage to receive their degrees Saturday. Among them, Serena Odeh of Macon, Georgia, and Meredith Lawrence of Duluth, Georgia, feel prepared to step into their new roles respectively as a teacher and producer.
Odeh will have a smooth transition from the Lounsbury College of Education into her new career as a late middle-to-early high school science inclusion teacher for the Academy for Classical Education (ACE) located in Macon, Georgia.
“Georgia College puts you into the classroom right from the start of your junior year,” Odeh said. “You are able to teach primary, middle and high school. So, you can get a taste of what you like and don’t like.”
She taught students with various disabilities, including ADHD, autism, behavioral or emotional disorders and dyslexia and met with 10-to-15 students a day helping them with their school work. Now, she now feels prepared to ease into the workforce as a teacher.
“You had to be able to accommodate them and figure out their weaknesses in order to work with these students,” she said. “I learned so much these past two years that teaching at another school will be a whole lot easier now.”
Lawrence will begin an internship at 13WMAZ in Macon with the promise of becoming a multimedia platform producer in August. She feels her experience with GC360, The Colonnade and WGUR gave her the edge she needs to work there.
“Through each of those experiences at Georgia College, I found out what I liked,” Lawrence said. “I think our school’s television station GC360 and The Colonnade were super beneficial, because no matter what you do while working in the news, you have to be a good writer and communicator.”
She discovered her talent at Georgia College.
“When I was the producer of GC360, I learned what the position entailed, and that laid the foundation for me to work at WMAZ,” she said. “That’s when I decided to be a producer.”
Lawrence learned a transferrable skill at Georgia College that she can use in her career.
“I developed a lot of relationships with students, and I learned how to be a leader,” she said. “I never managed people, who were the same age as me before. But having a good relationship with them to where they could come to me for help, this is something I can use on the job.”
Lawrence also thinks her experience at Georgia College laid the foundation for her to work at 13WMAZ.
“I’m really eager to just get my foot in the door at WMAZ,” she said. “I just want to network within this company by starting in the local community to do the news there, and then hopefully work my way up to a bigger city. I’m just really excited to see the real-life experience, to have a schedule and start my career.”
Odeh and Lawrence are among the majority of Georgia College students who are transitioning into careers, while 31.4 percent of students are either applying to full-time positions or graduate schools. A small number of students will volunteer for organizations or go into the military.
“This time of year, many students are still interviewing or weighing job and graduate program offers,” said Dr. Mary Roberts, director, University Career Center. “Graduates still have plenty of time to secure the right opportunity.”
“It’s also important to note that with more access to information, students find jobs in many different ways,” she said. “Our graduates go into a variety of careers.”
The Career Center links Georgia College students to jobs through Handshake, career fairs, LinkedIn strategy sessions and the campus real and mock interview program.
“Each student’s entire Georgia College experience goes into their career outcome,” said Roberts. “The coaching and advising we provide students lead to interviews and job offers, even if we didn’t make the initial connection between the student and company.”
May 2019 graduates are encouraged to take the Career Center survey found here: https://app.joinhandshake.com/first_destination_surveys/1742. It is open until Sept. 30.